Dominant Arms Lead Saints To Sweep, Team Of The Week
The Saints earned a four-game series sweep over Northwest Nazarene, outscoring the Crusaders 19-6.
The Saints earned a four-game series sweep over Northwest Nazarene, outscoring the Crusaders 19-6.

Monday, April 11, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore.  – The Saint Martin’s pitching staff needed very little run support last weekend, holding Northwest Nazarene to six runs in four games. The softball team earned a home series sweep, maintaining their spot on top of the conference standings and earning the GNAC’s Red Lion Team of the Week award.

“It’s an obvious honor to have the team win the Team of the Week,” said head coach Rick Noren. “Our players have worked hard all year so it’s great to see their work recognized.”

GNAC Softball Pitcher of the Week Kim Nelson led the Saints to wins in both of her starts, holding the Crusaders to one run in game two and game four. She pitched complete games in each, allowing 10 hits in 14 innings with three strikeouts, while advancing her record to 11-6.

The combination of Loryn Williams and Lauren Maley in the circle in games one and three helped stifle the Crusaders’ bats. Williams started game one, pitching 6.2 innings, allowing one run with four strikeouts. She earned the win in the 2-1 victory, advancing her record to 12-3. Maley entered the ball game with two outs in the seventh and runners on first and second. She recorded the final out of the game and picked up her first save.

Maley started game three of the series, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing just two runs. Williams relieved her to pitch the final 1.2 innings, recording her fourth save. Maley advanced her record to 6-1 as the Saints won 6-3.

“I think it was important to give them different looks, so we used three pitchers and they each have their own strengths that helped keep them off balance,” said Noren. “We played pretty good defense for the most part and whenever the outfielders can go run down balls it helps out the pitchers a lot.”

The Saints lead the GNAC in team earned run average at 2.52. Williams is first in the conference in ERA at 2.07, second in saves and fourth in wins.

The Saint Martin’s hitters scored 19 runs and hit three home runs in the series. First baseman Sabrina Hicks went 5 for 15 with four runs batted in and a home run. Third baseman Megan Miller finished 4 for 9 at the plate with three RBI and a home run.

“We try to not focus on the scoreboard or rely on wins for confidence,” said Noren. “It’s such a long season and a tough conference that everyone is going to lose games and we need to realize that. My hope is that each player gives their very best effort every play and at the end of the day, the scoreboard reflects those efforts. There are still so many games left to play that as a team it’s critical to just play in the moment and not look forward at all.”

The Saint advanced their record to 14-4 in GNAC play, 31-10 overall. They travel to second place Central Washington this week for a four-game series on Saturday and Sunday. The Wildcats own a 13-7 conference record, just two games back of the Saints.

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