Mar. 19, 2015
First Place on the Line as Softball Faces WOU and SMU
The Central Washington University softball team will finish its eight-game home stand with its most important four-game stretch of the season so far. The Wildcats will host Saint Martin's on Saturday and Western Oregon on Sunday, both of which are tied for first place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Central Washington is trailing both teams by just one game, so a successful weekend could propel the Wildcats to first in the conference.
"This is our opportunity to make a statement," CWU Head Coach Mallory Holtman-Fletcher said. "This is a big set of games for us and it would be huge for us to continue the momentum we have built and move up in the conference standings."
The Wildcats are on a four-game win streak, after sweeping Northwest Nazarene last weekend. Alexa Olague, the reigning GNAC Player of the Week, gave the Wildcats a boost providing a pair of game-winning hits and six RBI.
Coach Holtman-Fletcher is looking for more production from the bottom of the order this weekend—something she feels is necessary if the team wants to move up the conference ladder.
"We had a lot of people step up last weekend, and it is essential for the back half of our lineup to set the table for our top hitters."
The Wildcats are ranked second in batting average (.328) and own the conference's best earned run average at 2.72, thanks to the standout performances from Kiana Wood and Lindsey Kamphuis inside the circle.
Saint Martin's (19-12, 5-1 GNAC) has also won four straight contests, most recently a two-game sweep of Western Washington University. The Saint's lead the GNAC in team batting average at .330, and are led by Lindsey Miller who is hitting .408, and Taviah Jenkins who holds a .404 average with five homeruns and 23 RBI. The Saints have struggled on the road this season with a 2-6 record, averaging just three runs a contest.
After starting the season 2-10, Western Oregon (10-12, 5-1 GNAC) won eight of its last 10 games and most recently split with Simon Fraser last week. Amanda Evola, who is leading the GNAC with a .420 batting average, leads the Wolves. However, WOU has the second worst pitching staff statistically in the GNAC with a team ERA of 4.98.
This weekend's doubleheaders at Gary and Bobbi Frederick Field are slated for a 1 p.m. and noon start time, respectively.
March 19, 2015