April 18, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Pitcher Jenna DeRosier (Sr., Kelso) won her ninth straight decision, scattering six hits and striking out four, and shortstop Haylee Baker (Sr., Poulsbo/Bainbridge) hit her seventh home run of the season, as Western Washington University won the opener 3-2 in a sweep of Northwest Nazarene University on Friday in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference softball doubleheader at Viking Field on the WWU campus.
The Vikings, who are 25-11 overall and fourth in the GNAC standings at 12-6, won the nightcap, 6-2, as pitcher Aspen Ison (Fr., Gig Harbor/Peninsula) blanked NNU for six innings before giving up two runs in the seventh. Ison got all the support she needed from Jordan Walley (So., Maple Valley/Tahoma), who knocked in four runs with a pair of doubles.
The victories clinched a berth in the GNAC Tournament for WWU, which was ranked No.9 in the first NCAA Division II West Region poll released Wednesday.
Northwest Nazarene, which has lost its last six games, fell to 11-30 overall and 3-15 in GNAC action.
Baker hit a two-run homer over the centerfield fence in the bottom of the second inning following a leadoff single by Alexie Levin (So., Everett), which gave WWU a 2-0 lead.
DeRosier, 14-3, retired the first seven batters she faced before giving up a run in the third.
The Vikings scored an unearned run in the fourth for a 3-1 lead as Emma Blauser (So., Federal Way/Todd Beamer) lined a two-out single to bring home Baker who had reached on a throwing error.
NNU cut the lead to one, 3-2, in the sixth on a lead-off homer by Gatalina Schuster, her fourth of the year.
WWU managed just six hits, two by Walley, off Crusader pitcher Noelle Wright, 6-16.
Ison, 6-3, did not give up a hit until allowing back-to-back singles in the fourth and just four until the seventh.
Walley drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double in the third and brought in another on a double in the fifth.
Meghan Carrillo (Sr., Prunedale, CA/North Monterey County) was 3-for-4 in the contest and Baker scored three times. Mackenzie Hughes (Fr., Ellensburg) singled across WWU's first run in the second and the Vikings scored on a wild pitch in the fourth.
Walley finished 4-for-5 on the day.
WWU, which has won 14 of its last 17 games and is 10-2 at home this season, faces NNU in another GNAC doubleheader Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
Softball: Saint Martin's, Western Washington Clinch Post-Season Playoff Berths; Field Now Set For Tournament May 1-3 at Richland
The field is now set for the second annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Softball Championships.
Western Washington (25-11, 12-6) and Saint Martin's (23-17, 12-6) clinched the final two berths in the four-team double-elimination tournament by each winning two games Friday.
They'll join Western Oregon (26-18, 14-4) and Central Washington (25-14, 14-6) in the tournament which will be played May 1-3 at Columbia Playfield in Richland, Wash. The tournament winner will earn an automatic berth in the NCAA West Regionals, May 9-10 at a site to be determined.
Western Washington stamped its ticket with 3-2 and 6-2 wins over Northwest Nazarene Friday at Viking Field in Bellingham. Defending champion Saint Martin's clinched its berth with 19-1 and 4-3 wins against Montana State Billings Friday at Lacey. The 19-1 win was the completion of a halted game which began March 30 at Billings. SMU led 15-1 after three innings when the game was suspended.
SMU pounded out 18 hits in the halted game, including three each by second baseman Lacey McGladrey, pitcher-first baseman Sam Munger and centerfielder Taviah Jenkins. Catcher Jackie Schmaeling had a team-high four RBI. Three of her RBI came on a home run in the third inning back on March 30.
Sam Munger earned the victory pitching three of the five innings. Munger (17-12) also won the second game, pitching all seven innings though she didn't start. She replaced Kaylee Lawson after Lawson gave up two hits and a walk in the opening inning allowing just four hits and two runs the rest of the way.
Aubrey Conceicao had three of MSUB's six hits extending her hitting streak to 14 games. Christina Demar led SMU, which scored two runs in the first and one each in the fourth and fifth, with two hits.
Catcher Gatalina Schuster drove in both of NNU's runs with a third-inning single and a lead-off sixth-inning home run.
DeRosier gave up two more hits in the inning, but struck out Megan Lounsberry to strand the tying run on second and then retired the side in order in the seventh to earn her 14th win against three losses. She has won nine in a row.
In the second game, designated hitter Jordan Walley drove in four of WWU's six runs, doubling for three runs (and a 4-0 lead) in the third and one run in the fifth. Meghan Carrillo had three hits in the contest.
Whitney Carlton led NNU with two hits. Ison walked four and struck out two in improving to 6-3 on the season.
NNU and WWU complete their four-game series Saturday with two more games. Due to weather concerns the first game will begin at 10 a.m.
Elsewhere Saturday, first-place Western Oregon will play a pair of games at Saint Martin's and MSUB will begin a four-game series at Simon Fraser (4-28, 2-14).
Central Washington is idle this weekend before closing its regular-season next week with a four-game series at Nampa.
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