Vikings will be No.2 seed at GNAC Tournament on May 1-3
COLLEGE: Great Northwest Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year and first-team all-star as junior in 2014 ... Started all 44 games ... Hit .400 (62-for-155), driving in 10 runs and scoring 48 ... Set GNAC record and ranked 15th nationally with 31 stolen bases in 35 attempts ...Had four doubles and four triples ... Led team in multiple-hit games with 18, hits, runs scored, triples and stolen bases ... Did not commit error in 79 fielding chances (74 putouts and five assists) ... Had season-best streak of 17 games reaching base ... One letter ... Also attended Bellevue CC ... Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association/Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges All-American as freshman for Bulldogs in 2012 ... Adidas Golden Shoe Award winner with 64 stolen bases ... First-team all-North Region on 44-5 team that placed fourth at NWAACC tournament ... Hit .457 in 47 games with 64 hits, 66 runs scored, three home runs, 30 runs batted in, six doubles, and three triples ... As sophomore in 2013, hit .476 in 46 games on 39-7 squad ... Had 69 hits, 68 runs scored, 58 stolen bases, 35 RBIs, seven doubles, three triples and five home runs ... Two letters.
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team all-Western Conference choice as senior at Lake Stevens High School ... Team MVP, hitting six home runs for Vikings ... First-team all-league and most inspirational as junior ... Four-year letter winner ... Played on Absolute Blast select team.
PERSONAL: Major is education.
Isaacson's speed keys WWU's offense By ALEX BIGELOW, THE BELLINGHAM HERALD, April 18, 2014 To some degree, what Autumn Isaacson has can't be taught. It's an old albeit true adage - one passed down throughout the history of sports time and again - that speed does, in fact, kill. Just ask anyone the Western Washington University softball team has faced so far this season. Better yet, just listen closely throughout one of the Vikings' games. "Some games, coaches will scream out to their players, 'She's fast. Ought to be quick,'" Isaacson said in a phone interview. "It makes me feel really good. It boosts my confidence." Her 27 stolen bases entering play Friday, April 18, is one shy of breaking the Great Northwest Athletic Conference record of 28 set by Jessi Williams (WWU) and Andrea Williams (Humboldt State University) in 2002, and like any good leadoff hitter, as she goes, so, too, do the Vikings. WWU's 25-11 record, 12-6 in GNAC play, has it positioned for a spot in the postseason with eight games remaining, and that's thanks in large part to the production Isaacson's provided at the top of the order. Senior Kaleigh Keating, who generally bats in the No. 2 hole, needs no reminder of that. "We don't even have to hit her over," Keating said in a phone interview. "She'll mess with the catchers and advance that way. She's just awesome." Isaacson's .405 batting average is fifth in the conference, while her on-base percentage (.473), runs scored (37) and triples (three) all rank in the top four of their respective categories. But her speed is what's most maddening. Shear quickness, though, can only get someone so far. Stealing bases is an art, Isaacson said, one that takes a certain level of dedication to hone when at the Division II level. "I really pay close attention on catchers' throw-downs before I go up to bat," Isaacson said. "I look at everyone's throws ... to help me figure out whether I have an advantage." And take advantage she has, sometimes more than once a game. On nine different occasions this season, the junior outfielder has swiped two bases, furthering the notion that even if catchers know she's going, it's still hard to stop. Her insurgence in the Vikings' lineup hasn't been solely due to her performance on the bases. Her plate approach is as varied and dangerous as any leadoff hitter in the conference, Keating said, providing a stable presence for WWU's middle-of-the-order hitters. "Besides speed, she can hit right side, left side, bunt, power slap - it's amazing," Keating said. "She's almost for sure getting on first." Isaacson's prowess at the plate translates to the Vikings as a whole, which have put together one of the best offensive seasons in the country so far. WWU ranks seventh among all D-II programs with a .352 combined batting average, and sophomore first baseman Alexie Levin, like Isaacson, is chasing history in the process. Levin is second on the team with a .432 batting average, and her eight home runs and 40 RBI are both nearing school records. Keating, also, has put together a strong senior campaign, batting .342 in 35 starts. Her speed combines well with Isaacson's at the top of the order, with her 10 stolen bases second to only Isaacson on the team. "Honestly, we just became more aggressive and we know that our team is really good," Keating said. "I think everyone is taking their cuts. ... I'm definitely more comfortable with my swing and everything, just buying into our coaches and listening to their advice, leaving it all on the field." That's all come to a head over WWU's past 13 games, as the Vikings have scored five or more runs 10 times. Winning, like the offense, has been a benefactor of the deep lineup coach Amy Suiter has at her disposal, with WWU now riding a streak that has seen it win 14 of its last 17 games.