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Wolves Win Big Deep In The Heart Of Texas
The Wolves hit .376 in the four games in Texas, which included a win over No. 13 West Texas A&M.
The Wolves hit .376 in the four games in Texas, which included a win over No. 13 West Texas A&M.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

WOLVES HOWL DEEP IN HEART OF TEXAS: Despite its run at the West Texas A&M Lady Buff Classic shortened due to inclement weather, Western Oregon made the most of the games it played. The Wolves went 3-1 in the tournament, which included a pair of 5-3 and 15-7 victories over Southwestern Oklahoma State.

The big win, though, came against the No. 13 tournament hosts on Friday.The Wolves scored seven runs over the first four innings, including a five-run fourth, to build a 7-0 lead. The Lady Buffs clawed back to score four over the final three innings, but the defense was able to keep the damage to a minimum to preserve the 7-4 victory.

Maddie McClelland scored the win for WOU, allowing one run on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts while Haley Fabian earned the save. Tyler Creach, Ryanne Huffman, Sydney Bowers and Ayanna Arceneaux each had two hits in the win.

The 3-1 run in Texas ran Western Oregon’s record to 6-3 on the season. They enter the week second in the GNAC with a .343 batting average and lead the league with a .966 fielding percentage with nine errors in the nine games.

GIMME A K: Montana State Billings’ senior Megan Dettling etched her name in the GNAC record books on Friday. Facing Chadron State at the Dixie State Easton Classic, Dettling set a GNAC single-game record with 18 strikeouts to lead the Yellowjackets to a 1-0 victory. She broke the long-standing record of 17 strikeouts set by Humboldt State’s Lizzy Prescott in 2006.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON PICKED TO REPEAT AS CHAMPIONS: With two straight regular-season championships under its belt, Central Washington has been selected to win the conference in the 2018 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Softball Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Wildcats, under third-year head coach Mike Larabee, received six of eight first-place votes to finish with 59 points in the poll. Central Washington used a solid start to the season to claim the regular season crown, winning 15 of its first 16 conference games. The magic faded at the end, however, with the Wildcats losing five of their last six and fell in the GNAC Championships consolation bracket to Western Oregon.

Western Washington, which used a strong finish to the season to win the GNAC Championships and earn the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship, is picked second with 51 points. The Vikings finished the 2017 regular season on an eight-game win streak and swept through the GNAC Championships.

Coaches expect a tight race for the final two tournament positions with three teams tied in the poll with 42 points. Saint Martin’s was picked to repeat in third while Northwest Nazarene and Western Oregon each received one first-place vote.

Following the third-place logjam was Montana State Billings (sixth, 21 pts.), Concordia (seventh, 16 pts.) and Simon Fraser (eighth, 15 pts.).

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
PLAYER
Anna Williams, Northwest Nazarene
UT • 5-6 •  Junior • Filer, Idaho

Williams finished the week batting .529 in six games, going 11 for 19 with nine runs, three doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs to lead the Nighthawks to a 3-3 record at the Dixie State Easton Classic. She went 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs in Thursday’s 9-1 win over UC Colorado Springs and followed that up with a 2 for 2 effort and a home run in a 7-3 win over Chadron State. Williams finished the week by going 2 for 3 with a two-RBI double and a two-RBI home run in Sunday’s 9-8 win over CSU-Pueblo.

Also Nominated: Elena Cook (Concordia), Heather Tracy (Montana State Billings), Lindsay Miller (Saint Martin’s), Nicole Miller (Western Oregon), Shearyna Labasan (Western Washington).

PITCHER
Megan Dettling, Montana State Billings
P • 5-8 •  Senior • Sparks, Nev.

Dettling went 2-0 as Montana State Billings won three games in Nevada and Utah last week. Her week was highlighted in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Chadron State, striking out a GNAC single-game record 18 strikeouts while allowing two runs and two walks. She also earned the win in Tuesday’s second game over Hawaii Hilo, allowing three runs on five hits and struck out seven in six innings.

Also Nominated: Mckenzie Smith (Concordia), Kim Nelson (Saint Martin’s), Maddie McClelland (Western Oregon).

AROUND THE GNAC
CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington did not play games last week. The Wildcats return to play this week with games in Hawaii against Hawaii Hilo on Friday, Hawaii Pacific on Saturday and Chaminade on Sunday.

• The Wildcats opened the season by going 3-2 at the Desert Stinger, which included wins over Texas Woman’s, San Francisco State and Cal State Monterey Bay.

• Sophomore Savannah Egbert led the Wildcats offensively with a .556 average, going 18 for 18 with nine runs scored. She went 3 for 4 in the opening win over Texas Woman’s, 3 for 5 with two stolen bases against Cal State San Bernardino and 3 for 4 against Cal State Monterey Bay.

• Freshman Lexi Strasser picked up two of the Wildcats’ three wins in the circle and compiled a 5.07 earned run average in four appearances. She went 6.1 innings to earn the win against Texas Woman’s, allowing nine runs, five earned, on six hits with four strikeouts. Strasser went the distance to beat Cal State Monterey Bay, allowing six runs, three earned on 12 hits with three strikeouts.

• Central Washington finished the Desert Stinger with a .336 batting average, second-best among the seven GNAC teams at the tourney and currently fourth in the league.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia won five of six games on its California road trip last week. The Cavaliers swept Marymount on Friday, 9-0 and 7-1 and split with Antelope Valley on Saturday, dropping the opener 2-1 before winning the nightcap 8-0. Concordia finished with 9-8 and 6-3 victories over La Sierra on Sunday.

• Sophomore Elena Cook led Concordia offensively with a .550 batting average in six games, going 11 for 20 with six runs, six RBIs, two doubles, a triple and a home run. She had two hits in each of the first three games before going 3 for 4 with four RBIs and a three-RBI homer in the opener against La Sierra. Cook enters the week hitting .471 and is tied for fifth in the GNAC with 12 RBIs.

• Freshman Kayla Lagerquist earned two wins in the circle, allowing four runs on 15 hits with six strikeouts. She pitched seven scoreless innings in the second game against Antelope Valley, allowing eight hits and striking out six. She then came into the opener against La Sierra in relief, allowing four runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings. Lagerquist enters the week with a 5.65 earned run average in 17.1 innings.

• Junior Mckenzie Smith went 1-1 as she allowed six runs, four earned, on 15 hits and struck out 21. She earned the win in the opener against Marymount as she allowed one hit and seven strikeouts. Smith enters the week ranked second in the GNAC with a 1.19 earned run average and is 3-1 on the season.

• Concordia enters the week with a .309 batting average and dropped two points off its earned run average from a week ago, ranked second in the league at 2.84.

• Concordia opens its home schedule this weekend, hosting Northwest Christian for a doubleheader on Saturday.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings earned a split against Hawaii Hilo on Tuesday before going 2-3 at the Dixie State Easton Classic to close out the week.

• Senior Megan Dettling was named the GNAC Softball Pitcher of the Week after going 2-0 last week. Her week was highlighted in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Chadron State, striking out a GNAC single-game record 18 strikeouts while allowing two runs and two walks. She also earned the win in Tuesday’s second game over Hawaii Hilo, allowing three runs on five hits and struck out seven in six innings. Dettling is fifth in the GNAC limiting opponents to a .248 batting average and leads the league with 42 strikeouts.

• Senior Heather Tracy led the team in batting over the seven games with a .600 average. She collected 15 hits and drove in three runs while recording three doubles. Tracy was on base a lot, as she led the team with nine runs scored. She went 3 for  4 with two runs in MSUB’s 10-2 win at Metro State. She is third in the GNAC with a .578 batting average and leads the league with 26 hits.

• Sophomore Amanda Barham recorded a .407 batting average over the seven contests with 11 hits and an RBI. She is second on the Yellowjackets with 18 hits and two doubles.

• The Yellowjackets are third in the GNAC with a .339 batting average and a .416 earned run average. Montana State Billings also leads with 113 hits and is tied for second with 14 home runs.

• Montana State Billings travels to Colorado this weekend to take on Metro State and Colorado Mines in a pair of games.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene split its games at the Dixie State Easton Classic last week, 3-3. The Nighthawks earned wins in its opening two contests before falling in its three successive contests. Northwest Nazarene closed out the tournament with a 9-8 win over CSU Pueblo.

• Junior Anna Williams was named the GNAC Softball Player of the Week after finishing the week batting .529 in six games, going 11 for 19 with nine runs, three doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs. She went 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs in Thursday’s 9-1 win over UC Colorado Springs and followed that up with a 2 for 2 effort and a home run in a 7-3 win over Chadron State. Williams finished the week by going 2 for 3 with a two-RBI double and a two-RBI home run in Sunday’s 9-8 win over CSU-Pueblo.

• In five appearances, junior Rylee Thomas pitched 14 innings for a 5.50 earned run average. She led NNU to the one-run victory over CSU Pueblo on Saturday, allowing four earned runs in seven innings of work. Thomas is tied for first in the GNAC with four relief appearances.

• Northwest Nazarene enters the week with a .300 batting average and is tied for first in the GNAC with 75 runs scored. The Nighthawks also have the second-most hits in the league with 105, 19 of which have been doubles. The long ball has been a huge part of the NNU offense as it leads the conference with 15 home runs.

• The Nighthawks return to action this weekend with a four-game home series against Eastern Oregon.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s split last week’s slate with a pair of wins over Holy Names, 13-3 and 5-0, on Saturday before falling twice to Academy of Art on Sunday.

Lindsey Miller led the Saints in batting with a .571 average over the four games. Miller recorded eight hits and five runs while drawing a walk. She did most of her damage in SMU’s opening win at Holy Names, going 3 for 3 while scoring two runs. Miller is tied for third in the GNAC with five steals.

• Junior Lauren Maley made three appearances last week and allowed just one earned in nine innings of work. In the Saints’ opening game against Holy Names, Maley pitched four innings of scoreless ball, allowing just two hits. Maley is fourth in the GNAC with a 2.17 ERA. In six appearances, Maley has allowed just six runs in 19.1 innings.

• Hitting .400 over the last four contests, junior Lauren Diuco went 6 for 15 and an RBI. She accounted for two hits and a run in SMU’s second contest at Holy Names. Diuco is among GNAC leaders with a .419 batting average.

• Saint Martin’s enters the weekend as the number one pitching staff in terms of ERA. The Saints boast a 2.10 ERA and have allowed 18 earned runs this season. On offense, SMU is batting .267 and is tied for second with three triples.

• With its weekend series against Pacific Lutheran cancelled, Saint Martin’s will return to action next weekend in the Cavalier Classic, hosted by Concordia.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser earned an 8-7 come-from-behind win at Biola on Feb. 6, in the Clan’s only non-conference game of the season. The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was canceled after two innings due to travel considerations.

• Sophomore Amanda Janes led the Clan by going 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run. Senior Taylor Gillis went 2 for 4 and scored on a single by Hailey Gearey in the five-run seventh inning.

• Freshman Kyra Watson earned the win in her first collegiate game, relieving starter Alia Stachoski and allowed three hits and a walk in 2.1 innings of work. After starting, Stachoski re-entered the game in the bottom of the seventh and forced three groundouts for the save.

• Simon Fraser returned this week after a road trip to Sydney, Australia, for a number of games and scrimmages against open teams. The Clan returns to counting competition in the Northern Hemisphere on Feb. 17, making a stopover in Hawaii to play Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific.

WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon went 3-1 at the West Texas A&M Bluff after two games were cancelled due to inclement weather. The Wolves’ tournament was highlighted by a monumental win on Friday, as they took down No. 13 West Texas A&M 7-4. In the rematch on Sunday, Western Oregon took an 8-2 loss.

• Junior Ryanne Huffman paced the Western Oregon offense after hitting for a .500 batting average along with three RBIs. Her offensive prowess was displayed against West Texas A&M on Friday, as Huffman went 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Huffman is second on the team with a .448 batting average and 13 hits.

• In two appearances, sophomore Chandler Bishop compiled a 2.86 ERA after allowing three runs in 7.1 innings. Providing 2.2 innings of relief in WOU’s 15-7 win over Southwestern Oklahoma State, Bishop held the opposition hitless while striking out six batters.  

• Freshman Sydney Bowers had herself a productive week at the plate with a .429 batting average over the four contests. Bowers recorded six hits and three RBIs in 14 plate appearances. Her lone triple came against Southwestern Oklahoma State where she drove in two runs after going 3 for 4.

• Western Oregon leads the GNAC with a .376 batting average and has recorded 44 hits.

• The Wolves continue its non-conference slate with seven games at the Tuscon Tournament in Tuscon, Ariz., this weekend.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington went 3-3 in its trip to St. George, Utah for the Dixie State Easton Classic. The Vikings dropped its two opening contests on Thursday before winning three straight games against Cal Baptist, CSU Pueblo and Colorado Mines. Western Washington closed the tournament with a 14-9 loss to Fort Lewis.

• Junior Shearyna Labasan led the Vikings by batting .647 over the six games with four RBIs. In the 6-5 loss to Hawaii Hilo, Labasan went a perfect 4 for 4 from the plate and recorded one run. She is third in the GNAC batting .559 and is second in the league with 19 hits. Labasan is also tied for first with five doubles. In addition, Labasan had two of the Vikings’ three wins in the circle, allowing 13 runs on 19 hits while striking out 12 in 15 innings.

• Sophomore Anna Kasner finished with 18 strikeouts in 13.1 innings of work. Seven of those strikeouts came in Friday’s loss to Dixie State. Kasner earned her one win of the week in Saturday’s 5-4 victory over CSU-Pueblo, allowing four runs, two earned, on eight hits with seven strikeouts. Kasner enters the week with 26 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.

• Western Washington enters the week with a .284 batting average and a 6.49 earned run average. The Vikings are second in the GNAC with 60 batters struck out.

• The Vikings are off for the next two weekends and return to play when they host Northwest Nazarene in both teams’ GNAC opener in Bellingham on Mar. 2.

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