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Fiery pitching performances of Sydney Brown lead to wins for WWU softball

In only her sophomore season, she continues to rise as a standout pitcher for the Vikings

Sophomore pitcher Sydney Brown smiles at the mound during her no-hitter game against Academy of Art in Turlock, Calif. on April 3. This perfect game capped off Brown’s rapid upturn in performance this season. // Photo courtesy of Susan Doan

Sydney Brown is a sophomore pitcher on Western Washington University’s softball team. Her terrific pitching has pushed the Vikings to victories after a difficult start to the season.

During March, Brown pitched out of her mind with an ERA of 1.96 in her 11 appearances. These stellar performances were capped off by her best game yet on April 3, where she pitched WWU’s 13th all-time no-hitter game against Academy of Art. 

“The no-hitter against Academy of Art down in Turlock was fun and exciting, but not at all surprising,” Viking head coach Sheryl Gilmore said. “The way Sydney has thrown and battled all year has been great for her confidence and resilience.” 

Brown came to Western in 2020 from Mountain View High School in Vancouver, Wash. as an All-State First Team pitcher. During her first season, Brown played eight games and started in two. Her sophomore season has come with an increase in starts and with that, a rise in her performance. 

Western assistant and pitching coach Shearyna Labasan, who works directly with Brown, has witnessed her growth firsthand. 

“This season she really was able to discover herself and find consistency in the way she goes out to compete and it is a very important thing to have as a pitcher,” Labasan said. “My favorite part is watching when she gets a strikeout and how pumped she gets, yelling with excitement to her catcher.”

Even Brown’s teammates were not ready for her quick ascent and consistent performance. 

“Everyone was kind of surprised for me, because it was all of a sudden,” Brown said. “I just kind of clicked and put it together.” 

Brown’s team is currently third in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with a 25-18 record. The Vikings were on fire during the month of March, winning 13 out of 15 games. 

Their season didn't start this way, though. Western lost eight of their first 10 games. 

“We kind of needed to take a step back to realize that this game is a lot bigger than just the results we were getting on the field,” Labasan said. “We decided to lean into each other and help the girls realize that who they are as people is much more important than any stats or win-loss records.” 

Eventually, the Vikings found their flow and have been rolling ever since. Brown saw their rough start as a learning experience.

“We were just very tense and didn't play as a team. It just took some time to figure it out,” Brown said. “We knew how good we can be.”

Even if Brown would never admit it, a big part of the team's recent success is coming from her pitching. 

“My team has been a big role in my performance,” Brown said. “They're good leaders, and they play defense really well, I’ve been so successful because of my defense.”

With less than a month left in the regular season and two key series left, the Vikings hope to ride their hot streak into the postseason.

Jack Glenn

Jack Glenn (he/him) is the editor in chief for The Front this quarter. He began working at the Front in the spring of 2022 as a sports reporter. 

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