“We took second in the gold bracket, which was the best in the school history,” junior first baseman Jordan Walley said. “Our previous best was tied for third in the gold bracket.”
After two tough losses to Humboldt State, and one to Cal State, East Bay, the Vikings finished off the tournament 4-3. They have moved to 18-14 overall and 7-5 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
“We played hard teams and it was really competitive,” junior Alexie Levin said. “It was nice seeing the outcome, even getting runner-up was awesome because we were playing the top teams in the region.”
The Tournament of Champions is hosted annually by Stanislaus and features teams from across the West Coast.
The Vikings defeated Cal State, Dominguez Hills 4-3 in their first game. Senior Autumn Isaacson had three hits and scored two runs in the game. Pinch runner Sarah Morrow scored as well on a ground out by sophomore Kali Patterson.
Western did not go on to score for the rest of the first day of the tournament, losing their next two games 8-0 to Humboldt State and 1-0 to California State, East Bay.
The second day of the tournament went better for the team, taking a pair of 5-4 wins against both University of California, San Diego and San Francisco State University.
Freshman first baseman Emily Benson hit a seventh inning solo home run in the game against San Francisco State, her fifth home run of the season. Benson also had two RBIs in the game.
Senior Alicia Fine, freshman Makinlee Sellevold and Walley all had run-scoring singles against UC San Diego followed by a two-run double by sophomore Lynsey Amundson.
On the final day of the tournament, the Vikings beat Cal State, Chico 3-2 before falling 6-1 to Humboldt State in the Gold Bracket final.
“All in all I think we did great,” Walley said. “We made a lot of adjustments over the tournament, really playing with heart and fighting for each other.”
Levin was also thrilled with the Vikings’ success.
“I don’t think that a lot of teams thought that we would make it that far,” Levin said. “It was awesome being in the Gold Bracket and being in that championship game.”
The Vikings are now looking forward to the postseason.
“We have to take care of business in the GNAC now,” Walley said. “We’ve definitely put ourselves in a position to go to postseason.”
The Vikings next game is at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8 against Simon Fraser University.
Simon Fraser is 14-17 overall and 3-6 in the conference.