Wildcats Softball Struggles at NWC Tourney

Sara Levering, Staff Writer

The Linfield Wildcats entered in as the second seed up against third seed Pacific Lutheran University.


Pacific Lutheran had a field day defeating the Wildcats 6-0. This was the Wildcats first opening-round loss in seven seasons of the NWC tournament. Pacific Lutheran had 14 hits to Linfield’s 3 on the game.


Saylors picked up the loss making her record 16-5 on the season. She pitched three innings and Tanna Benson, ‘19, relieved her and pitched the remaining four.


The Wildcats would face off against George Fox hoping to get back into the tournament, but double-elimination loomed over their heads. George Fox defeated the Wildcats 2-0.


The ‘Cats found their offense a little too late in the seventh inning with two outs, which would have put them back in the game with two hits and got teammates on base. Danielle Duman, ‘17, Emily Allen, ‘18, and Kenzie Schmoll, ‘17, hit three straight singles. Linfield had 5 hits on the day to George Fox’s 4.


The George Fox loss resulted in an early exit by Linfield.


“We just didn’t play to our potential. The game of softball can be very up and down and unfortunately, we had a down weekend this week,” said Melanie Oord, ‘18.


On being content with the outcome of the weekend, “I think the biggest thing about being a competitor is never being content. So no, I’m not content with this weekend because I know we are much better than how we played this weekend,” said Oord.


“On one hand you’re proud of the team, the way they fought all the way to the end with two outs,” head coach Jackson Vaughan said. “But on the other end, you’re disappointed because you wonder where all the hits were the previous six innings. It’s always kind of bittersweet when you try to come back at the end of a game but fall short,” he said.


Even with the disappointing outcome, Linfield is 32-10 and remains in the conversation for the DIII regional playoff tournament.
“We’ve definitely had a good enough season that we are in position of receiving an at-large berth. We are certainly worthy of that consideration,” said Vaughan. “With two losses (in Spokane), we definitely put ourselves on the bubble for a playoff spot. But with 32 wins, we’re still a team that should get strong consideration. We’ll wait and see how that turns out.”