Nighthawks Lead Field At GNAC Softball Championships
Northwest Nazarene took three of four games from Simon Fraser over the weekend to secure its second-straight regular-season championship.
Northwest Nazarene took three of four games from Simon Fraser over the weekend to secure its second-straight regular-season championship.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – After earning its second-straight regular-season championship, Northwest Nazarene leads the field once again for the GNAC Softball Championships, which begins Thursday at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.

The No. 1-seeded Nighthawks will face No. 4-seeded Central Washington on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. The tournament opens earlier that day at noon with No. 2-seeded Saint Martin’s facing No. 3-seeded Western Washington.

Northwest Nazarene finished the regular season with an 18-6 conference record and a 30-18 overall mark. The Nighthawks were tied with Saint Martin’s entering the final weekend of the regular season before taking three of four games from Simon Fraser on Friday and Saturday to secure the championship.

The Nighthawks went 13-5 against GNAC opponents in April, which included the series win over SFU and series sweeps over Montana State Billings and Western Oregon. They enter the tournament leading the conference with a 2.58 earned run average and ranking second with a .296 batting average.

Tournament host Saint Martin’s was in contention for the regular-season title until the final day, splitting its series at Western Washington to fall to second place with a 17-7 conference mark and a 29-18 overall record. The Saints have excelled in the circle, ranking third in the GNAC with a 3.69 earned run average. At one point in the season, SMU owned an 11-game winning streak and went 11-5 against conference teams in April.

Western Washington, the defending champion, used a solid opening half of the season to secure the No. 3 seed. The Vikings went 9-3 through the first three GNAC series of the season, which included a series split with Northwest Nazarene. The Vikings finished the regular season with a 15-9 GNAC record and 29-22 overall record. They rank second in the GNAC with a 3.15 earned run average and third with a .294 batting average.

Central Washington held off Western Oregon in the final series of the season to earn the No. 4 seed and the team’s eighth GNAC Championships berth, finishing the regular season with a 10-14 record and a 19-25 overall mark. The Wildcats’ ledger included a non-conference series split with Northwest Nazarene, a conference series split with Western Washington and a series victory over Simon Fraser. The Wildcats enter the tournament with a .288 batting average and 4.24 earned run average.

The double-elimination tournament concludes with the championship game on Saturday. The winner of the GNAC Championships receives the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Championships.

Tickets are now available for purchase at Advance purchase daily admission tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (60 and older), students and youth. Children five and under are free. Tickets can be purchased on-site on the day of the game for $12 for adults and $7 for seniors, students and youth.

All games at the GNAC Softball Championships will be live-streamed on