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Outstanding Softball Efforts Lead Player Of Week Awards
Anna Kasner (left) struck out 23 batters in 12 innings and picked up two wins for Western Washington. Heather Tracy batted .769 in four games for Montana State Billings.
Anna Kasner (left) struck out 23 batters in 12 innings and picked up two wins for Western Washington. Heather Tracy batted .769 in four games for Montana State Billings.

Monday, March 6, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – The four-game series between Montana State Billings and Western Washington to open conference play yielded a pair of amazing individual performances to lead the list GNAC Players of the Week.

The Yellowjackets’ Heather Tracy was named the Softball Player of the Week after she batted .769 in the four-game series, which the two teams split. She went 10 for 13 with a triple, three RBIs and three runs. Tracy opened the series by going 4 for 4 in Saturday’s opener, which Montana State Billings won 7-6, and finished the series by going 3 for 4 in Sunday’s nightcap, a 7-4 victory for the guests.

Vikings’ freshman Anna Kasner was nearly unhittable as she picked up two shutout wins to earn Softball Pitcher of the Week honors. Kasner finished a hit and a hit batter short of a perfect game in Saturday’s nightcap, striking out 11 in a 10-0, five-inning win. She followed that up by allowing three hits and three walks while striking out 12 in a 5-0 win in Sunday’s opener. In 12 innings over the weekend, Kasner allowed four hits and three walks while striking out 23.

The baseball diamond had a pair of outstanding performances as well. Concordia’s Eddie Vasquez was named the Baseball Player of the Week after he batted .778, going 7 for 9 in the Cavaliers’ four-game series against Northwest Nazarene. He went 3 for 4 with an RBI in Thursday’s opener, hit a solo home run to open the Cavaliers’ 2-1 win in Friday’s opener and went 2 for 3 with two runs and a RBI in Friday’s nightcap, a 6-2 victory.

Central Washington’s Mackenzie Gaul earned Pitcher of the Week accolades for the second straight week after leading the Wildcats to a 10-0 win over Saint Martin’s on Saturday. In the seven-inning complete game, Gaul allowed two hits and four walks and struck out 13, marking the second straight start in which he has struck out 10 or more batters.

Western Washington claimed three of the four track weekly honors as the outdoor season commenced in Tacoma, Wash., at the Ed Boitano Invitational. Peter Butler was named the Men’s Track Athlete of the Week with his victory in the 10,000 meters with a time of 31:53.72. Jacob Ringold earned Men’s Field Athlete of the Week honors with wins in both the long jump (20-9.75) and the triple jump (41-11.5) while Megan Mortensen was named the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week after winning both the shot put (39-5) and the discus (137-4).

Saint Martin’s Alexi Whatley was selected as the Women’s Track Athlete of the Week after she won both the 100-meter hurdles (16.08) and the 400-meter hurdles (1:04.06), placed second in the long jump (16-8) and ran the anchor leg on the Saints’ winning 4x100-meter relay team.

The Saints’ Ryan Pickthorn rounds out this week’s honorees as the Men’s Golf Player of the Week. The senior placed fourth individually at the East/West Bay Area Invite with a three-round score of 3-over-par 219. He shot identical rounds of 1-over-par 73 in all three rounds to lead Saint Martin’s to a fourth place team finish.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 27
MEN’S TRACK
Peter Butler
(Western Washington, So., Port Angeles, Wash. – Port Angeles): Butler opened the outdoor season by winning the men’s 10,000 meters at the Ed Boitano Invitational. His time of 31:53.72 was nearly 20 seconds faster than second place Francis Reynolds. Also Nominated: Logan Armstrong (Saint Martin’s).

MEN’S FIELD
Jacob Ringold
(Western Washington, So., Vancouver, Wash. – Columbia River) Ringold won both the long jump and the triple jump at the Ed Boitano Invitational in Tacoma, Wash. He won the long jump with a mark of 20 feet, 9.75 inches and took top honors in the triple jump with a mark of 41 feet, 11.5 inches. Also Nominated: Chris Rickard (Saint Martin’s).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Alexi Whatley
(Saint Martin’s, So., Orting, Wash.): Whatley won both hurdles events, anchored Saint Martin’s winning 400-meter relay team and placed second in the long jump at the Ed Boitano Invitational. She won the 100-meter hurdles in 16.08 seconds and the 400-meter hurdles in a GNAC Championships qualifying time of 1:04.06. Her mark of 16 feet, 8 inches, in the long jump was four inches behind winner Kayla Bruse of Whitworth.

WOMEN’S FIELD
Megan Mortensen
(Western Washington, Sr., Tacoma, Wash. – Franklin Pierce): Mortensen won both the shot put and the discus at the Ed Boitano Invitational. She won the shot put by one inch with her mark of 39 feet, 5 inches, and won the discus by almost four feet with her mark of 137 feet, 4 inches. Also Nominated: Tiffany Pott (Saint Martin’s).

BASEBALL PLAYER
Eddie Vasquez
(Concordia, IF, 5-8, So., Ventura, Calif. – Saint Bonaventure): Vasquez batted .778 (7 for 9) to lead the Cavaliers to a split of their four-game GNAC series with Northwest Nazarene. He went 3 for 4 with a RBI in Thursday’s opener, hit a solo home run to open Concordia’s 2-1 win in Friday’s opener and went 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI in the Friday nightcap. Also Nominated: Dylan Freyre (Central Washington), Steven Sordahl (Saint Martin’s).

BASEBALL PITCHER
Mackenzie Gaul
(Central Washington, P, 6-0, Jr., Winlock, Wash. – Toledo): Gaul collected his second complete game shutout in as many weeks, allowing two hits and four walks while striking out 13 over seven innings in the Wildcats’ 10-0 win over Saint Martin’s on Saturday. Gaul leads the GNAC with a 2-1 record, 1.44 earned run average and 31 strikeouts in 25 innings. Also Nominated: Aaron Shoup (Saint Martin’s), Jake Brewer (Concordia).

SOFTBALL PLAYER
Heather Tracy
(Montana State Billings, OF, 5-8, Jr., Boise, Idaho – Capital): Tracy opened the GNAC season by batting .769 (10 for 13) with a triple, three RBIs and three runs as the Yellowjackets split a four-game series at Western Washington. Tracy went 4 for 4 in Saturday’s opener, a 7-6 win over the Vikings, and went 3 for 4 in the 7-4 win on Sunday to close the series. Also Nominated: Emily Benson (Western Washington).

SOFTBALL PITCHER
Anna Kasner
(Western Washington, P, 5-8, Fr., Milton, Wash. – Fife): Kasner threw 12 scoreless innings in her first GNAC games, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out 23 in two games. She finished one hit and a hit batter short of a perfect game in Friday’s 9-0, five-inning win while striking out 11. Kasner then opened Saturday’s doubleheader by allowing three hits and three walks and striking out 12 in a 5-0 victory. Kasner enters the week with a 2.97 earned run average and has 62 strikeouts over 36.1 innings. Also Nominated: Megan Dettling (Montana State Billings).

MEN’S GOLF
Ryan Pickthorn
(Saint Martin’s, Sr., Damascus, Ore. – Clackamas): Pickthorn finished fourth individually at the East/West Bay Area Invite, carding a three-round score of 3-over-par 219 as he shot a 1-over-par 73 in all three rounds. He led the Saints to a fourth place team finish. Also Nominated: Caleb Stetzner (Montana State Billings), Ryan Melnychuk (Concordia).

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