Saints softball team heading to GNAC Tournament as the number-one seed

April 29, 2013

saintsoftball LACEY, Wash. – The Saint Martin’s University softball team will travel to Billings, Mont., this week for the Great Northwest Atlantic Conference Tournament after claiming its first-ever GNAC regular-season championship outright with the Saints’ win in a doubleheader Sunday against Central Washington University (7-5 and 12-4 in five innings).

This marks the Saints’ first such victory since the team’s inception in 1992, and the team will take the No. 1 seed into the GNAC Tournament on Thursday, May 2, playing against No. 4 seed Central Washington Wildcats, in the opening round at 1:30 p.m. The Saints are ranked 25th nationally in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II National Poll.

Sam Munger put the Saints on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI single that scored Lacey McGladrey. Joslyn Eugenio added to SMU's total with a two-run blast to extend the lead to 3-0.

Despite the quick strike by Saint Martin's, the Wildcats managed to hang around, scoring a single run in the fourth and the fifth inning to make it 3-2. The Saints answered with a four-run sixth inning as an error on CWU's shortstop scored the first run. Munger drove in her second and third runs of the game with a double while Eugenio added one more on a single up the middle for her third RBI.

CWU did not go away quietly however as Dallas Maupin hit a two-run pinch hit home run with one out in the seventh to pull the Wildcats to 7-4. Jill McDaniels singled up the middle to make it 7-5 with two outs but the final batter of the inning flied out to center field to end any threat of a comeback.

picked up her 20th win of the season, becoming the first SMU pitcher in program history to reach this milestone. She finished the game going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, three RBI and a double.

McGladrey was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a walk and a stolen base. Eugenio went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, three RBI and her fifth home run of the season.

Central Washington strung together consecutive singles to start game two and McDaniels’ one-out single put the Wildcats ahead early. Elena Carter lined a shot up the middle but Munger made a diving stop in the hole, shoveling the ball to McGladrey at second, who turned the double play to get the Saints out of an early jam.

A sacrifice fly by Munger in the bottom half of the inning tied the game and in the third, Megan Miller's sacrifice fly put the Saints ahead 2-1. SMU would increase its lead in the fourth on an RBI groundout off the bat of Madi Davis but, once again, the Wildcats fought back.

CWU scored three runs in the top of the fifth as McDaniels' RBI double scored one and Carter's single scored two more, giving Central Washington the 4-3 lead. That lead was short lived as SMU exploded, scoring nine runs on eight hits in the bottom of the fifth. Taviah Jenkins drilled a two-run home run to left center for her fifth of the season. Then three-straight singles by McGladrey, Miller and Munger scored four more runs. Eugenio finished it off with a three-run homer, giving the Saints the 12-4 win.

Taylor Bakos improved to 14-7 on the year in the circle. McGladrey finished the game going 4-for-4 with three runs scored, an RBI and three stolen bases. Munger was 1-for-3 with three RBI, extending her hitting streak to 18 games. Eugenio went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, three RBI and her sixth home run of the season. Miller was 1-for-1 with a run scored, two RBI, two walks and a stolen base.

The winner of the three-day, double elimination tournament will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Additional information about the 2013 GNAC tournament is available on the GNAC website.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.

For additional information:

Katie Simons
Sports Information Director
Saint Martin's University
360-438-4328; KSimons@stmartin.edu

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager
360-412-6126; MDwyer@stmartin.edu