LACEY, Wash. – Western Washington University freshman pitcher Anna Kasner threw a complete-game 2-hit shutout while the offense made a five-run second inning stand up as the Vikings defeated Western Oregon 5-0 on Sunday afternoon at SMU Softball Field to claim the 2017 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championship.
WWU receives the GNAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Championships and will be making the program’s fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament. With their 11th shutout of the season, the Vikings extended their winning streak to 11 consecutive games to improve to 33-17 overall. Western Oregon’s season ends at 28-23 after advancing to the GNAC Championship final for the second straight season.
The No. 2-seed Vikings swept through the double-elimination tournament with a perfect 3-0 record, playing error-free defense and allowing only 5 runs. The 64-team NCAA II Tournament field will be announced Monday morning at 7 am PT on NCAA.com.
"I am extremely happy and so proud of this group," said head coach Amy Suiter. "They came into this tournament with one thing in mind and that was to win it all. They pitched well, played great defense and had great at-bats."
Kasner (Milton, WA/Fife), who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, did not allow a hit past the third inning and retired the final 14 batters she faced. For the game, she allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out four WOU batters. Kasner won all three games for the Vikings in the championships, allowing only one unearned run and 7 hits with 23 strikeouts in 19.2 innings pitched. In addition to the pitching performance, Kasner led the Vikings offensively as she went 2-for-3 with a run scored to extend her hitting streak to seven consecutive games.
"Anna was phenomenal today and so composed in a big-time game," added Suiter on her freshman ace. "Western Oregon had faced her a few times, so did a great job today pitching to contact and trusting her defense."
The Vikings jumped out to a big lead with a five-run 2nd inning, capitalizing on three walks and a hit batter. Senior second baseman Kali Patterson (Bonney Lake, WA) plated the first run with a sacrifice fly to center field. Sophomore designated player Shearyna Labasan (Mililani, HI/Maryknoll) added to the lead with a bases loaded walk and junior left fielder Sarah Morrow (Enumclaw, WA) recorded a run-scoring infield single. Junior third baseman Makinlee Sellevold (Everett, WA/Cascade) capped the 5-run inning with a single through the left side of the infield to extend the lead to 5-0.
Western Oregon’s best scoring chance came in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Zoe Clark reached on a walk and Jenna Kelly singled before Kasner coaxed Ku’ulei Siolo into a ground out to end the frame. Kelly and Ryanne Huffman accounted for both of WOU’s hits. WOU starting pitcher Lizzet Dominguez (3-6) took the loss allowing 5 runs on 4 walks and one hit in 1.2 innings pitched.
Western Washington 5, Western Oregon 0 (May 7, 2017 at Lacey, WA) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Western Oregon...... 000 000 0 - 0 2 0 (28-23) Western Washington.. 050 000 X - 5 4 0 (33-17) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Western Oregon - Dominguez; Cadwallader (2); Fabian (6) and Siolo Western Washington - Kasner and Hughes Win-Kasner (15-5) Loss-Dominguez (3-6) T-1:48 A-144 Weather: 56, Mostly Sunny
— Steve Card (@WWU_AD) May 7, 2017
— Diane Flick-Williams (@FlickDiane) May 7, 2017
— WWU Athletics (@WWUAthletics) May 7, 2017
Your Vikings with their championship banner! pic.twitter.com/OQjnCzCQ8f
— Western Front Sports (@WFSportsLive) May 7, 2017
Softball Opens Fall Season This Weekend
Defending GNAC tournament champions host Edmonds Community College Sunday at Viking Field
WWU Softball Adds Eight Players for 2018 Season
The Vikings begin the 2018 season Feb. 2-4 at the Desert Stinger in Las Vegas, Nev.
Softball 2017 Season in Review
Vikings win GNAC Tournament to Return to NCAA II Championships
Kasner and Labasan Earn All-Region Honors
Freshman Anna Kasner (Pitcher) and sophomore Shearyna Labasan (Utility) named All-West Region
Historic Softball Season Comes To An End
Vikings late comeback vs. Sonoma State ends up short in 6-4 loss in elimination game
Vikings Fall to Dixie State 5-0
WWU will play Sonoma State or Cal State Monterey Bay this afternoon at 4 pm in an elimination game
Vikings Rally for 5-3 Win Over Monterey Bay
WWU opens NCAA Regional play with comeback win to continue late-season surge
Three Vikings Named NFCA All-West Region
Carlie Richards (1st Team), Emily Benson (2nd Team) and Makinlee Sellevold (2nd Team) earn all-region honors
Vikings Set for NCAA II Softball Championships
WWU will face No. 1 West Region seed Cal State Monterey Bay Thursday to open tournament play
Softball Set For NCAA II Regional Trip to Monterey
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Softball Claims 2017 GNAC Championship
Freshman Anna Kasner fires 2-hit shutout to earn GNAC Tournament MVP honors
Vikings Advance to GNAC Title Game
WWU wins 10th straight game with Kali Patterson hitting walk-off double in bottom of 8th inning
GNAC Softball Tournament Schedule Changes
WWU will now play Saturday at 10 am vs. winner of CWU-WOU game
Vikings Open GNAC Tourney With Walk-Off Win
WWU extends winning streak to 9 consecutive games with 5-4 win over Saint Martin’s
Vikings Open Quest for GNAC Tournament Title
WWU heads into the GNAC Championships with a current 8-game winning streak