Saints Claim Regular-Season GNAC Title With Sweep of CWU
Saint Martin's players celebrate after clinching tie for regular-season title Saturday.
Saint Martin's players celebrate after clinching tie for regular-season title Saturday.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

GNAC Championships (May 2-4 at Billings, Mont.): Thursday - #2 Western Oregon vs. #3 Simon Fraser, noon; #1 Saint Martin’s vs. #4 Central Washington, 2:30 p.m.  Friday – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 10 a.m.; Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 12:30 p.m. (loser-out); Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3, 3 p.m. (loser-out).  Saturday – Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, noon; Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary), 2:30 p.m.

LACEY, Wash. – Whether its been at the plate or in the circle this spring, Sam Munger has been an impact player for Saint Martin’s.

Sunday was no different as the Saint pitcher-shortstop had four hits and drove in six runs and also recorded her 20th win of the season to lead Saint Martin’s to a 7-5, 12-4 doubleheader sweep of Central Washington at the SMU Softball Field.

The two wins clinched the GNAC regular-season title and No. 1 seed in the conference playoffs for the Saints (36-13, 18-6).

Saint Martin’s will open the playoffs next Thursday at Cenex Stadium in Billings against Central Washington (19-18, 13-11), which is the fourth seed.

The game will start at 2:30 p.m. following the tournament’s first game between second-seed Western Oregon (27-24, 16-8) and third-seed Simon Fraser (25-21, 15-9).  Both SMU and WOU will take four-game win streaks into the tournament.

Munger, who ended the regular-season as the GNAC’s leading hitter with a .416 average, had three hits and three RBI in Sunday’s first game, including a two-run double in the sixth as SMU opened up a 7-2 lead.

That enabled the Saints – and Munger – to survive a three-run CWU seventh inning thereby clinching the conference tournament’s No. 1 seed.

First baseman Joslyn Eugenio also had three RBI, two with a first-inning home run as SMU jumped to a 3-0 lead.

CWU second baseman Jill McDaniels and pinch-hitter Dallas Maupin accounted for most of Central’s offense off Munger, who became the first pitcher this spring in the GNAC to win 20 games.

McDaniels hit her league-leading 10th home run of the season in the sixth to pull CWU to within 3-2. 

Then after the Saints scored four runs in their half of the inning, Maupin hit a two-run home run and McDaniels had a RBI single in the seventh before Munger got the final out.

In the second game, Central Washington took a 4-3 lead in the fifth on a double by McDaniels and a two-run single by catcher Elena Carter.  The Saints, however, then put together a nine-run bottom half of the inning to close out the game.

Munger had a two-run single in the frame to extend her hitting streak to a GNAC season-best 18 games before Eugenio ended the game with a three-run home run enabling Taylor Bakos to record her 14th win against seven losses.

SMU second baseman Lacey McGladrey had four of SMU’s 12 hits and finished the doubleheader with six hits in seven at bats, while Eugenio had five hits in eight at bats.

McDaniel paced Central with four hits and four RBI.  Shortstop Andrea Hamada also had four hits in the doubleheader.