Upon entering the field early afternoon on Friday, the Western softball players were chanting together before their game against Northwest Nazarene University started.
The Vikings used that energy to score three runs in the fifth inning, securing a 4-1 win on the front end of Friday’s doubleheader.
Western improves to 5-9 on the season and has now won five of its last seven games.
Western sophomore pitcher Anna Kasner pitched seven innings, registered three strikeouts and gave up only one earned run.
Kasner, along with the defense, kept the Nighthawks scoreless through six innings.
The Nighthawks kept up the fight in the sixth inning as well, preventing the Vikings from scoring with strong defense.
The Nighthawks got its lone score of the game with a home run in the seventh inning, but Western kept up its stifling defense on the field to prevent any further scoring.
Western coach Amy Suiter said it was important to get the first win of the doubleheader.
“Starting the day with a win so strong like this is important to us,” Suiter said. “It’s always big to us to kick off like that.”
Suiter praised Western’s defense, saying it was instrumental in the win.
“Defense was really on point and all in the right places, and that was great,” Suiter said. “This was really fun to put together.”
Kasner weighed in on what it meant for the Vikings to start strong.
“Winning the first game gave us a lot of momentum for the second game and motivated us even further,” Kasner said. “We really wanted to win the series which we successfully did so that’s awesome.”
Kasner said her pitching performance was helped greatly by the trust she has in her defense.
“As pitcher, my goal is to stay composed and trust my defense,” Kasner said. “Our defense was awesome today, so that really helped. They’ve always got my back and our bats did really well today too, so that always helps as a pitcher.”