Vikings Advance In Longest GNAC Championships Game
Jackie Lucido slides home for the winning run in the 10th inning to give Western Washington the 5-4 victory over Saint Martin's. Photo by Paul Dunn.
Jackie Lucido slides home for the winning run in the 10th inning to give Western Washington the 5-4 victory over Saint Martin's. Photo by Paul Dunn.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

LACEY, Wash. – Sherayna Labasan tied a tournament record with four hits in the longest game in tournament history Thursday as No. 2 seed Western Washington beat No. 3 Saint Martin’s in 10 innings, 5-4 in the first game of the GNAC Softball Championships at the SMU Softball Field.

Labasan went 4 for 5 to lead the Vikings offensively to go along with a run and a RBI, which accounted for the tying run in the seventh inning. With the four hits, Labasan tied the championships record set by Saint Martin’s Sam Munger in 2013 and tied by Western Oregon’s Kelsie Gardner in 2014. Labasan and Anna Kasner also tied a tournament record held by 11 other players with five at-bats apiece.

After Labasan tied the game in the sixth, the Vikings succeeded to win in the 10th inning. With pinch-runner Jackie Lucido placed on second under international tiebreaker rules, Cylie Richards dropped a sacrifice bunt before McKenna Mathis lifted a sacrifice fly to left for the winning run.

With the win, Western Washington (31-17) will face the winner of Thursday’s second game between No. 1 seed Central Washington and No. 4 Western Oregon in Friday’s opening game at 10 a.m. Saint Martin’s (25-18) will face the loser of Thursday’s nightcap in an elimination game on Friday at 12:30 p.m.

Saint Martin’s used a leadoff walk to open scoring in the top of the second. Jackie Schmaeling drew the walk on five pitches, advanced to second on a sacrifice and third on a wild pitch before scoring on Kim Nelson’s single to right field.

Nelson, the Saints’ starting pitcher, succeeded in keeping the Vikings off the bases early, giving up two only two hits to Labasan over the first three innings. The Vikings then converted an error into their first run in the bottom of the fourth. Emily Benson reached on the infield error, advanced to second on Anna Kasner’s single and scored on Hailey Cyr’s double to straight-away center field.

Labasan led off the bottom of the fifth with her third hit of the day, a double to left-center field, as the Vikings manufactured their second run of the afternoon. She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Makinlee Sellevold’s sacrifice fly to center.

After leadoff singles by Lindsay Miller and Lauren Diuco in the top of the sixth, Mary Dettling was hit by a pitch to lead the bases for Schmaeling, who delivered the double to right field to score the tying and game-winning runs. Pinch-runner Emily Baca added an insurance when she plated on Corrie Wilson’s sacrifice fly.

Western Washington went right back to work in the bottom of the sixth. The Richards twins, Carlie and Cylie, each had singles and Mathis delivered Carlie home with a seeing-eye single through the right side. Labasan tied the game on her fourth hit of the game, a single to left, that plated Cylie Richards from third.

The Vikings squandered an opportunity to win it in the bottom of the seventh. Benson singled to center field to lead off the frame and advanced to third on fielder’s choice before Cylie Richards flew out to send the game to extra innings. Western Washington had a potential two-out rally going in the eighth, but left two runners to move the game to the ninth.

Kasner picked up the win for Western Washington in relief, improving to 13-5 on the season. She allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out six in 4.2 innings of work. Lauren Maley took the loss for Saint Martin’s, allowing one unearned run on four hits in 4.1 innings.

The 10-inning contest was the longest in GNAC Championships history and just the second to go to extra innings. The last extra-inning affair in the tournament, a 7-3, eight-inning win by Saint Martin’s over Simon Fraser, took place on May 4, 2013.