Kira Doan celebrated her 20th birthday with the GWRBI on a triple in the 4th inning to lead WWU to the 3-1 victory. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Vikings Make GNAC History Completing Perfect TOC Weekend
April 1, 2019
TURLOCK, Calif. – The Western Washington University Softball team put an exclamation point on a perfect weekend at the Tournament of Champions, defeating Cal State East Bay 3-1 on Sunday at the Turlock Regional Sports Complex.
WWU went 5-0 during the Tournament of Champions hosted by Stanislaus State University and the City of Turlock, becoming the first team from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference to record an undefeated record in the 18-year history of the event that features nearly all the West Region teams in NCAA Division II.
The Vikings opened the three-day tournament with a pair of one-run victories over Cal State San Bernardino (2-1, 8 inn.) and Azusa Pacific (6-5) on Friday, then out-scored Dominican (13-1) and Cal State Monterey Bay (7-0) 20-1 in a pair of games Saturday. Today’s 3-1 victory featured a dominating pitching performance from senior Makinlee Sellevold to complete the 5-0 weekend.
WWU was one of three teams in the 27-team tournament to finish 5-0, joining nationally-ranked UC San Diego and Sonoma State. Sonoma State was crowned the tournament champion via run differential, out-scoring its opponents by 25 runs (8 runs max per game) with WWU coming in 2nd with a +19 run differential.
Sellevold (14-7) allowed one run and scattered 7 hits in the 7.0-inning complete game victory, recording 4 strikeouts and a pair of walks. The senior capped a 3-0 performance in the Tournament of Champions, allowing just 2 runs in 22.0 innings (0.64 ERA).
WWU trailed early 1-0, but scored single runs in the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings to record the come-from-behind victory. WWU is now 22-9 overall and has won nine of its last 10 and 17 of its last 21 games. The Vikings finished non-conference play with an 11-6 record, with four of the six losses vs. ranked opponents, and head into the second half of GNAC play in 2nd place with an 11-3 record.
The Pioneers got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the 2nd inning. After Sellevold got two quick outs, East Bay strung together three consecutive singles with second baseman Jackie Najera driving in the go-ahead run with a single to left-center field.
Western tied things up in the top of the 3rd inning on a sacrifice fly to deep left field by Emily Benson. Junior left fielder Seli Aholelei doubled up the middle with one out, moved to third on a single by Sellevold and scored on the second sac fly of the season by Benson.
Sophomore second baseman Kira Doan plated the go-ahead run in the top of the 4th inning with a triple down the right field line. Junior center fielder Jackie Lucido reached on a one-out bunt single and scored easily from first on Doan’s first career triple.
Sellevold again helped her own cause with a double to the right field gap to score Aholelei (leadoff single) in the top of the 5thinning to extend the lead to 3-1.
East Bay threatened to mount a comeback, putting runners on base in each of the final three innings, but Sellevold buckled down in her 13th complete-game effort of the season. She stranded a pair of runners in the 5th after issuing two walks, kept a run off the board in the 6th after giving up a one-out double and worked around a one-out single in the bottom of the 7th inning to record her 14th victory of the season.
Aholelei went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and 2 runs scored and Sellevold was 2-for-3 with a double, walk and RBI. Freshman catcher Rachel Christensen went 2-for-3 for her second career multi-hit game. Doan celebrated her 20th birthday going 1-for-2 with a triple and was credited with the game-winning RBI.
East Bay starting pitcher Taylor Lara (1-4) suffered the loss allowing 8 hits and 3 runs in 4.0 innings. The Pioneers dropped to 9-25 on the season and 1-6 all-time vs. the Vikings. Shortstop Jennifer Palmares went 2-for-3 to lead CSUEB at the plate.
UP NEXT FOR THE VIKS
WWU (22-9) begins the second half of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference season with road contests at Saint Martin’s in Lacey (Saturday, April 6) and Central Washington in Ellensburg (Sunday, April 7) next weekend. WWU heads into the second half of conference play in 2nd place in the standings with an 11-3 record, narrowly trailing first-place CWU (10-2).
-- WWU Softball --