Vikings Emerge Victorious, Earn Team Of The Week Nod
A balance of powerful offense and strong pitching helped the Vikings to a 7-1 road trip last week.
A balance of powerful offense and strong pitching helped the Vikings to a 7-1 road trip last week.

Monday, April 1, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – It isn't too often a team wins seven games in seven days, but the Western Washington softball team did just that in its 7-1 road trip last week.

The Vikings started the week on the right foot with a sweep of Simon Fraser in a border battle doubleheader on Monday. They then made the trip south to California, going 5-1 in a swing that included a perfect record in the massive Tournament of Champions event. The victories ran the club's winning streak to five games while also earning the selection as GNAC Team of the Week. 

"I couldn’t be prouder of this team and the way they competed this week," said head coach Sheryl Gilmore. "Playing eight games in seven days on seven different fields and to see them show up each game the way they did with a determination and belief that they were going to win was so fun to watch. They never let up and they all had each other’s backs out there fighting for the same thing."

The offense exploded against the Clan to start the week and stayed hot for the rest of the trip, jumping out to 9-1 and 10-5 victories up in Burnaby. Senior Emily Benson stood out throughout the week, hitting .565 with 14 RBI, nine runs and five home runs. The performance earned Benson the honor of Tournament of Champions MVP and GNAC Offensive Player of the Week.

On the mound, senior Makinlee Sellevold compiled five victories on the week. Those efforts, in addition to totaling 17 strikeouts in five starts, gained Sellevold the GNAC Pitcher of the Week award in addition to All-Tournament Team honors in Turlock.

The Vikings ability to emerge victorious in tight games proved to be pivotal in the Tournament of Champions. The club went 3-0 in games decided by two runs or less, including a 2-1, eight-inning victory over Cal State Bernardino in the tournament opener and a clutch 3-1 win against Cal State East Bay in the finale.

"The team's leadership, energy and grit when their backs are against the wall is impressive," Gilmore said. "All 21 girls contributed to the team’s success and I believe that is what makes this group so special."
The successful trip improved WWU's record to 22-9 (11-3 GNAC), which has the team sitting in second place in the league standings. Central Washington remains in first place, just one game ahead of its in-state rivals.
The Vikings return to action this week as they wrap up a stretch of 12 straight games away from home. The week will get underway with a doubleheader at Saint Martin's on Saturday before the team takes to Ellensburg for a pair of contests one day later.