Diamond ‘Cats Lead POTW Picks
CWU's Ashlee Laver threw a two-hit shutout to earn her second-career pitcher of the week award.
CWU's Ashlee Laver threw a two-hit shutout to earn her second-career pitcher of the week award.

Monday, February 19, 2024
by Evan O'Kelly, Assistant Commissioner For Communications

PORTLAND, Ore. – A clutch swing of the bat by Laney Kaysner and a pitching masterpiece by Ashlee Laver earned the Central Washington softball seniors the latest GNAC Softball Player of the Week awards announced on Monday.

The duo teamed up to lead their team to a 6-0 triumph in the nightcap of a doubleheader against Eastern Oregon on Saturday. CWU’s Andrew Sharp took home the GNAC Baseball Player of the Week honor, while Northwest Nazarene earned its second straight GNAC Baseball Pitcher of the Week with a stellar performance by Kailer Saunders.

On the hardwood, Montana State Billings guard Jalen Tot shined against the No. 13 team in the country, while CWU freshman Capri Sims powered her way to the women’s player of the week nod.


Player of the Week: Jalen Tot – Montana State Billings

First-career player of the week.

Tot propelled the Yellowjackets past No. 13 Saint Martin’s on Saturday, pouring in his third-highest point total of the season with 28. Tot was also one off his season high in rebounding with six, while adding three assists in 35 minutes on the floor. No GNAC player scored more points than Tot last week (49), and he did so in efficient fashion shooting 55.2% (16-for-29) including a GNAC-leading nine made 3-pointers on 17 attempts (52.9%). Tot also had eight assists while committing just one turnover in 42 minutes on the floor, and added a pair of steals to his comprehensive stat line.

Also Nominated: Sawyer Storms, UAA; Abdullahi Mohamed, UAF; Bradley Swillie, CWU; Tru Allen, NNU; Kyle Greeley, SMU; Shaw Anderson, SPU; David Penney, SFU; Cameron Benzel, WOU; Nic Welp, WWU.


Player of the Week: Capri Sims, Central Washington­­

First-career player of the week.

Sims pulled down a pair of double-doubles and led the Wildcats to a pair of big road wins in Alaska. The freshman scored a season-high 20 points while adding 13 rebounds in CWU’s 78-61 triumph over Alaska last Thursday, making a season-high three 3-pointers in the process. She followed that with 14 points on 7-for-8 shooting and a dozen rebounds in the Wildcats’ 72-65 upset of Alaska Anchorage. Sims led all GNAC players in rebounding (25) and field-goal percentage (.722) in the two games, while averaging 17.0 points to help keep the Wildcats in the upper half of the GNAC standings.

Also Nominated: Senya Rabouin, UAA; Kayla Johnson, UAF; Shayla Montague, MSUB; Kendall Clark, NNU; Anjel Galbraith, SMU; Sophia Wisotzki, SFU; Brooke Walling, WWU.


Player of the Week: Andrew Sharp, Central Washington

First-career player of the week.

Sharp led all GNAC players last week with six RBIs, helping the Wildcats to a series split at Stanislaus State. The sophomore hit .533 (8-for-15) with a double, carrying an on-base percentage of .588 and notching a pair of three-hit performances. Sharp set the tone in CWU’s runaway 12-3 win over Stanislaus State on Saturday, drilling a two-run double into the gap in right-center in the top of the first inning and adding another RBI on a sacrifice fly in the second. The Wildcat was also sharp with the glove, making one error in 28 chances at first base.

Also Nominated: Andrew Sharp, CWU; Jack Nehler, MSUB; Kaleb Karpstein, NNU; Peter Hollabaugh, SMU.

Pitcher of the Week: Kailer Saunders, Northwest Nazarene

First-career player of the week.

Saunders struck out 11 batters across 7 1/3 innings in his start last Saturday, as he pitched the Nighthawks to an 8-1 victory over visiting College of Idaho. Saunders showed masterful control in the effort, issuing zero walks and limiting the ‘Yotes to one run on two hits. It took the sophomore just 82 pitches to carve through College of Idaho’s lineup as he earned his first victory of the season.

Also Nominated: Reid Rasmussen, CWU; Beau Burnett, MSUB; Colin Driscoll, SMU; Jacob Memmott, WOU.


Player of the Week: Laney Kaysner, Central Washington

First-career player of the week.

Kaysner put together a comprehensive offensive performance in CWU’s doubleheader split with Eastern Oregon, driving in three runs, stealing two bases and reaching base in 4 of 8 plate appearances. Kaysner delivered a big two-out, bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the fourth, that turned a narrow 1-0 lead into a 4-0 advantage for the hosts.

Also Nominated: Megan Duclos, SFU; Victoria Zimmerman, WOU; Maleah Andrews, WWU.

Pitcher of the Week: Ashlee Laver, Central Washington

Second-career pitcher of the week, first this season.

Laver authored a two-hit shutout in the Wildcats’ 6-0 triumph over Eastern Oregon on Saturday. The senior struck out a season-high seven batters en route to collecting her first victory of the year. EOU managed to advance just one runner past first base in the game, and Laver had two streaks of six straight hitters retired.

Also Nominated: Julia Hansen, SFU; Kaiana Kong, WWU.