Wildcats look to make more history in 2017


CWU Athletics

Taylor Ferleman run towards teammates in celebration during the 2016 season. They had plenty to celebrate after winning 42 games.

Rachel Greve, Staff Reporter

The CWU women’s softball team is getting ready to head to Las Vegas for the first tournament of the year.

In his second year as head coach, Mike Larabee seems to be the perfect fit for this program. In his first year as head coach he led the team to the super regional tournament in Arcata, CA. and became the first head coach in program history to earn GNAC Coach of the Year honors.

“Last year we didn’t know what to expect, and this year we kinda know how he works,” first basemen Kailyn Campbell said.

Campbell was one of many standout players breaking records on the field; including the most career RBIs in school history with 141 RBIs. She was also named to the first-team West-Region.       

Last season was the Wildcat’s best season breaking records and boundaries. CWU was the first GNAC team to make it all the way to the super regional tournament before losing a best-of-three series with Humboldt State University. The team finished last year with a record of 42-17 setting the record for most wins in a single season. Not only did the team go 18-10 in GNAC conference play. The Wildcats became the first team in conference history to lose its first game of the GNAC tournament and come back to win. The Wildcats earned the second seed in the West Regional Tournament in Azusa, CA.

The Wildcats lost a total of seven seniors last year including standout players such as third basemen Alexa Olague, pitcher Brielle Copodonna and outfielder Haley Fritz. The team gained 11 new players this year.

Olague, who is now a graduate assistant,thinks that these freshmen and transfers are just what the team needs.

“It’s definitely going to be a competitive team if not more competitive than last year,” Olague said.

Senior infielder Taylor Ferleman seems to be confident in this year’s team as well.

“I believe that we can make it all the way,” Ferleman said.

The Women Wildcats are currently ranked 14 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 Preseason Coaches’ Poll.  “That ranking is based on what we did last year,” Larabee said. “This year is an entirely new year. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”

The team is currently reading a book together called “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon. Olague described the book as energizing and uplifting, motivating the girls to always stay positive and get on the bus together. The coaching staff hopes that by reading this book the team will play together and for one another.

“Our biggest focus is to take it one game at a time, one pitch at a time, one inning at a time. We want to go 1-0 each day,” Olague said.

The Wildcats will be leaving Thursday for the Desert Stinger Tournament put on by Montana State University Billings in Las Vegas, NV where they will play two games Friday, two games Saturday, and one on Sunday before returning home.