Western wins Silver bracket title

The softball team now is 13-16 on the season.



MONMOUTH -- Western Oregon's softball team beat Cal State Dominguez Hills 7-4 and Cal State Bakersfield 2-1 April 1 to win the Silver Bracket title at the 2007 Mizuno Tournament of Champions at Pedretti Park in Turlock, Calif.

The Wolves went 3-4 in the tournament, including a 9-8 win against third-ranked Humboldt State on March 31.

The Wolves (13-16 overall) will hit the road this week for Great Northwest Athletic Conference contests at Central Washington on Thursday, April 5 and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday, April 7.

Against Cal State Bakersfield, Amanda Fleer laced RBI singles in the fourth and sixth innings to give the Wolves just enough offense for the win.

With the score tied at 1-1 in the sixth, Sara Tucholsky led off with a single, and pinch-runner Jessica Merriman moved to second two outs later on Jamie Becker's base hit. Fleer then followed with the game winner.

Brianne Dieringer got the win, scattering nine Roadrunner hits, walking one and striking out two.

The Wolves had nine hits on offense, with Becker joining Fleer with a pair of hits each.

In the Silver Bracket semifinal, the Wolves scored three times in the second inning and four in the fifth.

Trina Dorn led off the second with a home run, the first of five hits in the inning.

In the fifth, the Wolves took advantage of four walks and a Dominguez Hills error to score four runs on one base hit.

After taking a 7-1 lead, WOU survived a three-run Toro sixth inning, and reliever Ashley Sellers put CSUDH down in order in the seventh to get the win.

Western's Tyler Sutherland was two for two with a pair of RBIs.

Baseball

Northwest Nazarene erupted for seven runs in the top of the seventh inning and pulled away for a 9-2 victory over Western Oregon, earning a split of a GNAC doubleheader on March 31 at the WOU Baseball Field.

The Wolves won the first contest 9-4. Western is now 11-15 on the season and 2-2 in GNAC play. Northwest Nazarene, which has won eight of its last 10 games, improved to 16-15 on the year and 5-3 in conference play.

NNU's Harold Schultz belted a pinch-hit two-run double in that fateful seventh inning in game two. The Crusaders had four hits in the inning and were helped by a balk, two walks, a catcher's interference and a wild pitch.

In the previous half-inning, WOU pinch hitter Pat Kelly doubled to begin the inning and later scored on Kevin Corrigan's sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2.

Bryan Stone had two hits to lead the Wolves.

In game one, WOU's Ben Shivers came out of the bullpen to throw six strong innings and earn the win. He gave up two hits, no runs, walked one and fanned three.

Western trailed 4-1 entering the bottom of the third but tied the score on Paul Fisher's two-run homer and an RBI single from Brent Mertens.

WOU blew the game open with four runs in the fifth inning. The Wolves had four hits in the inning, including an RBI-double by Randy Summers.

Western's Coubi Jiles went three for four with an RBI. Fisher, Summers and Corrigan had two hits each.

This week, the Wolves will play double-headers at Central Washington on Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 9.

Track & Field

Western had 10 performers at the Stanford Invitational March 30-31 in Palo Alto, Calif.

Sarah Howell ran 2:15.80 in the 800 to post the fastest time thus far in the GNAC. Anthony Marin improved on his NCAA Division II provisional national qualifying mark in the hammer with a fling of 176-6, placing fourth in the B section.

"We didn't get improvements across the board, but we had the opportunity to compete against a high level of competition," said head coach Mike Johnson. "That is why we came here, to race against good people and to get better in the process."

Western sophomore Jacque Postlewait placed fourth in the Cal Multi-Events heptathlon March 29-30, held at Cal Berkeley.

The Canby native tallied 4,561 points, the top mark in the GNAC this year and the fifth best mark all-time at WOU. In the process, she also ran a conference-best 14.88 in the 100 hurdles.

Western will stay close to home, participating in the Willamette Invite in Salem on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7.



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