Northwest Nazarene’s Postseason Run Merits Weekly Honor
Northwest Nazarene outscored its opponents 9-2 and earned two shutouts in the GNAC Championships. Photo by Tyler Kanoa.
Northwest Nazarene outscored its opponents 9-2 and earned two shutouts in the GNAC Championships. Photo by Tyler Kanoa.

Monday, May 7, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – All it took was three games for Northwest Nazarene to earn its first conference title in program history. The Nighthawks are now off to their first NCAA Division II Regional Tournament and are this week’s Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.

Northwest Nazarene claimed the conference title after earning a 1-0 win over Simon Fraser on Saturday to win the final of the 2018 GNAC Softball Championships at Porter Park.

The Nighthawks swept through the tournament and outscored its opponents 9-2. Northwest Nazarene collected a 3-0 over Western Oregon on the opening day before earning a 4-2 victory against the Clan on Friday. The Nighthawks completed the tournament sweep on Saturday and have won 11 of their last 13 games.

Earning the conference’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division II Championship, Northwest Nazarene will play CCAA champion and No. 2 ranked Chico State in the West 1 Regional of the double-elimination tournament on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at the Wildcat Softball Field in Chico, Calif.

Junior Anna Williams, the GNAC Newcomer of the Year, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player as she went 5 for 10 in the Nighthawks’ three games with two runs and six RBIs. She accounted for all five of NNU’s RBIs in the final two games and recorded the lone run in the 1-0 victory with a leadoff home run.

"Anna told me before the [final] game that she felt good and was ready to go," said senior Lisa Sylvester. "You knew she was going to come out and fight for us today. To start us off with a home run was awesome; an incredible feeling."

Freshman Jordan Adams, the GNAC Freshman and Pitcher of the Year, picked up her 19th win of the season in a complete-game effort, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out five. She threw 14 shutout innings in the tournament, allowing nine hits and three walks while striking out 18.

"There are just so many emotions and feelings running through my head right now," Adams said following Saturday’s win. "All of our hard work has paid off. We work so hard every single day and work on each other mentally and physically and it has paid off.”

Northwest Nazarene leads the GNAC in batting average (.316), runs scored (289), doubles (80), total bases (680), walks (143), hits (461) and RBIs (266). In 18 road games this season, the Nighthawks have compiled a 10-8 record.