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11 GNAC Athletes Earn Player of the Week Honors
Central Washington second baseman Ryan Atkinson drove in eight runs in the Wildcats' first series win since Feb. 8.
Central Washington second baseman Ryan Atkinson drove in eight runs in the Wildcats' first series win since Feb. 8.

Monday, March 16, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – Eleven Great Northwest Athletic Conference athletes led by baseball players Ryan Atkinson of Central Washington and Jesse Pratt of Western Oregon and softball players Alexa Olague of CWU and Taviah Jenkins and Sam Munger of Saint Martin’s have earned GNAC Athlete of the Week honors for the Week of March 8-15.

Following is a recap of their performances and a listing of honorable mention selections:

Baseball:  Player -   Ryan Atkinson, Central Washington (2B-OF, 5-9, Jr., North Bend, WA – Mount Si) hit  for a .533 average while driving in eight runs to lead the Wildcats to three wins in a four-game series against NCBWA regionally ninth-ranked Northwest Nazarene.  Atkinson had three doubles and scored four runs to help the Wildcats take their first series since Feb. 7-8. He also hit two home runs in the third and fifth innings of the series finale, driving in four of the Wildcats’ six runs. Pitcher -  Jesse Pratt, Western Oregon (RHP, 6-5, Sr., Monmouth, OR)  pitched his second consecutive complete game in the Wolves’ 8-1 win over Montana State Billings. The senior shut down the top-ranked offense in the GNAC, going seven innings while allowing two hits and one run which was unearned. He also struck out six batters while forcing batters to hit into two double plays. In his last 14 innings, Pratt has allowed just four runs (3 earned), six hits while striking out 17 hitters.

Honorable Mention – Corey Morris, Montana State Billings (SS, 5-9, Jr., Richland, WA); Brady Muller, Montana State Billings (LHP, 6-1, Sr., Billings, MT); Andrew Helmstadter, Northwest Nazarene (C-3B, 6-0, So., Palm Desert, CA); Tyler Marsh, Northwest Nazarene (RHP, 5-10, R-Jr., Boise, ID); Matt Taylor, Western Oregon (OF, 6-1, Sr., Corona, CA).

Softball: Player – Alexa Olague, Central Washington (3B, 5-6, Jr., Tacoma, WA - Wilson) and Taviah Jenkins, Saint Martin’s (OF, 5-8, Sr., Castle Rock, WA) … Olague led the Wildcats to a four-game sweep of Northwest Nazarene, banging out six hits, including two doubles and the only triple in the GNAC last week.  She also had six RBI.  In Saturday’s sweep, her two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh gave CWU a 6-5 victory in the first game.  In the second contest, she led off the bottom of the sixth with a single and the Wildcats went on to score six runs to break a 2-2 tie in an 8-2 win … Jenkins had eight hits in 16 at bats, including a double and home run, and also drove in eight runs as the Saints won five of six games including a 5-0, 2-1 sweep Saturday against Western Washington.  Pitcher – Sam Munger, Saint Martin’s (P-SS, 5-6, Sr., Everett, WA - Cascade) won three games and had a save and didn’t allow a run in 20 innings pitching shutouts against both Notre Dame de Namur (2-0) and Western Washington (5-0). She allowed just 13 hits and fanned 16.  She hasn’t allowed a run in 21 consecutive innings.

Honorable Mention – Lindsey Kamphuis, Central Washington (P, 5-10, Fr., Kennewick, WA – Kamiakin); Alyssa Nitschelm, Northwest Nazarene (SS, 5-3, So., Redmond, OR);  Kelsie Hawkins, Simon Fraser (P, 5-8, Sr., Victoria, BC – Oak Bay); Kelsie Gardner, Western Oregon (2B, 5-8, So., Salem, OR – South Salem); Alyson Boytz, Western Oregon (5-9, Jr., Noti, OR – Elmira).

Men’s Track and Field:  Track – Dominik Notz, Alaska Anchorage (Jr., Dettingen, Germany) finished second in the 5,000 meters in a provisional national qualifying time of 14:15.61 at the Occidental Distance Carnival Spring Classic at Los Angeles.  His time, which was the best by collegian in the meet, is the fourth fastest in GNAC history. Field – Brian Chalkey, Saint Martin’s (So., Eugene, OR) won the javelin at the Pacific Lutheran Invitational in a PNQ of 205-4.  He is the 7th athlete in GNAC history to throw the javelin 200 feet.  His mark ranks 11th on the GNAC all-time list.

Honorable Mention – Zach Holloway, Western Oregon (Jr., Brownsville, OR – Central Linn).

Women’s Track and Field:  Track – Shannon Porter, Saint Martin’s (Jr., Vancouver, WA - Hockinson), left the field in her dust winning the 10,000 meters at the PLU Invitational by 1 minute, 24 seconds.  Her time eclipsed the provisional national qualifying standard by 1 minute, 16 seconds and was the eighth fastest in conference history.  Field – Kali Walker, Saint Martin’s (So., Lacey, WA – Northwest Christian) won the javelin at PLU with a provisional national qualifying performance of 141 feet, 11 inches.

Honorable Mention – Amy Johnson Alaska Anchorage (Sr., Salinas, CA); Dani Eggleston, Central Washington (Jr., Longview, WA – R.A. Long); Emmi Collier, Western Oregon (Jr., Warrenton, OR).

Men’s Golf – Kevin Vigna, Simon Fraser (So., Coquitlam, BC)  had an outstanding start to his spring campaign, shooting rounds of 72, 72 and 73 to tie for fifth at the Notre Dame de Namur Argonaut Invitational Monday and Tuesday in Livermore, Calif.  The sophomore finished fifth out of 93 golfers on the par 72, 7,048-yard course, leading the Clan to a third-place finish.

Honorable Mention – Matthew Hedges, Saint Martin’s (Fr., Ashland, OR).

Women’s Golf – Samantha Miller, Northwest Nazarene (So., Hillsboro, OR) ended the Corban Spring Invitational with her first Top 10 finish of the year. The sophomore carded three consecutive scores of 80 in the three-round tournament to finish seventh in the Salem, Ore., invite, leading the Crusaders to a fourth place team finish.

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