May 13, 2016

Bruins Advance To Winner's Bracket At NCAA Regional

A Winning Tradition

 
  • 1 NCAA Regional Tournament (2016)
  • 1 NAIA Regional Tournament (1994)
  • 1 NAIA District Championship (1994)
  • 1 Cascade Conference Championship (1994)
  • 4 Northwest Conference Tournament (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • 1 NAIA District Coach of the Year
  • 3 Northwest Conference Coaches of the Year
  • (NFCA) Division III National Pitcher of the Week (Abbie Bergerson, 2015)
  • 2 NFCA All-West Region Second Team 
 

SPOKANE, Wash. --- The Bruins handled their first-ever appearance in post-season play like veterans on Friday, as they defeated No. 1-seed Claremont Mudd-Scripps 5-2 to advance to the winner's bracket.

Press Conference:

 

Recap:
Both pitchers settled in nicely over the first two innings, as they held both teams scoreless. After two innings of play, though, the Bruins felt like they were ready to get on the board. Kimi Ito singled to third on a bunt, and Kayla Anderson singled to right field soon after. Amanda Woods worked a walk to load the bases, but a second out was produced on the next at bat. Courtney Howard then came to the plate and after a full count, she hit a well-placed ball to right field for a three-run triple to draw first blood. Alyssa Gonzalez singled down the left field line to bring home Howard, and the Bruins ended the inning with a 4-0 advantage.

Howard was back at it again in the top of the fifth with another huge at bat. With a 1-2 count and two outs on the board, she smacked a ball up the right side to bring home another run for the Bruins, 5-0.

The Athenas wouldn't go down without a fight, though, as they answered back in the bottom of the sixth with two runs of their own. After two well-placed bunts to start the inning, the Athenas found two runners on with no outs on the scoreboard. A groundout moved the two runners into scoring position, and a single by Carly Rolede put the Athenas on the board, 5-2.

The Bruins handled the Athenas in the final innings to earn their first-ever win in post-season play. The win also ties the program record for wins in a single-season, which was set in 2015.

Thoughts From The Game:
"This was really special for us to have this opportunity and come away with a win," said head coach Jessica Hollen. "We knew we had a good team, and it's amazing that they become the first team in history to win a post-season game."

"Today I was just playing to play the game," said Howard. "I just woke up feeling blessed to go out and play again and wanted to play for my teammates."

Madison Sorensen echoed her teammate's words. "I trusted my teammates and knew they had my back no matter what. I just wanted to play loose and go out and give it my best." 

Top Performers:
Sorensen was stellar in the circle for the Bruins, pitching a complete game with six strikeouts and allowing just seven hits. Howard, Anderson and Veatch went 2-4 at the plate, while Howard recorded four RBIs.

What It Means:
With the win, the Bruins will play at least two more games with the double elemination rule. A win tomorrow advances them to the Championship on Sunday. A loss puts them in the third game on Saturday against the winner of the loser's bracket game between Whitworth and Claremont-Mudd Scripps.

What Comes Next:
The Bruins play Saturday in the winner's bracket against Linfield at 11:00 a.m.