No.9 Vikings travel to Central Washington
March 23, 2011
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Following a 10-game home stand, the nationally ranked Western Washington University softball team travels to Ellensburg to face defending Great Northwest Athletic Conference champion Central Washington University in league doubleheaders Saturday (12 noon) and Sunday (11 a.m.) at Frederick Field on the CWU campus.
The Vikings are 17-2 overall and lead the GNAC with a 12-2 record, winning eight of the 10 home games, all league counters. They ended that stretch by splitting a doubleheader last Thursday with defending NAIA national champion Simon Fraser, and falling two spots to No.9 in this week's National Fastpitch Coaches Association NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll.
Erika Quint (Sr., Silverdale/Central Kitsap), who already has been named GNAC Pitcher of the Week three times this season, has not lost in 11 decisions in tying the Western record for consecutive victories. She leads the conference in wins, earned run average (1.29), innings pitched (76), strikeouts (112), shutouts (4), complete games (9) and opposing batting average (.174).
Quint ranks 11th nationally in strikeouts per seven innings (10.3), 16th in hits allowed (4.24), and 17th in strikeouts (112) and shutouts (4).
Outfielder Michelle Wrigley (Sr., Bothell/Inglemoor) ranks fifth nationally with 10 doubles. She leads the GNAC in that category as well as on-base percentage (.538).
Wrigley, who is hitting .419 (26-for-62), had a school record-tying 18-game hitting streak (over two seasons) snapped in the first game of the Simon Fraser doubleheader. She responded by going 4-for-4 in the nightcap.
Outfielder Meghan Carrillo (Fr., Prunedale, CA/North Monterey County) leads the Vikings with a .444 average as well as hits (26) and runs batted in (15).
Also hitting over .300 for Western are catcher Jackie Rothenberger (So., Coquitlam, B.C./Gleneagle Secondary) at .380 (19-for-50), Samantha Rutherford (Sr., Kenmore/Inglemoor) at .357 (10-for-28), designated player Krista Bickar (Jr., Hoquiam) at .355 (11-for-31) and outfielder Jessica Carey (Jr., Everett) at .328 (21-for-64).
Carey leads the team in runs scored (17), and Bickar ranks fifth nationally in walks with 15 (1.0). Rutherford had a game-winning, pinch-hit single in the 1-0 victory over Simon Fraser.
Rothenberg and shortstop Caitlin Dotlich (Sr., Sedro-Woolley/Burlington-Edison) have each driven in 13 runs, Carey 12 and Bickar 11.
The Vikings lead the GNAC in hitting (.319), pitching (2.12) and fielding (.972), being ranked 16th nationally in the latter category.
Western is coached by former University of Washington standout Amy Suiter, who is in her first season after being the interim coach at NCAA I Texas Tech two years ago.
The home games will be the first for pre-season GNAC favorite Central, which is 9-6 overall and second in the conference standings at 7-3. The Wildcats have won seven of their last nine games following a 2-4 start.
Last year, Central finished 40-15, winning its first GNAC title and reaching the championship game of the NCAA II West Sub-Regional before losing 1-0 to eventual national champion Hawaii Pacific.
Three first-team GNAC all-stars return for first-year head coach Mallory Holtman. They are infielders Kelsey Haupert, who was a second-team Daktronics All-American and set a GNAC record with 18 home runs last season, and Samantha Petrich, who hit 16 homers including a GNAC record three in one game; and pitcher Lauren Hadenfeld, who won 24 games and had a 2.26 ERA in 2010 as she earned GNAC Pitcher of the Year honors.
This season, Hadenfeld is 7-4 with a 2.76 ERA, Petrich is hitting .429 with two home runs and Haupert has a .361 batting average and four homers.
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