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Mike Larabee is in his second year as the head coach at Central Washington softball.
Mike Larabee is in his second year as the head coach at Central Washington softball.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – Following the Tournament of Champions that featured all eight GNAC teams and 26 of the West Region softball programs, GNAC Insider welcomed Central Washington head coach Mike Larabee to the show to wrap up the tournament live on Tuesday night. Host Rob Lowery was also joined by Northwest Nazarene men’s track and field pole vaulter Payton Lewis and Western Oregon baseball second baseman Jay Leverett.

Larabee joined GNAC Insider after leading the Wildcats to a second-place finish at the Tournament of Champions. In his second year at the helm of the Central Washington softball program, Larabee has already led the Wildcats to the West Region final in 2016 and has the team on pace to a similar level of success in 2017. The Wildcats have already gone on a 15-game winning streak this season and hold a four-game lead in the GNAC standings. Prior to arriving at CWU, the 2016 GNAC Coach of the Year was the head coach for six seasons at the University of Arkansas. This week, the Wildcats return to conference play with home doubleheaders against Simon Fraser and Western Washington.

Lewis got a great start to the outdoor track and field season last weekend, tying his personal best in the pole vault. The junior out of Nampa, Idaho cleared 17 feet, 0.75 inches to tie the best mark in NCAA Division II this season and automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships in May. Lewis took first place in the event at the Stanford Invitational and was named GNAC Men’s Field Athlete of the Week. Northwest Nazarene track and field will be back in action next week at the Spokane CC Invite before hosting the NNU Invitational the following weekend.

Leverett reached base in 15 of his 18 plate appearances last week to not only earn recognition as the GNAC Player of the Week, but also to help Western Oregon remain in first place in the GNAC standings. Leverett’s success at the plate helped the Wolves earn a four-game split with Northwest Nazarene to preserve a 1.5-game lead in the standings at the halfway mark in the conference season. The Wolves have a busy week ahead of them, playing a make-up game at Concordia on Wednesday. Then WOU will host a four-game series against Saint Martin’s, beginning on Saturday.

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