A two-run homer by Alexie Levin, the 15th of her career, proved the difference as Western Washington University defeated Northwest Nazarene University, 4-3, in the opener of a Great Northwest Athletic Conference softball doubleheader on Friday, March 20, at Halle Field on the NNU campus.
NNU snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 7-6 victory in the nightcap, scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh.
The Vikings are now 12-10 overall and 5-5 in conference play. NNU is 3-18 overall and 1-9 in GNAC action.
Levin’s home run, her third of the season, came in the top of the fifth inning of the first game, giving WWU a 4-2 lead.
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NNU scored one run in the bottom of the fifth, but WWU pitcher Makinlee Sellevold held the Crusaders scoreless in the final two innings. She allowed seven hits, struck out five and did not issue a walk in the complete-game victory, her ninth of the campaign.
Sellevold singled across two runs in the fourth for a 2-0 lead, but NNU knotted the score with two runs in the bottom of that frame.
Sellevold, Autumn Isaacson and Alicia Fine each had two hits for the Vikings.
In the second game, WWU trailed 4-2 after three innings. But the Vikings took a 6-4 lead with two runs each in the fourth and fifth innings. Three of those four runs were unearned.
In the second, a two-out double by Sellevold scored Fine, who had led off with a two-bagger. Fine had a run-scoring single in the third and Holly Hawkins doubled in a run and scored in the fourth.
NNU’s Whitney Carlton, who had four hits in the contest, led off the seventh with a single and later scored on a bases-loaded walk to Kiahna Brown. After a fielding error tied the score at 6-6, a bases-loaded single by pinch hitter Morgan Thome ended the game.
Sellevold, Hawkins and Kali Patterson had two hits apiece for the Vikings. That gave Sellevold four for the day.
Levin currently ranks third among WWU career home run leaders, trailing only Meghan Flem (22, 2007-10) and Krista Bickar (16, 2009-12).