CWU softball’s recent venture down the coast


Senior infielder Harlee Carpenter. Photo courtesy of Jacob Thompson: Thompson Sports Media

Charis Jones, Staff Reporter

As spring season sports hit full stride, CWU softball traveled down to Turlock, California from Mar. 31 to April 2 to compete in the annual Tournament of Champions. Over the course of their three-day showdown, they played in five games and emerged victorious in three of them.

“While we came out of the tournament with a winning record, we did not perform the way we wanted to and are capable of,” senior infielder Harlee Carpenter said. “We hold a very high standard for ourselves and we have a lot of talent, but I don’t think we showcased that this weekend. The good thing is that these were non-conference games, so we can work on some things that were exposed this weekend before we get back into GNAC play.”

While some may look at 3-2 as an overall win for the weekend, senior infielder Myiah Seaton argued that “the standard is always 5-0, especially with how much talent this team possesses.”

“Our offensive side of the tournament was disappointing with the lack of production,” Seaton said. “The discipline at the plate was not present, which led to leaving multiple runners on base. Our pitchers are dealing with multiple barriers at the moment which led to frequent leadoff walks, which have a high percentage of scoring that inning.”

Though the Wildcats may not feel that they performed to their maximum potential throughout this tournament, both Carpenter and Seaton acknowledged some strengths that were evident regardless of the outcome of the games. 

Carpenter praised the dugout’s performance for being the team’s consistent source of pride not only during the weekend but throughout the season as well. 

“Our dugout as a whole really stood out to me this weekend, and is something that we have prided ourselves on all year,” Carpenter said. “Regardless of the score, we always have a crazy amount of energy and the cheering is nonstop. It’s really great to feel that energy and support behind me when I’m up to bat and on the field.”

Meanwhile, Seaton conveyed her pride in one of the freshmen players on the team.

“I’d like to start by saying that I’m extremely proud of our freshman, Peyton Kessler, for getting her first complete game and holding the win,” Seaton said. “It’s easy as a freshman to be scared on the mound, but she always keeps her chest high and works harder than her opponent.”

Seaton also credited players such as junior infielder Taylor Kai “TK” for her productivity in tense situations at the plate, junior outfielder Jillian Hampson for her consistency in getting on base, and junior infielder Laney Kaysner for her speed and power-slapping abilities.

While the team may not have gotten the outcome they preferred, Seaton highlighted important elements that the Wildcats aim to improve on before their next matchup. 

“Hitting is number one on the list,” Seaton said. “Aggressiveness at the plate to back up our talent is integral to our success. Letting the pitchers or umpires determine the outcomes of our at-bats has been a frequent occurrence and we have been doing team building and mindful training this week to get over the mental barrier and take charge so we can play how we are supposed to.”

In contrast to the Wildcat’s performance during the tournament of only 32 hits and 12 runs, their focus on enhancing offensive abilities can be seen in their season-long statistics. Notably, players such as senior outfielder Allie Thiessen have already accumulated six doubles, senior catcher Alyssa Benthagen has recorded four home runs, and Carpenter has earned three triples all to date. 

With about a month left of play for spring sports, Carpenter expressed her faith in this team’s abilities as well as her enthusiasm for the rest of her final season here at CWU. 

“I have a lot of confidence in this team and if we play to our potential, I know we can go far,” Carpenter said. “The goal for this team is obviously to make it to the postseason, but to do that we have to take it one game at a time. If we focus on what we need to do to win the game at hand, we’ll do great things. I’m really excited for the rest of the season and regardless of what happens, I just want to enjoy my last month of softball with my teammates.”

CWU softball’s next face-off will take place at their home field in Ellensburg at Gary & Bobbi Fredrick Field against the Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) Nighthawks on Friday, April 14 at 1 p.m.