Pacific Lutheran, 37-11 this season, was set to face Huntingdon (Ala.), 28-13, in its NCAA Division III softball regional round opener on May 11 in Tyler, Texas.
PLU, which reached NCAA Division III postseason play by virtue of winning the Northwest Conference tournament championship, is the regional tournament's No. 2 seed. Huntingdon, the Great South Athletic Conference tournament winner, is the No. 7 seed.
Other teams in the seven-team regional tournament include No. 1 seed and tournament host Texas-Tyler, 36-7, which has a first-round bye before meeting the winner of a first-round game between Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.), 28-13, and Louisiana College, also 28-13.
The other side of PLU's bracket has Redlands (Calif.), 31-11, playing Birmingham-Southern (Ala.), 34-9, with the winner advancing to play the winner of the PLU versus Huntingdon game.
The winners of the eight regional tournaments being played at campus locations around the country will advance to the NCAA Division III national championship tournament scheduled for May 18-22 at the Moyer Complex in Salem, Va.
Long-time Tacoma Weekly freelance writer Karen Westeen was honored on May 6 when she was inducted into the Tacoma/Pierce County Baseball-Softball Old-timers Association Hall of Fame. She began her journalism career as a stringer for the Bakersfield Californian in 1974. In 1993 she began working for Tacoma Monthly, which later became Tacoma Weekly. Her first assignment was a profile of Mike Blowers, who grew up in Pierce County and played for the Seattle Mariners at the time. She has interviewed many notable sports figures, including Tommy John, Branch Rickey III, Marcus Trufant and her all-time favorite, Buck O’Neill.
Westeen has covered various sports, but she is best known for her profiles of Tacoma Rainiers players and coaches.
Westeen spoke during the ceremony at the Afifi Masonic Center. She thanked her son Roy and his significant other for providing her with the perspective of young adults. She thanked her colleagues at Tacoma Weekly, her husband, Bruce Ibsen, and the many public relations and other staff of the teams she has written about for assisting in setting up interviews and providing photographs. “They have always been there for me.”
“I love talking sports, especially baseball,” Westeen remarked. “Thank God for letting me stick around long enough to be an old-timer.”
By John Larson
Several local girls tennis players advanced to this weekend’s district tournament after taking part in the Narrows League tournament at the University of Puget Sound on May 3-5.
Lincoln freshman Lilly Le rebounded from a second-round loss to rattle off four straight wins, including beating teammate Miriam Cabrera 6-2, 6-2 in the consolation bracket finals to earn the third seed to the district tournament.
Bellarmine senior Emily Carter earned the third seed to the 4A districts by winning four straight matches as well, including beating teammate and second seed Lucy Meske 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in the consolation bracket semifinals before topping Olympia’s Gemma Robinson 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Stadium seniors Katie Cribb and Emily Bower won the 4A doubles competition, defeating Bellarmine’s top-seeded duo of Meesha Sundarum and Ashley Yates in the finals to take the top seed to districts. Sundarum and Yates grabbed the second seed to districts. Bellarmine’s Kennedy Takehara and Kelly Titus were awarded the fourth seed to the district doubles tournament after beating Shelton’s Allison Hunter and Clara Robbins in the consolation semifinals before falling to Olympia’s Maddie Johnson and Catty Zheng in the finals.
The 4A district boys and girls tennis tournaments begin on the morning of May 12 and continue on May 19 at Auburn Riverside High School and Game Farm Park. The 3A tournaments will also take place on May 12 and May 19 at Clover Park High School and Lakewood Tennis Center. For tournament schedules visit www.wcd3.org.
The 3A and 4A Narrows League softball tournaments were set to take place on May 10-11 at SERA fields, with Wilson earning a bye through to the district tournament as the Narrows 3A champs. The Rams were undefeated at 9-0 in league play, with a 14-1 overall record that included competition against some top 4A teams.
Lincoln took the fifth seed to the league tournament, while Foss was the sixth seed, as both squads faced loser-out games on May 10 at 3 p.m.
Bellarmine, meanwhile, secured the Narrows 4A title by winning 11 straight games to end the season, earning the Lions the top seed in the league tournament and a bid to the district tournament. Bellarmine was set to play on May 10 at 3 p.m. against the winner of the South Kitsap and Gig Harbor first-round game, with the winner of that advancing to the championship on May 11 at 3 p.m. Stadium finished sixth in the league and faced a loser-out game against third-seeded Central Kitsap on May 10 at 12:30 pm, with the winner facing Olympia on May 10 at 3 p.m.
The Tacoma Community College baseball team had its 13-game winning streak snapped on May 6 in the finale of a four-game series against Clark in which the Titans won three of four. The loss, however, dropped the Titans out of a first-place tie with Pierce College, whom TCC was set to face in the final series of the season on May 11-12.
The Titans banged out 18 hits in a 6-2 win in the opener at Clark on May 5, with Trey Cochran leading the way by going 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and three runs batted in. Clayton Brown and Seth Heck were both 3-for-5 with a run scored, and Stephan Adams added a two-run homer for the Titans.
The Titans won the nightcap 4-1 and collected 12 more hits along with the solid pitching of Tim Dean, who allowed just one run on three hits in six and one-third innings. Cochran and J.J. Nazzaro were each 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Adams and Erich Armstrong were each 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored.
TCC won 6-1 in the opener on May 5, as Garrett DeGallier was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs and Adams added three RBIs. Starter Garrett Picha pitched eight innings and allowed a run on two hits, with two walks and five strikeouts to pick up the win. The Titans then fell 2-1 in eight innings in the nightcap, as the Penguins collected two unearned runs.
The Titans face Pierce in the series that will determine the region winner, as they host the Raiders in a 1 p.m. doubleheader on May 11 before travelling to Pierce for another doubleheader at 1 p.m. on May 12.