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
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