Pacific Lutheran beat Linfield – the country’s top-ranked Division III softball team – 3-0 in the Northwest Conference title game on April 22 to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA national tournament.
Senior pitcher Stacey Hagensen shut down Linfield, allowing just two hits and one walk in seven innings, with three strikeouts to improve her record to 20-6 on the season. The defending NWC Pitcher of the Year in 2011 lowered her season ERA to an impressive 1.11.
The Lutes got all the runs they would need in the first inning on a run-scoring single by Kaaren Hatlen and an RBI groundout from Katie Lowery. Amanda Hall added a solo homer in the fourth inning to make it 3-0.
Hagensen had led the Lutes to a 3-1 win over Willamette in the tournament opener on April 21, and Amanda Goings was 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. They followed that up with a 3-1 win over Linfield, scoring three runs off of errors to claim the win. But the Wildcats came back with a 3-2 win on April 22 to force the third game, scoring all three runs in the bottom of the seventh for the walk-off win. Hall had given the Lutes a 2-0 lead with a two-run double in the sixth.
The Tacoma Community College baseball team still sits in second place in its division following a four-game sweep of Grays Harbor on April 21-22.
Matt Bell started off the weekend with another dominating pitching performance, limiting the Chokers to just two hits in eight shutout innings, with nine strikeouts in an 8-0 win in the opener on April 21. Seth Heck was 4-for-5 with three RBIs and Stephan Adams added two RBIs for the Titans, who put up six runs in the sixth inning.
Adams was 2-for-3 with three RBIs in an 8-1 win later in the day, and Garrett DeGallier added a double and two RBIs to help give the win to starter Tim Dean, who pitched five innings and allowed no earned runs.
The Titans opened with a 9-3 win on April 22, putting up seven runs in the third as Jordon Woodring, Marcus Hinkle and Ben Circeo all collected two RBIs.
Garrett Picha pitched six innings to help cap off the weekend with a 10-0 win, as Hinkle was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs and Jake Ross was 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
The Titans return to action with a doubleheader at Centralia on April 28 at 1 p.m. before hosting Centralia in a doubleheader on April 29 at 1 p.m.
Andrea Leiken led the Puget Sound track and field teams at NWC Championships on April 22 as she captured the event title in the 400-meter dash with a personal-best time of 56.76 seconds, and also finished second in the 200-meter dash.
The Logger women placed sixth overall at the conference meet with 55.5 points while the men placed seventh with 48 points. Matt Klein had an All-NWC performance, placing second in the 1,500-meter run after winning the 10K on April 21. The Loggers’ Joe Cerne won the decathlon at the meet with 6,239 points.
The Pacific Lutheran men placed third overall, headlined by Kyle Peart’s win in the hammer throw, Marqui Makupson’s triple jump victory and Barrett Bolson’s win in the 400-meter hurdles. The Lute women placed seventh overall, as Samantha Potter won the discus throw and Chelsea Nelson, Ayla Mull and Stephanie McFarland finished first, second and third in the javelin throw.
George Fox claimed the team title for the women, while Whitworth was the men’s champions.
Dustin Hegge earned Player of the Year honors and Pacific Lutheran’s men placed fourth in the Northwest Conference Men's Golf Tournament that came to a conclusion after a two-day run at Canyon Lakes Golf Course on April 21-22.
By virtue of a trio of top-four finishes in the conference’s “major” tournaments (Fall Classic, Spring Classic and NWC Championships), including winning the NWC Fall Classic, Hegge earned the highest point total and with it NWC Player of the Year recognition. Hegge finished in third place overall at the NWC Championships with a two-round score of 148 (+4). Joining the PLU sophomore on the all-conference team was senior Daron Casey, who scored enough points in the three tournaments to earn second team all-conference recognition.
Linfield won the overall men’s conference golf title, which is based on team performances in the three major tournaments, with a total of 31 points. Whitworth finished second with 25 points, followed by Puget Sound with 24 and PLU and Whitman in a tie with 19.
Puget Sound’s Nick Kelley earned All-NWC First Team honors as he finished second overall – behind Linfield’s Alex Fitch – shooting a two-over 74 on April 22. The Loggers took third as a team. Kelley led a solid Logger effort that saw them match their day one score as a team. They were 15-over on both days for a two-day score of 606 (+30) as a team. Matt Kitto also earned All-NWC honors after finishing 20th with a 156 (+12) in the tournament.
Puget Sound’s women’s team had one of its better rounds of the season on April 22 but finished in eighth place. The Loggers shaved 26 strokes off their day one score as a team to fire a 397 on Sunday, as Melissa Merrigan’s 92 (+20) was 10 strokes better than her day-one score. She ended up tied for 32nd overall with teammate Ev Grier, who shot a 96 (+24) today. Her score was two strokes
better than Saturday.
Pacific Lutheran’s women took seventh place, as Kristina Norlin was PLU's top player by shooting rounds of 90 and 88 to finish 24th with a 36-hole total of 178. Julie Heffernan carded rounds of 93 and 96, Paige Henry shot 96 and 93, and Emily Cook shot 103 and 95 to finish out Pacific Lutheran's scorers.
This spring's Puget Sound Amateur, one of the top golf championships in the Northwest, will span two days over two of Pierce County's more popular public courses.
The 47th annual Puget Sound Amateur will take place May 19-20 at Lake Spanaway Golf Course and Chambers Bay. Players will compete in a 36-hole stroke play format for $15,000 in prizes and the title of 2012 Puget Sound Amateur Champion. Registration is $175, and the deadline is May 14. Space is limited to the first 156 paid entries. Registration forms are available on both golf courses’ websites: www.lakespanawaygc.com and www.chambersbaygolf.com.
The first day’s rounds will take place at Lake Spanaway Golf Course, the traditional home of the Puget Sound Amateur. The second day will be played at Chambers Bay, which hosted the 2010 U.S. Amateur and is preparing for the 2015 U.S. Open. Both courses are owned by Pierce County and offer unique and challenging championship conditions.