Simson Garcia | Sports Editor
GNAC conference softball play is officially underway. The season took a few turns to start on March 10-11. The four-game conference trek for the Wolves began in Western Washington where Western dealt a sweep with scores of 6-3 and 4-3, and continued on up to Simon Fraser, where they folded two games with scores of 2-1 and 5-3.
The first doubleheader featured two of Western’s premier pitchers throwing complete games.
With only two earned runs given up, junior Haley Fabian struck out five at the helm of the first game. Although the offense of both teams provided a batting battle throughout.
At nil-nil in the third inning, Western finally scored two off first-year right fielder Tyler Creach’s triple, that struck deep into right center. Senior outfielder Zoe Clark’s solo home run soon found its way into the stands but the Vikings also found home through base stealing and an error that cut the score to 3-2. But Fabian and the Wolves’s defense around her fended off the relentless hitting of the Viks that helped move Fabian’s pitching record to 4-3 on the season.
“I think our defense is very good at communicating for the most part,” said Fabian. “It helps my pitching when my teammates behind me are talking to me. Infield and outfield are really good about having my back and fighting for the out. When I see them fighting so hard for the out, that makes me work so much harder and makes me want to fight for them.”
Senior Lizzet Dominguez completed the second campaign by striking out three and moved her record to 5-1 while also giving up only two runs.
The game took two swings, however, in the fifth and sixth innings. Off a Wolves wild pitch, the Vikings scored a run from third base to go up 3-2. But the Wolves got the deciding 2-run homer from junior catcher Nicole Miller to sweep the series.
Fabian and Dominguez again pitched back-to-back complete games in the second doubleheader against the Clan. Dominguez kept the Clan at bay for most of game one but it didn’t go far in keeping Simon Fraser from getting two runs — just enough to put down the Wolves. SFU loaded the bases in the fifth, and scored two to grab the series lead at 1-0.
The momentum looked like it would shift in the rematch as a pair of first-year Wolf players ignited home plate. First-year catcher Mariah Deleon swung away in the first to run-bat-in Creach. The two meshed again in the third inning off of Deleon’s homer to gain further momentum.
That quickly changed in the fourth as SFU loaded the bases again and scored three to go up 4-3, later made 5-3, to decide the series at 2-0. Now at 12-9, Western debuts on its home field this weekend on March 17-18 in another back-to-back doubleheader.
“The team is very excited about playing at home this weekend. We are excited to have the advantage this weekend. If we get the opportunity to play at home, we don’t want to take it for granted. We want to give these games our all,” said Fabian.
First arriving to the diamond for two games will be St. Martin’s with opening pitches set for 12 and 2 p.m. Central Washington will appear in the second doubleheader with the same time frame.
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Photo by: wouwolves.com