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Power Performance: Benson Leads 3 Viking POW Selections
Western Washington's Emily Benson had a monster week at the plate, finishing 14 for 23 with five home runs, 16 RBI and 11 runs scored.
Western Washington's Emily Benson had a monster week at the plate, finishing 14 for 23 with five home runs, 16 RBI and 11 runs scored.

Monday, March 28, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore.  – Western Washington first baseman Emily Benson made the most of the extra games last week.

Making up three rained out games from earlier in the season, the Vikings’ softball team played seven games, with Benson taking full advantage of the extra at-bats. The sophomore was selected the Softball Player of the Week after hitting for a .609 average (14 for 23) with five home runs, 16 runs batted in, 11 runs scored and a 1.261 slugging percentage. Benson leads the GNAC with 12 home runs and 40 RBI, becoming Western Washington’s single-season home run record holder.

The Vikings’ Katie Reichert was named the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week after hitting a NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships automatic qualifying mark in the javelin. Competing at the Doris Heritage Distance Classic in Seattle, Wash., Reichert’s throw of 50.16 meters (165’ 6”) took first place in the event and ranks third in all of Division II this season.

Rounding out the three Western Washington selections is Audrey Orem, who received the Women’s Golf Player of the Week award. Orem put together one of her best performances of the season at the Otter Invitational in Seaside, Calif., tying for ninth individually out of 96 competitors. She shot 10-over par 154 with matching round scores of 77, finishing just four strokes back of the individual champion.

Saint Martin’s Loryn Williams was selected the Softball Pitcher of the Week after finishing with a 2-1 record and a save in four appearances. Williams completed all three of her starts which included a 1-0 shutout of Concordia. She threw 21 total innings, recording a 2.14 earned run average and five strikeouts. She allowed just 13 hits and six runs.

Montana State Billings’ Cody Cooper put together one of the gutsiest pitching performances of the season, receiving the Baseball Pitcher of the Week award. Cooper threw 142 pitches over eight innings in a 6-1 victory over Western Oregon on Sunday. He moved to 5-0 on the season after holding the Wolves to one run on nine hits. He struck out six batters and kept the Yellowjackets in the ballgame until their bats awoke in the sixth inning. Northwest Nazarene outfielder Ryan Johnson was named the Baseball Player of the Week after finishing 7 for 16 with four doubles and five RBI. He drove in the game-winning run in a 6-5 victory over Central Washington in the series finale.

Concordia swept the men’s track and field selections as sprinter Carlos Ortiz and thrower Tyler Lamott took home the awards. Ortiz won the 100-meter dash at the Willamette Invitational in Salem, Ore., with a time of 10.67 seconds, just .01 off his own school record. He placed second in the 200-meters in 21.68. Both times are ranked second in the GNAC this season. Lamott extended his GNAC lead in the hammer throw with a toss of 192 1/4 feet (58.62m). His throw is an NCAA provisional mark and eight feet further than the next best toss in the GNAC.

Western Oregon middle-distance runner Suzanne Van De Grift was selected the Women’s Track Athlete of the Week, recording a provisional qualifying mark in the 800-meters at the Willamette Invitational. Van De Grift won the race in a time of two minutes, 13.04 seconds, setting a personal best mark.

Concordia’s Tanner Huddleston rounds out the player of the week selections, receiving the Men’s Golf Player of the Week award. Huddleston took medalist honors at the one-round George Fox Spring Break Invitational. The sophomore shot 4-under par 68 to lead the field.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 30
BASEBALL PLAYER
Ryan Johnson
(Northwest Nazarene, OF, 6-1, Sr., Boise, Idaho - Timberline): Johnson finished the week 7 for 16 with four doubles and five runs batted in. He had the game-winning RBI in the Crusaders’ 6-5 victory over Central Washington in game four. He finished 3 for 3 with three doubles in the series-deciding game. Also Nominated: Konner Reddick (Concordia), Jake Huskey (Saint Martin’s), Kyle Durbin (Montana State Billings).

BASEBALL PITCHER
Cody Cooper
(Montana State Billings, RHP, 6-4, Jr., Bozeman, Mont. - Bozeman): Cooper turned in his gutsiest start of the season, throwing 142 pitches through eight innings and limiting Western Oregon to one run in a 6-1 victory. Cooper had six strikeouts to push his GNAC-leading total to 48 on the year, and the right-hander remained perfect at 5-0 with a 2.56 earned run average.  Also Nominated: Ross Clevenger (Northwest Nazarene), Nick Mailhot (Saint Martin’s), Austin Hadley (Concordia).

SOFTBALL PLAYER
Emily Benson
(Western Washington, 1B, 5-11, So., West Richland, Wash. - Kamiakin): Benson put together an impressive week at the plate in seven games, finishing 14 for 23 with five home runs, 16 RBI and 11 runs scored. She became the Vikings’ single-season home run record holder with 12 this year. Also Nominated: Taylor Bussey (Concordia), Lisa Sylvester (Northwest Nazarene), Austin Wilkerson (Central Washington).

SOFTBALL PITCHER
Loryn Williams
(Saint Martin’s, P/IF, 5-5, Fr., Fairview, Ore. – La Salle): Williams finished the week with a 2-1 record and a save in four appearances. She completed all three starts she made and shut out Concordia 1-0 on Friday. Williams allowed just 13 hits and six runs in 21 innings pitched, striking out five batters. Also Nominated: Lexi Jennings (Western Oregon), Megan Miller (Saint Martin’s), Abigail Otto (Northwest Nazarene), Heather Tracy (Montana State Billings), Kailyn Campbell (Central Washington).

MEN’S TRACK
Carlos Ortiz
(Concordia, Jr., Salem, Ore. – North Salem): Ortiz finished first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.67 seconds and placed second in the 200-meters in 21.68 at the Willamette Invitational. Both marks were just short of his own school records in the events. Also Nominated: Andrew Wise (Western Washington), David Durden (Saint Martin’s), Cody Warner (Western Oregon), Garrett Love (Montana State Billings).

MEN’S FIELD
Tyler Lamott
(Concordia, Jr., Chico, Calif. - Chico): Lamott extended his GNAC lead in the hammer throw with a toss of 192 ¼ feet at the Willamette Invitational. He took first place in the event by 30 feet and owns almost an eight-foot lead in the GNAC performance list. Also Nominated: Brady Ostermiller (Montana State Billings), Jeremy Moore (Western Oregon), Gordie Kordas (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Suzanne Van De Grift
(Western Oregon, So., Yamhill, Ore. – Yamhill-Carlton): Van De Grift hit an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark after winning the 800 meters at the Willamette Invitational. She finished in a personal best time of 2:13.04. Also Nominated: Taylor Guenther (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S FIELD
Katie Reichert
(Western Washington, Sr., Longview, Wash. - Kelso): Reichert hit a NCAA Div. II automatic qualifying mark in the javelin. She placed first at the Doris Heritage Distance Classic in Seattle, Wash., with a throw of 50.16 meters. The mark ranks third in all of Division II. Also Nominated: Shaniah Schwend (Montana State Billings), Tori Johnson (Concordia), Emily Wetherell (Western Oregon).

MEN’S GOLF
Tanner Huddleston
(Concordia, So., Woodland, Wash. - Woodland): Huddleston took medalist honors at the one-round George Fox Spring Break Invitational, shooting a 4-under par 68. He placed three strokes ahead of the second place finisher. Also Nominated: Cody Roth (Western Washington), Ryan Pickthorn (Saint Martin’s), Keynan Fanslow (Northwest Nazarene).

WOMEN’S GOLF
Audrey Orem
(Western Washington, Jr., Bellingham, Wash. – Bellingham): Orem tied for ninth place at the Otter Invitational in Seaside, Calif., with a two-round score of 10-over par 154. She shot matching rounds of 77 and finished just four shots back of the individual champion.

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