Northwest Best: Nighthawks Lead GNAC Championships Field
Northwest Nazarene will be looking to win both the regular-season and GNAC Championships trophies just like it did in 2018.
Northwest Nazarene will be looking to win both the regular-season and GNAC Championships trophies just like it did in 2018.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. – After a tremendous start to the season that saw it win 17 of its first 20 games, Northwest Nazarene will be the team to beat when the 2021 GNAC Softball Championships begin on Thursday at Western Oregon University.

The Nighthawks won their second regular-season title in four years with an 11-5 record (28-10 overall) to secure the No. 1 seed in the Championships. Northwest Nazarene clinched the title by winning three of four games in its final regular-season series at Montana State Billings and officially clinched the trophy with a 6-2 first-game win on Saturday.

This is Northwest Nazarene’s third consecutive GNAC Championships appearance. Senior Brittany Genuardi leads the Nighthawks with a .429 batting average. Freshman Sidney Booth leads the conference with her 1.80 earned run average while ranking third with a .402 batting average.

Central Washington (17-14, 9-7 GNAC) clinched the No. 2 seed in the Championships thanks to a series split with in-state rival Western Washington over the weekend. The Wildcats will be making their seventh overall GNAC Championships appearance and have played in every tournament since 2016.

The Wildcats overcame a slow start to the season to go 9-7 in April. Senior Theresa Moyle leads the CWU offense with a .380 batting average and 31 RBI. Junior Samantha Stanfield leads the pitching staff with a 2.37 earned run average.

Western Washington (20-12, 11-9 GNAC) is the No. 3 seed after ending the regular season with the split with Central Washington. The Vikings will be making their fourth GNAC Championships appearance and their first since 2017. Western made their mark in the season early on, winning eight of its first 11 conference contests.

Junior Tatum Dow leads the GNAC with a .460 batting average. Senior Anna Kasner is second in the GNAC with her 1.88 earned run average. She set the GNAC all-time record with her 513th strikeout in Sunday’s finale.

Saint Martin’s secured the fourth and final GNAC Championships berth on the final day, beating Western Oregon 10-0 in five innings to finish a half-game ahead of the Wolves in the standings. The Saints will be making their sixth trip to the Championships and their first since 2017. Saint Martin’s finished its regular season strong, winning seven of its last nine games and going 11-8 in April.

Freshman Britney Patrick leads Saint Martin’s with a .336 batting average and 30 runs scored. Freshman Abby Runyon ranks seventh in the GNAC with a 3.07 earned run average and is 11-7 on the season.

The GNAC Championships begin on Thursday with Central Washington and Western Washington squaring off at 11:30 a.m. Northwest Nazarene and Saint Martin’s will play at 2:30 p.m. The championship game of the double-elimination tournament will begin at noon on Saturday.

To protect the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches and support staff, spectators are not permitted at the GNAC Championships. Live stats and video links are available at

at Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Ore.

Thurs., May 6
No. 3 Western Washington vs. No. 2 Central Washington, 11:30 a.m.
No. 4 Saint Martin's vs. No. 1 Northwest Nazarene, 2:30 p.m.

Fri., May 7
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 9:30 a.m.
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 12:30 p.m.(Loser Out)
Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 3:30 p.m. (Loser Out)

Sat., May 8
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, Noon
Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary), 2:30 p.m.