SEASIDE, Calif. - The Western Washington University softball team had its season come to a close on Friday with a pair of losses in the NCAA Division II West Regional at the Otter Sports Complex.
The No. 8 seed Vikings entered the day in the winner's bracket after Thursday's 5-3 upset of top-seeded and regional host Cal State Monterey Bay, but lost to No. 4 Dixie State (5-0) and No. 5 Sonoma State (6-4) to be eliminated from the NCAA II Tournament.
WWU finished the season with a 34-19 record, tied for the 2nd-most wins in program history and advanced to the NCAA II Championships for the fourth time. The Vikings closed out the season winning 17 of their last 21 games, including a 12-game winning streak heading into the regionals, and won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament.
After the shutout loss to Dixie State, the Vikings had to turn right around for an elimination game against Sonoma State. WWU was limited to just one hit over the first four innings and trailed 6-0 before staging a comeback. Freshman Paityn Cyr (Mount Vernon, WA) sparked the comeback with a three-run double to the left field gap in the bottom of the 5th inning.
Trailing 6-4, WWU put the tying run on base and Cyr nearly ended the game in walk-off fashion flying out to the warning track in center field. But Sonoma State closed out the win to advance to the regional final where Dixie State will need one win to advance to the West Super Regional.
"It was a disappointing end to a really great season," said head coach Amy Suiter. "This isn't the day where you can afford to not play well, and we just didn't play WWU softball today. I am extremely proud of the way this team fought all year and to make it to the NCAA regional is a great accomplishment. It is a young team that really came together as the season went on, and I think this will make them even hungrier for next season."
With freshman ace Anna Kasner (16-6, 2.29 ERA, 188 SO) sidelined with a minor back ailment, WWU turned to sophomore Shearyna Labasan (Mililani, HI/Maryknoll) in the circle. Pitching in windy conditions, Labasan (12-6) was tabbed with the loss allowing 7 hits and 4 runs (3 ER) in 3.2 innings. Junior Makinlee Sellevold (Everett, WA/Cascade) pitched the final 3.1 innings holding SSU to 5 hits and 2 runs as the Vikings made their comeback.
Sonoma State left-hander Teresa Danenberg recorded the complete-game victory to keep the Seawolves season alive, allowing 4 hits and 4 runs (3 ER). Left fielder Jordann White led Sonoma at the plate going 3-for-3 with a pair of stolen bases, and leadoff hitter Karly Macadangdang was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Center fielder Alyssa Cuffia recorded 3 RBI, including a 2-run triple in the bottom of the 3rd inning to extend the lead to 3-0.
Sonoma State 6, Western Washington 4 (May 12, 2017 at Seaside, CA)
Sonoma State........ 102 120 0 - 6 12 1 (38-19)
Western Washington.. 000 040 0 - 4 4 0 (34-19)
Sonoma State - Danenberg and Langley
Western Washington - Labasan; Sellevold (4) and Richards,Ca.
Win-Danenberg (6-4) Loss-Labasan (12-6) T-1:44 A-49
Weather: 57-degrees, Extremely Windy
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
Vikings are the No. 8 seed in the NCAA II West Regional and will open vs. top-seeded Cal State Monterey Bay
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
GNAC Tournament Opener Changed to 11 am
WWU will play Saint Martin's at 11 am in the opener of the 2017 GNAC Softball Championships
Five Vikings Named All-GNAC, Kasner Nets Awards
Anna Kasner named GNAC Co-Pitcher of the Year and GNAC Co-Freshman of the Year