Last year's 23-23 has long been out the window for Western Washington University's softball team.
Instead of meandering around the middle of the pack, the Vikings, riding 11 wins over their last 13 games, are 22-10 and entering a pivotal matchup with the conference-leading Western Oregon University beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, April 11 at WWU's softball complex in south campus. The second game is at 3 p.m.
This series offers a scale in which to measure how far the Vikings have come. They are 7-1 at home, and 9-5 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play, but the true test will come in how they do against the top team in the league. What can be said is that WWU coach Amy Suiter is getting the very most out of her team.
Sophomore Alexie Levin's .443 batting average is only dwarfed by the fact that she's seven RBI short of breaking the school record of 44. She currently sits at 38, and her eight home runs is also one shy of tying the schools all-time mark.
Senior Meghan Carrillo and sophomore Lauren Bennett are batting .438 and .393, respectively, adding to the notion that the Vikings have clear talent at the plate.
But scoring is a fruitless endeavor if you can't prevent the other team from doing the same, and senior pitcher Jenna DeRosier's 2.85 ERA is one of the best in the GNAC. Her 12-3 isn't too bad, either, with the compliment of freshman Shayna Adelstein in the circle helping ease some of the pressure on the senior pitcher.
WWU's six-game home stand spanning two games with Western Oregon and four with Northwest Nazarene should provide a glimpse as to what this team is capable of nearing the playoffs.
UPCOMING HOME SCHEDULE
April 11 Western Oregon 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
April 18 Northwest Nazarene 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
April 19 Northwest Nazarene 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
RBI: Alexie Levin (38)
AVERAGE: Alexie Levin (.443)
STOLEN BASES: Autumn Isaacson (27)
HOME RUNS: Alexie Levin (8)
RUNS: Autumn Isaacson (35)
ON-BASE PERCENTAGE: Meghan Carrillo (.494)
ERA: Shayna Adelstein (2.44)
WINS: Jenna DeRosier (12)
STRIKEOUTS: Jenna DeRosier (17)