By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Trials and triumphs for CWU softball

Jacob Thompson
CWU softball has currently recorded 224 hits, 111 runs and 102 runs batted in.

The CWU softball team recently took a brief hiatus from conference play to participate in the Tournament of Champions in Turlock, California. Despite not achieving their desired record, the team showcased competitiveness in every game according to redshirt senior catcher Anna Fridell.

“I think it just came down to timely hitting,” Fridell said about the team’s performance. “In our last game against Chico State [University], we had some big hits come up for us late in the game which helped us get the win rather than trying to play catch up.”

The Wildcats went out with a bang during their final showdown of the tournament as fifth-year catcher Alyssa Benthagen hit her second home run of the season and helped secure the win. This victory put CWU at a record of 1-3 for the weekend.

Returning to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) play against the Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) Nighthawks, the team faced a formidable challenge against the 19-ranked Division II softball team in the nation.

“NNU is not only one of the top teams in the GNAC, but also in the country,” Joe Dipietro, softball head coach, said. “We need to be ready for the challenge and play our best,” he expressed before the team’s four-day series commenced on Friday, March 29 according to

CWU went on to win the first game against the Nighthawks and lost the subsequent three. Fridell noted that despite solid fielding and pitching performances, the team acknowledged their need to capitalize on offensive opportunities to sway future game outcomes in their favor.

Fifth-year pitcher Ashlee Laver “pitched the lights out,” for the Wildcats during their first game of the series, according to Fridell. Laver threw 114 pitches and allowed only seven hits. It was also during this game that Benthagen came back out and whacked her third home run of the season.

“Alyssa [Benthagen has] been key to our lineup both offensively and defensively,” Fridell said. “She’s got home run power that ultimately was the difference maker in our first game against NNU and also did a great job throwing runners out from behind the plate.”

Looking forward to the challenges ahead, Fridell emphasized that momentum is huge. “Though California and NNU didn’t go how we would’ve liked, we’ve been playing some really good ball since then and we feel confident about our chances going into the GNAC tournament,” she said.

The CWU softball team was on a six-game winning streak before making an appearance at the Tournament of Champions. Now, they only have three more series to build that momentum up before the GNAC Tournament begins on Thursday, May 2. 

However, Fridell expressed excitement on the team’s behalf for the upcoming games, stating, “Especially with two out of our last three series being here at home, we’re excited to see what we can do and continue to build on the work we’ve done over the season.”

The Wildcats will take the field next against long-time rivals, the Western Oregon University Wolves, on Friday, April 12 at 1:00 p.m. at Gary and Bobbi Frederick Field in Ellensburg, Washington.

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