The Western women’s softball team began its eight-game homestand by splitting its doubleheader against Western Oregon University on Friday, April 21. The Vikings won the first, and dropped the second game of the doubleheader.
The Vikings began the double header with a 13-1 win against the Wolves in five innings. Freshman starting pitcher Anna Kasner pitched three innings, bringing her earned run average down to 2.71.
“We played our hearts out,” Kasner said. “Sure, we have things to work on, but we’re slowly building up to where we need to be, so we can get ready for [the] postseason.”
Western Oregon won the second game of the doubleheader with a 6-1 victory against the Vikings. All six runs were scored from defensive errors.
Western Washington’s head coach Amy Suiter said the team struggled with choosing the right pitches at the plate.
“She’s [Makinlee Sellevold] killing it at the plate, but has also been doing fantastic in the circle the last two days.”
Amy Suiter, head coach
“That would be an improvement I hope we would make for [the next game],” Suiter said. “We’re making sure every bad or poor thing that happens to us is just a lesson, and not a failure.”
On Saturday, April 22, the Vikings split their second consecutive doubleheader against Western Oregon where both games came down to the last pitch.
Western scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to come back from being down 5-1. The inning was capped off by a three-run, walk-off double from junior third baseman Makinlee Sellevold.
Head coach Amy Suiter said having a packed schedule brings challenges.
“We have to use our pitchers differently, having to throw that many games,” Suiter said.
After scoring on a solo home run from Sellevold in the first inning, Western was held scoreless against Western Oregon until its late-inning heroics in the bottom of the seventh.
After a rain delay, the Vikings headed into the bottom of the seventh inning needing five runs to win.
The Vikings narrowed the deficit to 5-3, and Sellevold took to home plate with one goal in mind:
“Just see the ball [and] hit the ball,” Sellevold said. “That’s really what I’ve been focusing on lately.”
On Saturday, that simple mindset turned into a walk-off, game-winning double.
The victory of the first game wouldn’t carry over to the second as the Vikings lost 1-0.
Down by one in the second game, Western had runners on second and third base in the seventh inning, but left them stranded after back-to-back flyouts ended the game.
Sellevold pitched the second game and kept Western Oregon’s offense at bay, only allowing one run through seven innings.
Suiter said she thought Sellevold pitched a great game, and the only run allowed was because of a communication error.
The Vikings returned to the diamond on Sunday, April 23, and swept Concordia University with a 6-4 win in the first game of the doubleheader, and a 12-4 win in the second. Western was led by strong hitting and pitching from junior Makinlee Sellevold.
Sellevold went 5-5 with a home run and a double Sunday, and knocked in five runs, adding to a dominant weekend.
“She’s killing it at the plate, but has also been doing fantastic in the circle the last two days,” head coach Amy Suiter said.
In Western’s last six games, Sellevold has hit .588, while notching 14 RBIs along with a 1.79 ERA.
“I got behind 0-2 in that count pretty early and I knew I needed to see [inside] and wait for the [outside] pitch,” Sellevold said of her home run in the bottom of the third inning.
Western jumped ahead early in the first game, before Concordia tied it in the top of the fifth at three runs each. Western went ahead for good in the bottom of the fifth, when a wild pitch and a single from freshman Anna Kasner brought in three runs.
Junior pitcher Shearyna Labasan threw a seven-inning complete game, recording seven strikeouts and allowing four runs.
In the second game, Western dominated, ending the game in the top of the fifth on the mercy rule. In the third inning, the Vikings put up eight runs on just five hits, while scoring on a variety of errors by the Cavaliers.
“We had goals of getting through as many pitchers as we can, so making our adjustments as fast as we can [is] where we succeeded today,” Suiter said.
Sellevold threw a five-inning complete game, allowing three earned runs and striking out six. She had control issues early, allowing five walks through her first four innings, as well as hitting a batter.
“My teammates are always there, and they have my back,” Sellevold said.
The Vikings play next on Tuesday, April 25, hosting Simon Fraser University in a doubleheader. The games start at 1 p.m., and will be played at Viking Field. The doubleheader will be the last home games of the season for Western.