Home runs by Jordan Walley, Taylor Clark and Makinlee Sellevold powered No.2-seed Western Washington University to a 6-1 win over No.1 seed Saint Martin’s in a loser-out game Friday night, May 1, at the third annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Softball Tournament in Yakima.
The Vikings, 30-17, meet No. 3-seed Montana State Billings at noon on Saturday, May 2, for the GNAC championship. If the Yellowjackets lose that contest, a second game will follow. The eventual champion earns an automatic berth in next week’s NCAA Division II West Regional.
WWU began the day coming back from a 3-0 deficit with eight runs for an 8-3 win over No.4-seed Western Oregon in another loser-out contest. The Vikings opened the double-elimination tourney on Thursday, Apr. 30, with a 6-1 loss to MSUB.
Saint Martin’s, 25-8, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, scoring on a wild pitch.
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Walley tied the score in the second, putting a ball over the centerfield wall. It was her fifth home run of the season and 14th of her career, fourth among WWU career leaders.
In the sixth, Walley singled with two outs and trotted home on a blast over the rightfield fence by Clark, just her second of the season, which gave the Vikings a 3-1 lead.
WWU scored three more runs in the seventh, the first on a home run by Sellevold, her fourth of the campaign. Later in the frame, Alicia Fine singled in a run and Alexie Levin brought in another with a sacrifice fly.
Sellevold (25-7) got the complete-game victory, scattering nine hits, striking out three and issuing no walks. Saint Martin’s left eight runners on base.
Trailing WOU 3-0, WWU scored one run in the third, two in the fourth to tie the game, two in the fifth on a double by Allie Crowe and three in the sixth on a double by Levin and a two-run homer by Emily Benson. It was Benson’s team-leading seventh home run of the season.
Fine led WWU with three hits including a RBI single to start the comeback in the third. The Vikings also got two hits each from Autumn Isaacson, Levin and Walley. In all, WWU had 14 hits.
Isaacson also stole her 32nd base of the season in the third inning to break her own GNAC single-season record. She is five short of the WWU standard.
Sellevold overcame a shaky start, giving up seven hits and all three runs in the opening three innings, to hold WOU hitless through the sixth inning. Reliever Aspen Ison pitched a hitless seventh to close out the win.