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

CWU softball season comes to an end

Ashlee Laver Celebrating. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Thompson/Thompson Sports Media)

Despite a rough start to the season, the Wildcats were able to make a push for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship Tournament that commenced on Thursday, May 2. The CWU softball team finished their season with a record of 12-12 in conference play which earned them the four seed going into the tournament. The Wildcats dropped their first game against Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) which gave them one more opportunity to stay alive, but the team fell short as they lost the second game to Saint Martin’s University (SMU). 

Head coach Joe DiPietro mentioned how lots of games came down to the Wildcats at-bats and that the hitting could have been much better. “We lost nine one-run games…” DiPietro said.  “We struggled with our hitting all season and this is why we ended the way we did. That was our biggest hurdle.”

In the two losses vs. NNU and SMU, CWU was only able to put up one run in those two games, highlighting the issues DiPietro mentioned. 

The Wildcats had bigger expectations overall going into this season as they hoped to chase down the GNAC championship title. The starting lineup of the team was made up of primarily seniors which gave the team hope that their experience would be able to carry them throughout the year.

DiPietro has been a part of the team since late 2021 and has seen many of these senior’s careers play out. He shared that he is very proud of the relationships developed. “When you are together as long as we are, you develop a certain culture and this group had a lot of fun together,” DiPietro said. He also made sure to shine light on the future of the team as well as sharing his expectations for the following season. “We have very talented players coming back as well as a very skilled recruiting class coming in. If we gel quickly, I believe we can be a very good team next season.”

Fifth-year starting Pitcher Ashlee Laver finished her final season here with CWU, pitching 144 innings with a 2.8 earned run average. She led the team in many different statistical categories which will be a big loss to the Wildcat rotation.

With the Wildcats losing their ace starting pitcher, Laver gave her opinion on the future of the Wildcats. “I think the future is bright for CWU softball,” Laver said. “Although we are losing a lot of starters, I know Coach Joe has some good players coming in. CWU softball is going to have a lot of change but the younger generation coming in are going to do great things. 

The season was up and down especially with the team starting out the year with a record of 1-8. However, they were able to turn things around, especially in conference play which helped them reach the GNAC tournament despite the early struggles of the season. 

Laver credited how close the team was able to stay and their ability to push each other the whole season no matter the circumstances. “Our team chemistry this season was unmatched, and we showed a lot of grit,” Laver said. “It is really admirable how dedicated every single person on my team is because being a student-athlete does not come easy.”

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