By Sydney Clanton
The Western women’s softball team lost the first of two games to Western Oregon University 6-3 at Viking Field on Saturday, March 10, at noon.
Both the Wolves (10-8, 1-0 GNAC) and the Vikings (7-9, 3-2 GNAC) struggled to find momentum in the beginning, leaving the game tied 0-0 at the bottom of the second inning.
The tables turned at the top of the third inning with a two-run RBI triple from Western Oregon’s freshman Tyler Creach. Western was unable to answer back, leaving the Vikings down 2-0 heading into the fourth inning.
Throughout the game, the Vikings had a hard time at the plate against Wolves’ pitcher Haley Fabian. Fabian threw 138 pitches, 70 of them for strikes.
“As a team I think we mostly struggled with making adjustments quicker,” sophomore shortstop Paityn Cyr said. “Their pitcher was throwing spinning pitches and we weren’t really going at them, we just kept hitting for ourselves rather than hitting for the team as a whole.”
The Vikings took the infield with lots of energy, looking to make some defensive big plays in order to stop the Wolves’ momentum. Sophomores Paityn Cyr and Anna Kasner completed a double-play off a line drive base hit giving the Vikings that extra push they needed to stay in the game.
Senior Zoe Clark answered back for the Wolves with a homerun, causing the Vikings to trail the Wolves 3-0.
At the bottom of the fourth, the Vikings found its momentum and scored two runs. However, they weren’t able to hold onto that momentum as the Wolves scored three additional runs at the top of the fifth inning, leaving the score 6-2.
“I feel like our momentum was good at first, and then once we would score our momentum would just stop,” said sophomore pitcher Anna Kasner.
Kasner threw 110 pitches on Saturday, 70 of them strikes. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Western freshman, Erica Hardy brought the Vikings back to life in the bottom of the fifth inning with a triple. Hardy was able to score off a pop-fly hit to center field, helping inch the Vikings closer to the Wolves, now only down 6-3.
The sixth and seventh innings went scoreless on both sides, ending the game with a loss to Western Oregon, 6-3.
“We knew Western Oregon was going to be tough competition,” said Kasner. “We didn’t do anything wrong, honestly, it was just about being able to see the ball earlier and making those little adjustments. If we compete with the same attitude next game I think we will be able to get that win, if we show up ready to play.”
The Vikings host Concordia in a doubleheader on Sunday, March 11, at noon and 2 p.m.