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An Exciting Week Ahead As Softball Field Shapes Up
Central Washington's Taylor Williams threw the sixth no-hitter in school history on Sunday, earning GNAC Pitcher of the Week honors.
Central Washington's Taylor Williams threw the sixth no-hitter in school history on Sunday, earning GNAC Pitcher of the Week honors.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

PLENTY TO PLAY FOR IN THE FINAL WEEK: The final week of the 2018 GNAC softball regular season will be an exciting one as five teams remain in contention for three remaining spots in next week’s GNAC Championships.

The only sure thing is that Northwest Nazarene will be there. The Nighthawks (17-7) clinched their first-ever GNAC Championships appearance with a four-game sweep of Concordia in Portland over the weekend. Now comes the chance to secure the program’s first-ever GNAC regular-season championship. Any combination of three Northwest Nazarene wins or Central Washington losses will send a trophy to Nampa.

In second place at 15-9, Central Washington needs to win two of their remaining four games against Saint Martin’s to guarantee a return to the tournament. The Saints currently sit in third place with a 13-11 GNAC mark.

Three teams are tied with a .500 win/loss percentage for the fourth and final spot in the tournament: Western Oregon (12-12), Simon Fraser (12-12) and Montana State Billings (11-11). Western Oregon will host Simon Fraser and Western Washington in the final weekend, while Simon Fraser also plays at Concordia. Montana State Billings will host Northwest Nazarene for four games.

The GNAC Softball Championships starts next Thursday, May 3, at Concordia’s Porter Park in Portland. Advance tickets are available for purchase at GNACTickets.com.

RENNEY RETIRING: After almost 24 years leading the Simon Fraser softball program, head coach Mike Renney has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.

Renney has won 635 games and has a .639 winning percentage as SFU’s head coach and coached his 1,000th game for the school last Sunday. He coached Simon Fraser to 14 NAIA National Championships appearances and won NAIA titles in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2010. Renney led SFU to a second-place GNAC finish in 2012 and a GNAC Championships appearance in 2013.

In addition to his work at Simon Fraser, Renney was a Team Canada coach for the three Olympics and was the head coach for Team Canada at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
PLAYER
Alyssa French, Saint Martin’s
OF • 5-8 • Junior • Chino Hills, Calif.

French helped keep Saint Martin’s alive for a GNAC Championships spot by batting .571 in four games, going 8 for 14 with two runs, two RBIs and two doubles. She went 2 for 3 in both games against Western Washington on Saturday. French then went 2 for 4 in the opener against Simon Fraser on Sunday, which included an RBI single and double, and scored what was eventually the winning run.

Also Nominated: Sydney Brown (Central Washington), Abigail Otto (Northwest Nazarene), Ryanne Huffman (Western Oregon), Carlie Richards (Western Washington).

PITCHER
Taylor Williams, Central Washington
P • 5-8 •  Sophomore • Brea, Calif.

Adams earned her second straight selection after she won two more games for the Nighthawks to help NNU pull into a first-place tie in the GNAC with Central Washington. She compiled a 0.93 earned run average in 15 innings, allowing five runs, two earned, on 11 hits and three walks while striking out 10. Adams allowed two unearned runs in Friday’s opener with CWU on four hits and struck out seven for the 3-2 victory. She opened Saturday’s twinbill by allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts to win 7-3. Adams closed the series with one inning of relief in the nightcap.

Also Nominated: Tori Muir (Concordia), Megan Dettling (Montana State Billings), Lindsay Miller (Saint Martin’s), Haley Fabian (Western Oregon).

AROUND THE GNAC
CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington split its home games over the weekend. The Wildcats beat Simon Fraser in Saturday’s opener in five innings, 13-0, before losing the second game 7-1. They dropped Sunday’s opener to Western Washington, 3-1, before scoring an 8-0, five-inning win in the nightcap.

• Sophomore Taylor Williams was named the GNAC Pitcher of the Week after she threw a no-hitter in Sunday’s second game against Western Washington. In the five-inning game, Williams walked two and struck out four as she faced just two batters over the minimum. The win was Williams’ fourth of the season as she improved to 4-1 on the season. She has a 3.33 earned run average in 12 appearances and five starts.

• Freshman Sydney Brown had the best weekend of her young college career as she batted .500 in the four games, going 5 for 10 with two runs and three RBIs. Brown had an RBI single in Saturday’s opener with SFU. In Sunday’s second game, Brown finished 2 for 3 and closed the game out with a two-run double in the fifth. Brown enters the week with a .381 average in 19 games, which includes seven starts.

• Freshman Katie Kastning went .462 in the four games as she went 6 for 13 with five runs and five RBIs. She opened the SMU series by going 3 for 3 with an RBI double in the second and two RBI singles. She ended the weekend by going 2 for 2 in Sunday’s second game against Western Washington with two runs and an RBI. Kastning enters the week sixth in the GNAC with a .382 batting average.

• Central Washington is the only GNAC team in the latest NCAA Division II West Region rankings, entering the weekend at No. 9.

• Central Washington leads the GNAC with a 2.86 earned run average and is third in the league with a .306 batting average.

• The Wildcats close the regular season with a doubleheader at Saint Martin’s on Saturday and a doubleheader at home against the Saints on Sunday.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia dropped all four games to Northwest Nazarene in a four-game series, losing two on Friday 8-0 (5 inn.) and 5-2 and dropping two on Saturday 7-0 and 11-3 (6 inn.). The Cavaliers rebounded to take a pair of make-up games from Montana State Billings on Monday, 4-2 and 10-6.

• Senior Kelsie Merritt went 6 for 21 in the six games to lead Concordia offensively. She went 2 for 4 and scored a run in Friday’s second game against NNU and then went 2 for 4 and scored a pair of runs in Monday’s second game against MSUB. Merritt enters the week with a .296 batting average in 38 games.

• Sophomore Macy Besuyen went 5 for 17 with three runs and two RBIs in the six games. She had single hits in three of the four games of the NNU series and then went 2 for 4, had a pair of RBI singles and was involved in a double steal that scored a run in Monday’s opener against MSUB. Besuyen enters the week 10th in the GNAC with a .361 batting average. She leads the league and is 14th in Division II with six triples and is ranked 23rd in Division II with 0.14 triples per game.

• Junior Jessica Lambourn finished with a 1.00 earned run average in two appearances, allowing nine runs, two earned, on 15 hits in 14 innings. She earned the win in Monday’s opener against MSUB, allowing two unearned runs on seven hits in the complete-game effort. She is now 2-6 on the season.

• Concordia enters the week with a .273 batting average and a 3.78 earned run average.

• Concordia will close the season at home, hosting Western Washington on Saturday night and Simon Fraser on Sunday afternoon.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings went 3-4 as it played seven games in the course of four days. The Yellowjackets beat Western Washington in a make-up game on Friday in Portland, 4-1, and then split a four-game series with Western Oregon. They closed the road trip with two losses at Concordia on Monday, 4-2 and 10-6.

• Senior Heather Tracy continued to roll as she hit .500 in the seven games, going 14 for 28 with eight runs, three RBIs and two triples. She went 3 for 3 with an RBI on Friday, went 2 for 4 in Saturday’s second game at WOU and 2 for 5 in Sunday’s second game. Tracy ended the trip by going 4 for 4 with two runs and an RBI in the second game against Concordia. Tracy leads Division II with 80 hits and she leads the GNAC and is ranked fourth in Division II with a .513 batting average.

• Senior Cameron Cassinelli went 10 for 24 in the seven games and added two home runs to her school career-record total. She went 2 for 4 in both games at WOU on Saturday and went 2 for 3 with a solo home run in Sunday’s opener. Cassinelli then went 3 for 4 in Sunday’s nightcap, which also included a home run. Cassinelli enters the week with a .360 batting average and leads the GNAC with nine home runs.

• Sophomore Maddy Lincoln threw 33 innings in six appearances, going 2-2 as she allowed 20 runs, 11 earned, and struck out 23 in the stretch. She won Friday’s game over WWU by allowing one run on six hits and six strikeouts. Lincoln won Sunday’s second game in relief, allowing four runs, one earned, on nine hits with four strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Lincoln enters the week seventh in the GNAC with a 3.31 earned run average.

• Montana State Billings enters the week second in the GNAC with a .306 batting average and with a 4.26 earned run average. They lead the GNAC with 46 home runs and rank 21st in Division II with 1.07 home runs per game.

• Montana State Billings will host the top team in the GNAC, Northwest Nazarene, for a four-games on Friday and Saturday to close the regular season.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene secured its first GNAC Championships berth and got closer to the regular-season title by sweeping four games at Concordia. The Nighthawks won 8-0 (5 inn.) and 5-2 on Friday and then won 7-0 and 11-3 (6 inn.) on Saturday.

• The Nighthawks will secure the outright regular-season title with any combination of three NNU wins and CWU losses over the final weekend. It would be NNU’s first GNAC softball regular-season championship.

• Freshman Jordan Adams continues to impress as the pitcher did not allow a run and just four hits in two complete-game wins over Concordia. She allowed three hits and struck out seven in Friday’s five-inning opening game win and allowed just one hit and struck out four to win Saturday’s opener. Adams enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked 27th in Division II with a 1.40 earned run average.

• Junior Anna Olson led another solid NNU offensive weekend by batting .500 in the four games, going 6 for 12 with four runs and four RBIs. She went 2 for 2 in Friday’s opener and 2 for in Saturday’s second game, which included a two-RBI single in the sixth. Olson enters the week with a .333 batting average.

• Northwest Nazarene leads the GNAC with a .321 batting average and 407 hits while the pitching staff owns a 3.53 earned run average.

• The Nighthawks close the regular season with a four-game series at Montana State Billings on Friday and Saturday.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s kept its playoff hopes alive by taking three of four games at home over the weekend. The Saints swept two games from Western Washington on Saturday, 5-4 (8 inn.) and 4-3. The Saints won Sunday’s opener over Simon Fraser, 7-2, and lost the nightcap 10-6.

• Junior Alyssa French was named the GNAC Softball Player of the Week after she hit .571 in the four games, going 8 for 14 with two runs, two RBIs and two doubles. She went 2 for 3 in both games against Western Washington on Saturday. French then went 2 for 4 in the opener against Simon Fraser on Sunday, which included an RBI single and double, and scored the eventual winning run. French enters the week with a .270 batting average.

• Senior Kim Nelson hit .500 in the four games, going 8 for 16 with two runs, four RBIs and a home run. Nelson went 2 for 4 in Saturday’s opener against WWU and smashed a three-run home run in the fifth. She then went 3 for 5 in Sunday’s opener against SFU and went 2 for 4 in the nightcap. In addition, Nelson pitched in all four games with her longest outing being 3.2 innings in Saturday’s opener, allowing three runs on five hits with five strikeouts. Nelson is batting .286 and owns a 3.81 earned run average. Nelson is 17th in Division II with 0.86 walks allowed per seven innings.

• Saint Martin’s enters the week with a .287 batting average and is second in the GNAC with a 3.30 earned run average. The Saints are ranked 14th in Division II with 0.49 double plays turned per game.

• Saint Martin’s will close the regular season with four games against Central Washington. The Saints host the Wildcats for a doubleheader on Saturday and travel to Ellensburg for two games on Sunday.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser split road games at Central Washington and Saint Martin’s to keep its GNAC Championships hopes alive. The Clan lost Saturday’s opener to CWU in five innings, 13-0, and won the second game 7-1. Simon Fraser lost the opener on Sunday to SMU, 7-2, and won the nightcap 10-6.

• Junior Hailey Gearey led the Simon Fraser offense with a .417 batting average, going 5 for 12 with two runs and five RBIs. She went 2 for 4 in Saturday’s second game at CWU with a pair of RBI singles and then finished on Sunday against SMU by going 2 of 4 with an RBI single in the second game. Gearey is second for the Clan with a .326 batting average.

• Senior Taylor Lundrigan went 4 for 9 in the four games and drew four walks to go along with five runs and two RBIs. She went 2 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs in the second game against CWU, which included a two-run triple, and had single hits in each game against SMU. Lundrigan leads Simon Fraser and is eighth in the GNAC with a .370 batting average.

• Senior Alia Stachoski went 1-1 in the circle over the weekend. In 16 innings, she allowed nine runs on 20 hits and struck out six. She earned the complete-game win in Saturday’s second game, allowing one run on seven hits and striking out five. Stachoski leads the Clan with a 10-10 record and a 3.81 earned run average. Her five saves ranks eighth in Division II.

• Simon Fraser enters the week with a .265 batting average and 4.62 earned run average. The team’s .978 fielding percentage ranks seventh in Division II.

• Simon Fraser closes the regular season on the road, playing two games at Western Oregon on Saturday and two games at Concordia on Sunday.

WESTERN OREGON
• The Wolves split a four-game series with Montana State Billings to keep their GNAC Championships hopes alive. Western Oregon won Saturday’s opener 5-2 and lost the nightcap, 5-2. On Sunday, the Wolves won 6-5 in the opener and lost the nightcap by a 12-8 score.

• Junior Ryanne Huffman had a great weekend offensively, batting .571 in the four games. She went 8 for 14 with three runs, seven RBIs, a triple and a home run. Huffman had two RBIs in Saturday’s opener on a single in the sixth. On Sunday, Huffman went 1 for 3 in the opener with an RBI single in the fifth and then went 5 for 5 in the nightcap, which included a three-run homer. Huffman enters the week third in the GNAC with a .420 batting average and is 29th in Division II with five triples.

• Junior Cheyanne Rimer went 5 for 12 in the four games with three runs, four RBIs, three doubles and a home run. She went 2 for 2 in Saturday’s second game, which included a solo home run in the second. Rimer enters the week with a .294 batting average in 45 games.

• Senior Lizzet Dominguez went 1-0 in two appearances, allowing eight runs, five earned, on 14 hits with seven strikeouts in 12.2 innings. She went the distance to win Saturday’s opener, allowing two runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Dominguez threw 5.2 innings of relief in Sunday’s second game, allowing six runs, three earned, on seven hits with five strikeouts. Dominguez is sixth in the GNAC with a 3.24 earned run average with a 12-4 record.

• Western Oregon enters the week with a .303 batting average and a 4.10 earned run average. The Wolves lead the GNAC with 18 triples.

• Western Oregon will close the regular season with key games at home, hosting Simon Fraser for two games on Saturday and Western Washington for two games on Sunday.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington dropped four of five games last weekend. The Vikings lost 4-1 to Montana State Billings in a make-up game in Portland on Friday. Saint Martin’s bested the Vikings in a Saturday doubleheader, 5-4 (8 inn.) and 4-3, before splitting on Sunday with Central Washington, winning 3-1 and losing 8-0 (5 inn.).

• Senior Carlie Richards led the Vikings offensively with a .429 batting average in the five games, going 6 for 14 with a run and an RBI. She went 3 for 3 in Saturday’s opener against SMU, which included an RBI single. Richards enters the week with a .314 batting average in 36 games.

• Junior Shearyna Labasan went 5 for 14 in the five games for the Vikings at the plate and threw 18 innings in the circle in four games. She scored the lone run for the Vikings against MSUB on Friday and then went 2 for 3 with a run scored in Saturday’s opener against Saint Martin’s. Labasan leads WWU and is fifth in the GNAC with a .400 batting average. In the circle, Labasan owns a 3.79 earned run average and is third in the GNAC with 131 innings pitched.

• As a team, Western Washington enters the week with a .247 batting average and a 3.87 earned run average. The Vikings are 25th in Division II with a 2.85 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 11th with just nine hit batters on the season.

• Western Washington will close the season on the road, playing two games at Concordia on Saturday and two at Western Oregon on Sunday.

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