Vikings softball fall in GNAC Tournament
The Western women’s softball team ended their season with a devastating loss against Montana State Billings at the annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Softball Tournament on Saturday, May 2.
The tournament, which began on Thursday, April 30, started off rocky for the Vikings when they lost to Montana State Billings 6-1.
Junior Jordan Walley said the defeat was the highlight of the weekend for her.
Walley said after losing the first game Thursday, they never gave up hope that they couldn’t come back and win the whole thing.
“Our team really played with each other on Friday to come back and fight through those two games in the loser’s bracket and to get to the championship game,” she said. “We never gave up on each other, we fought until the very end.”
Head coach Amy Suiter said the Friday of the tournament was a fun day. On Friday, May 1, the Western team played two games, one against Saint Martin’s University and one against Western Oregon University.
The Vikings won both contests 8-3 and 6-1, respectively.
Junior Arianna Barrio said Saint Martin’s University was Western’s biggest rival going into the season.
“Knocking them out of the tournament was probably our biggest accomplishment,” Barrio said.
Barrio said the overall atmosphere of the Saint Martin’s game was a pivotal moment for the team because everyone wanted it so bad.
The final day of the tournament was against Montana State Billings again, a contest that Western lead for the majority of the game. The lead did not last and Western’s season ended with a 9-5 loss.
“We always hope we make it to regionals, so that was a bummer, but overall the season went well,” Suiter said.
Walley credits the seniors for the team’s success.
“They put their hearts and souls into this program day in and day out, and in the end we didn’t get the result we wanted, but they are incredible role models and our program would not be where it is today if it wasn’t for them,” she said.
For next season, Walley wants to see the team go farther.
“There’s nothing we can’t do, as long as we put in the effort and play together.”