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Saints Softball, Clan Golf Split Team of the Week Award
The Simon Fraser men's golf team finished first in their second tournament this season.
The Simon Fraser men's golf team finished first in their second tournament this season.
SMU won the Silver Bracket Championship at the Tournament of Champions.
SMU won the Silver Bracket Championship at the Tournament of Champions.

Monday, March 30, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Saint Martin’s softball team and the Simon Fraser men’s golf team are the Red Lion Hotels co-Team of the Week after each won tournament titles.

The two teams were led by outstanding individual performances as the Saints Sam Munger was named the Tournament of Champions MVP and the Clans John Mlikotic finished second at the Cal Baptist Invite. The pair were named GNAC Player of the Week honors on Monday as well.

The Saints entered the 24-team field at the Division II Cal State Stanislaus Tournament of Champions in Turlock, Calif., last week, winning the Silver Bracket.

After dropping its opening game of the tournament, Saint Martin’s pulled out six-straight wins for the group crown.

Being placed in Group C at the beginning of the tournament with five California Collegiate Athletic Association teams, including 27th-ranked Humboldt State, the GNAC leader faced tough competition to reach the bracket rounds.

SMU pulled within one run in the top of the sixth against Hawaii Pacific, but eventually fell 5-3 in its opener.

In what would be their only loss of the tournament, the Saints rebounded by taking down two of the PacWest Conference’s top teams.

With Munger on the mound for game two, the senior allowed only five hits in eight innings as the Saints scored twice late for a 2-1 victory. Munger not only won the game on the mound, but with her bat too. Down 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh, SMU’s catcher Jackie Schmaeling hit a double to right center scoring Taylor Wolf to tie the game. In the eighth, Munger lined an RBI’s single scoring Alyssa Slate for the game-winning run.

In game three, the Saints scored early and often as Munger drove in four of the team’s first seven runs in the 9-4 win over Notre Dame de Namur. Lindsay Miller pitched 5.1 innings to pick up her sixth win of the year.

The Saints controlled the fourth and fifth games of the tournament as Munger recorded her second complete-game, and first shutout, of the tournament in a 3-0 over Dominican while needing only five innings to demolish Chaminade 12-4 in the pool-play finale. Every Saint’s player recorded a hit and either a run or RBI in the latter matchup.

SMU finished second in pool play to enter the Silver Bracket, where it faced the three other second-place pool teams.

The Saints were paired with GNAC rival Central Washington in the opening game. With the 3-3 stalemate in the bottom of the sixth, leadoff hitter Mary Dettling launched a three-run home run to center to win the game 6-3 which advanced the Saints to the championship.

In Sunday’s championship game, SMU faced its toughest competition of the year challenging the nation’s third-ranked team in Cal State Monterey Bay. Trailing 5-4 in the sixth, Miller drove in the game-tying run with a single down the left-field line. The next batter, Munger, hit a sacrifice fly to left field which was far enough for Slate to tag up and score the winning run.

In the seven-game tournament, the Saints outscored their opponents 41-22 while hitting for a .337 average. SMU’s three pitching starters, Munger, Miller and Kim Nelson, combined for a 2.53 ERA while striking-out 17 total batters. The tournament MVP Munger finished the tournament with a 3-0 record, all complete games, with a .083 ERA while batting .583 with eight RBI’s, including two game-winning hits.

"It was great to see Sam do so well this weekend both at the plate and on the mound," head coach Rick Noren said. "It was a big weekend for the entire team and she led us in all the games we played."

On the links, the Simon Fraser men’s golf team had four golfers finish in the top 20 to win the Cal Baptist Invitational Monday and Tuesday at the Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, Calif.

Simon Fraser beat out 14 other teams for the title including five top 35 teams featuring No. 23 Dixie State, No. 20 Western Washington and No. 3 Chico State.

SFU finished with a total score of 870, eight strokes better than the second place team and 13 strokes better than the third. The teams first and third round scores of 289 were the second lowest in the tournament.

“Our golfers put their fair share of time in and were rewarded for their efforts,” head coach John Buchanan said.

The GNAC Golfer of the Week, Mlikotic, led the Clan with a second-place finish after posting a 68 in the final round.

Opening with a 76, Mlikotic’s score didn’t count towards the team scores as his four other teammates outshot him carding a 73 or lower, including freshman Tony Ko’s team-low 71.

The senior captain rebounded by taking six strokes off in round two, finishing with a 70 while before hitting a final round of 68. His three-round score of 214 was one of five that was under the 216 par-mark.

The ninth-ranked Clan had another top 10 finisher in the group, former GNAC Golfer of the Week Kevin Vigna. The sophomore was one of the more consistent Clan golfers, posting scores of 72, 72 and 73 to tie for seventh.

Chris Crisologo and Bret Thompson finished five and seven over par, respectively, for two more Clan top 20 finishes.

“Out of the 15 rounds we played, we had three sub-par scores,” Buchanan said. “That’s really low for a course like this. It was not an easy course. You could lose a ball real easily.”

This is Simon Fraser’s second tournament win of the season, also taking honors at the Golfweek Fall Invitational in early October.

The Saint Martin’s softball team will face Western Oregon and Simon Fraser in doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday while Clan golf team will travel to the Western New Mexico Invitational April 6-7. 

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