Western Washington University took a huge step towards winning its first conference regular-season title since 2007, sweeping league-leading Western Oregon University, 2-1 and 6-3, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference softball doubleheader Saturday at WOU Field.
The wins moved the Vikings into a three-way tie for first at 16-6 with Western Oregon. They can clinch at least a tie for the championship with a sweep of a conference doubleheader Sunday at defending champion Saint Martins.
The Vikings, who have won six straight and 18 of their last 21 games, are 29-11 overall. Western Oregon fell to 28-20 overall.
Pitcher Jenna DeRosier won her 12th straight decision in the opener and Alexie Levin tied a school record that had stood since 2007 (Meghan Flem) by hitting her ninth home run of the season in the nightcap. The RBI was Levins 45th of the year, giving her sole possession of that school standard.
DeRosier, 17-3, tossed her 10th complete game of the season in the first game. She scattered five hits, striking out three and walking three.
WWU took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Haylee Baker led off with a single and went to third on a double by Levin. Jordan Walley drove in Baker with a single and Levin scored on a two-out single by Kali Patterson.
The Vikings only other hit came in the third on a two-out double by Autumn Isaacson.
WOUs run came in the sixth when Amanda Evola had a leadoff double and scored on a single by Jourdan Williams.
Trailing 1-0 in the second game, WWU scored three runs in the third. Kaleigh Keating drove in two with a double and scored on a double by Walley. Keating also doubled home a run in the sixth, giving the Vikings a 4-1 lead.
The Wolves got back to within one, 4-3, on a two-out homer by Danielle Harcourt in the sixth.
Levin led off the seventh with a home run and WWU got one more that inning on two-out back-to-back doubles by Patterson and Taylor Clark.
In all, the Vikings had six doubles in the game, one short of the school record.
Shayna Adelstein, 5-5, worked 5-2/3 innings and was credited with the win and Aspen Ison got her first save by retiring four of the five batters she faced.
Levin, who is hitting a school-record pace .441, now has 97 total bases, one short of the WWU standard.