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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Suited for the job

In just seven seasons, Western’s softball head coach Amy Suiter has accumulated over 200 career wins.

The softball team defeated Concordia University twice, 6-4 and 12-4, giving Suiter her 200th and 201st victory on April 23.

The Vikings concluded their regular season with four victories against Northwest Nazarene University, increasing Suiter’s win tally to 207 on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29.

With 30 wins to finish off the regular season, Suiter has already surpassed her career average of 29 wins per season with the postseason still left to play.

“Everyone gets along and understands each other, and has fun together. It’s a really fun atmosphere and great to be a part of. [Suiter is] very encouraging and helps us become better people, along with better players. It really helps with our team chemistry.”

Shearyna Labasan, sophomore pitcher

The softball team finished the regular season with a 30-17 overall record, and a 19-9 record in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

“Honestly, it’s just a number. It’s not something I track, or that I am aware of. I just go game to game,” Suiter said.

Freshman catcher Mackenzie Palmer said one reason for Suiter’s success is her very inviting and personable aura.

“She’s like a mom figure to most of us. She’s there for a lot of aspects in our lives [besides softball] like family, school, and a lot of coaches aren’t like that,” Palmer said. “That’s something we’re really lucky to have in our program.”

Palmer said being an approachable coach is extremely helpful, especially for freshmen.

Amy Suiter coaches during a game at Viking Field Tuesday, March 4. // Photo by Rachel Postlewait

“[Suiter] helped me improve, obviously physically, but also mentally. She gives me confidence and lets me know I can do it,” Palmer said. “I was nervous coming into the program and she gave me the reassurance I really needed.”

Although Suiter is the head coach, she said she feels as if the team is teaching her more than she is teaching them. The reason she said this team is special is because of the chemistry they have. 

“This team is one of the best teams I’ve had as far as bonding and really coming together as a unit,” Suiter said.

Sophomore pitcher Shearyna Labasan also recognized how welcoming Suiter is, which she said in turn has created the positive atmosphere that surrounds the team. She said Suiter helps the team off the field just as much as on the field.

“Everyone gets along and understands each other, and has fun together. It’s a really fun atmosphere and great to be a part of,” Labasan said. “[Suiter is] very encouraging and helps us become better people, along with better players. It really helps with our team chemistry.”

The softball team’s bond will need to be stronger than ever going into the postseason. The GNAC championship tournament starts Thursday, May 4, in Lacey at Saint Martin’s University.

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