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

Wildcats can move on to NCAA tournament with GNAC win

By SARAH RUIZ, staff reporter

With a record of 13-11, the Wildcats softball team is heading into the postseason to play in the Great Northwest Athletic Tournament. After going 19-18 in the regular season, Central will face Saint Martin’s University on May 2.

While the Wildcats lost two games against Saint Martin’s last weekend, they are confident that through practice they will be able to adjust for the change-up pitching style.

“Saint Martin’s is who we are going for,” head coach Mallory Holtman-Fletcher said. “We threw up the pitching game [at practice]. For us, we have an advantage. We saw them play really, really well but they didn’t see us. I think they are going to be shocked because we will come out Thursday.”

The key to Wildcat wins have come from their hitting, with four players fighting for top spots in the individual GNAC standings. Freshman Remy Bradley sits in the fourth position, senior Cassi Ellis in sixth, junior Maikala Galusha in seventh and junior Jill McDaniels in ninth for batting averages in the GNAC tournament.

“I think we have really strong hitters throughout the lineup,” Galusha said. “That any day no matter where in the lineup, any person can hit.”

The Saints are currently number one in team standings for the GNAC with 18-6 in conference play, and 36-13 overall.

In the GNAC individual statistics, Saint Martin’s holds the top three spots.

Sophomore Sam Munger sits in first with a batting average of .416. Senior Joslyn Eugenio is in second with a .406, and junior Lacey McGladrey is in third and hitting .394.

After losing twice to Saint Martin’s 7-5, 12-4 earlier in the week, the Wildcats have focused hard at practice on their hitting and individual needs.

“We are just working our individual stuff that we think we need to work on to get us ready to play,” Galusha said. “I’ve been working on front hand t-work and keeping my weight back and going through the ball.”

Even in the face of defeat, Holtman-Fletcher said the team always does its best to create a positive and cheerful atmosphere in the dugout.

“The team this year is just funny,” Holtman-Fletcher said. “When they get serious, it doesn’t work for them. They have to be energetic and crazy in the dugout and it translates on the field.”

May 2 marks the first game of the GNAC Tournament against the Saints.

With the double-elimination layout, the Wildcats will either play No. 3 seed Simon Fraser University or No. 2 seed Western Oregon University the following day.

Despite their recent loses against these opponents, Holtman-Fletcher is hopeful a win will be in their future.

“They full-heartedly believe they will go in and win this tournament,” Holtman-Fletcher said. “I’m in full support of that because no one can come in and stop us when we are us.”


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