Kasner K's 13 As Vikings Advance To Softball Final
The Vikings' McKenna Mathis celebrates as Anna Kasner scores for a 2-1, eight-inning win over Western Oregon. Photo by Paul Dunn.
The Vikings' McKenna Mathis celebrates as Anna Kasner scores for a 2-1, eight-inning win over Western Oregon. Photo by Paul Dunn.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

LACEY, Wash. – Kali Patterson hit a walk-off double in the eighth inning to back up a record 13-strikeout performance by Anna Kasner as No. 2 seed Western Washington advanced to the GNAC Softball Championships game with a 2-1, eight inning win over No. 4 seed Western Oregon, Saturday at the SMU Softball Field.

After watching a pair of game-winning opportunities go unrealized in the seventh, Kasner started eighth off with a one-out single to right field. She moved to second on a walk before Patterson delivered the double on a one ball, one strike pitch to left-center field for the victory.

Kasner deliver an outstanding performance in the pitcher’s duel, allowing one unearned run on three hits and two walks. Her 13 strikeouts blew away the previous GNAC Championships record of seven set by Maria Gau of Central Washington in 2014.

With the win, the Vikings (32-17) advanced to the championship game of the tournament, which will take place on Sunday at noon. Western Oregon (28-23) will play the winner of Saturday’s second game between No. 1 Central Washington and No. 3 Saint Martin’s at 3 p.m.

Kasner struck out six batters over the first three innings and didin’t allow her first base hit until Ryanne Huffman connected for a leadoff single in the fourth inning.

The Vikings left runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings before breaking through in the third. Sarah Morrow crushed a leadoff double down the right field line and scored on Makinlee Sellevold’s single to right field. From that point, though, WOU starting pitcher Haley Fabian settled into a groove as she retired nine straight batters in fourth, fifth and sixth.

After Kasner struck out the side in the fifth, Western Oregon manufactured the tying run in the top of the sixth. Kelsie Gardner led off with an infield single, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball before Mercedes Green hit an infield single off of Kasner’s outstretched glove to bring her home.

Western Washington saw a pair of great chances to win the game in the bottom of the seventh fizzle away. Pinch-hitter McKenzie Palmer doubled to left field to lead off the inning, but was thrown out trying to extend it into a triple. McKenna Mathis followed with a single and a fielder’s choice and an error loaded the bases. Sellevold then hit a sharp line drive to the second baseman Ashlee Lynch, who doubled up Mathis at third to force extra innings.

Sammi Cadwallader took the loss in relief for the Wolves, allowing one run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in 1.1 innings. Fabian, the starter, allowed one run on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 6.1 innings.