WESTERN OREGON ROUNDUP: Western Oregon wins GNAC title

RICHLAND, Wash. — Western Oregon coach Lonny Sargent stood before his team moments after the first inning ended in a winner-take-all game against Central Washington on Saturday.    The Wolves trailed 7-0 in the final game of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament after falling to Central Washington 6-5 earlier that day after giving up two runs in the bottom of the seventh.    Sargent’s message was simple.    “I told them the game was still early and we had a lot of innings left,” Sargent said. “Our big saying this year was to finish the game and that it’s not over until it’s over. And the girls took that to heart.”    Western Oregon responded by scoring eight runs in the second inning as the Wolves cruised to a 20-9 victory in six innings.    Western Oregon seized the lead thanks in large part to a grand slam from Jourdan Williams during the second inning. Bridjet Box hit home runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings, while Amanda Evola and Ashlie Gardner also went deep.    Williams came up big for the Wolves throughout the tournament, hitting a two-run walk-off home run in the eighth inning to give the Wolves a 3-1 win over Saint Martin’s on Thursday to open the tournament.    Western Oregon also rallied from a 4-0 deficit against Central Washington on Friday to win 8-4 and clinch its berth in the tourney championship.    With the title, Western Oregon advances to the NCAA Division II West Regional Championship, for the first time since 2008, where it earned the eighth seed. The Wolves open against top-seeded Cal State-Monterey Bay in Seaside, Calif., on Thursday.    “I think we are much better now at the end,” Sargent said. “We are hitting our stride at the perfect time. That’s what we kept telling the girls, peak at the right moment and I think they’re doing that right now.”    Track and field ends regular season: Sprinter Madison McClung set a school record in the 100-meter run at the Oregon State High Performance meet on Friday. McClung finished with a time of 12.01 seconds, breaking the old mark of 12.04 originally set in 1994. Tyrell Williams finished the 200 in 21.15 seconds, the second fastest time in WOU history. Emily Wetherell set a new personal record in the hammer throw at the Pacific Twilight meet in Forest Grove on Friday with a mark of 134 feet, 2 inches. The Wolves host the GNAC Outdoor Championships on Friday and Saturday.    


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