Unable to hold onto a three-run lead, No.2-seed Western Washington University fell 9-5 to No.3-seed Montana State Billings in the championship game of the third annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Softball Tournament on Saturday, May 2, at the Gateway Sports Complex.
The Vikings, who ended their season 30-18, took a 5-2 lead with four runs in the bottom of the third inning, three of them on a home run by Jordan Walley. But after winning two loser-out games Friday, May 1, they could not hold down the Yellowjackets, who scored seven runs in the last three innings for the victory.
MSUB, which improved to 29-21, earns an automatic berth in the NCAA Division II West Regional. The Yellowjackets won all three of their GNAC tourney games.
With the game tied at 2-2, Walley unloaded a three-run homer over the centerfield fence.
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Autumn Isaacson had opened the third with a single, advanced to second on a single by Kali Patterson and following a steal by Isaacson, Alicia Fine walked to load the bases.
Alexie Levin brought in Isaacson with a sacrifice fly, setting the stage for Walley. Walley’s homer was her seventh of the season, tied for team high, and the 16th of her career.
MSUB got back to within one, 5-4, with two runs in the fifth. Aubrey Conceicao singled in Brittney Sanders, who had walked and advanced to second on a passed ball. Conceicao then scored on a double by Cameron Cassinelli.
In the sixth, MSUB took an 8-5 lead with a three-run double by Conceicao, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Cassinelli. The Yellowjackers scored another run in the seventh.
WWU took a 1-0 lead as Isaacson led off the first with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Fine.
MSUB went ahead 2-1 with two runs in the top of the third on a two-out, two-run single by Emily Osborn.
Sellevold (25-9), who pitched all but 1-2/3 innings of the four GNAC tourney games, struck out two and walked six.
The Vikings had a season-high six errors in the contest as four of the MSUB runs were unearned. They opened the tourney with a 6-1 loss to MSUB, committing five errors in that game.
On Friday, WWU sent two teams home with wins over No.4-seed Western Oregon, 8-3, and No.1-seed Saint Martin’s, 6-1. Walley was 5-for-6 in the two games, driving in one run and scoring two.
Isaacson’s steal was her 33rd of the season, a GNAC record.