Catball turns into ‘Wetball,’ Lewis and Clark series postponed


Dustin Lau

Kelsey Wilkinson, ‘20, successfully making it to first base with time to spare.

Hannah Carty, Staff Writer

Metal cleats hitting the dirt wasn’t the only sound heard at Del Smith Stadium Friday evening—rain hitting the metal bleachers foreshadowed a wet game for Linfield Catball.

Linfield entered into the three-game series of the weekend against the Lewis & Clark Pioneers with a ceremony to commemorate the softball seniors. 

Linfield will be graduating five seniors at the end of the season: Tanna Benson, Maddy Colson, Shelby Saylors, Paige Smotherman, and Darian Stedman. 

The top of the first inning ended just as quick as it started with Linfield sending the first three batters for the Pioneers back to the bench. The three-up-three-down situation brought in the Wildcats to bat. 

The Wildcats started scoring quickly into their first at-bat with a bunt by junior Kelsey Wilkinson to move herself to first base and advance freshman Katie Phillips to second. With a short fly ball to right center field from junior Makenna Clizer, Phillips scores bringing in Linfield’s first run of the game. 

After her third walked batter of the game, Pioneer pitcher Emily Drevadahl is relieved by Megan Anderson. Junior Chelsea Horita singles to left field scoring two runs for the Wildcats making the score 4-0. 

The Catball infield repeats the top of the first inning in the top of the second inning with a three-up-three-down. 

To make the second out, Smotherman, playing second base, made a diving play to stop a ground ball from traveling to the outfield. She then made the throw to first base from one knee to secure the out. 

Due to rain, the game paused before the bottom of the second inning in the hopes of the weather passing. 

After almost an hour and a half of waiting for the rain to subside, the game was canceled. The weekend series continued on Saturday at Lewis and Clark for a double-header. The weekend ended with Linfield winning both games away in Portland. 

The Wildcats will be heading to the Northwest Conference tournament the weekend of April 26-28. The team was the 2017-2018 NWC champions and is currently ranked number one in the league. 

Shakayla Snyder, a sophomore catcher, said the team has a goal of competing at the highest level possible and trust that all of the team’s training will lead them to the outcome they want: winning. 

Leading up to the weekend, the team will continue to practice diligently. “We work hard on every aspect of softball every practice whether it is hitting, fielding, or pitching, we do it all,” Snyder said. 

Snyder continued by sharing her excitement for the tournament. “I’m most excited to go out and compete with my favorite team for the last couple weeks [of the season] and give this amazing class of seniors one last hurrah before they graduate.”

Sophomore pitcher, Maddy Podnar, also shared her thoughts on the upcoming NWC tournament: “I’m eager to host the conference tournament and excited to see all of our hard work pay off.”

When asked about the graduating seniors, Podnar said she will miss each player’s strong leadership “and devotion to Catball” in the future seasons. 

Furthermore, Podnar talked about her favorite elements of Linfield softball. She said the team is dedicated to improvement which is shown in practice and during games because of the culture of the program. 

“We have a saying, ‘as one’, and that means we are always in it together no matter what happens,” Podnar said.