RICHLAND, Wash. – Defending champion Saint Martin’s University scored all four of its runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, hitting three home runs, as it defeated Western Washington University, 4-3, in a loser-out game at the second annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Softball Tournament on Friday at the Columbia Playfield.
The Vikings, who fell to 30-14, had scored all three of their runs in the top of the sixth, two on a homer by Jordan Walley (So., Maple Valley/Tahoma), her third of the season.
Saint Martin’s, which improved to 27-21, began the seventh with a leadoff single by Tavish Jenkins. That was just the fourth hit off WWU starter Jenna DeRosier (Sr., Kelso).
Dani Wall followed with a home run, her fifth, to bring the Saints to within one, 3-2.
Shayna Adelstein (Fr., Tucson, AZ/Marana Mountain View) came on in relief for the Vikings and struck out the first batter she faced. Mary Dettling and Jackie Schmaeling then hit back-to-back solo homers to end the game. Dettling’s tying blast was her second of the year, and Schmaeling’s walk-off blow was her fourth.
Saint Martin’s advances to another elimination contest at 7 p.m. against Central Washington, which lost 8-4 to No.1 seed Western Oregon earlier in the day.
The winner advances to meet top seed Western Oregon, which has won its first two games in the double-elimination tourney, in the championship contest at noon on Saturday. If WOU loses, another game will be played immediately afterward.
DeRosier retired the first nine batters she faced and allowed just three base runners through the first six innings. Lacey McGladrey doubled to lead off the fourth and she and Megan Miller had back-to-back singles with two outs in the sixth.
WWU threatened in the fifth, putting runners on second and third with one out. But the runner on third was thrown out on a double steal attempt and Saint Martin’s pitcher Sam Mugner, who got the win (20-15), struck out the next batter.
Three Saints errors and a fielder’s choice in the sixth helped the Vikings score three runs. Alexie Levin (So., Everett) gave WWU a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly and Walley followed with a two-run clout. All the runs were unearned.
Kali Patterson (Fr., Bonney Lake) had two of WWU’s five hits.
WWU opened the tourney with an 8-7 loss to Central on Thursday. The back-to-back losses were the first for the Vikings since losing three straight in late March. They went on to win 19 of their next 23 games and place second in the GNAC standings.