Apr 25, 2015

A lot to Celebrate

A Winning Tradition

 
  • Two NCAA Regional Tournament Appearances (2016, 2018)
  • Five Northwest Conference Tournament Appearances (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Six NFCA All-West Region Athletes (One first-team, three second-team, two third-team) 
  • 4 Northwest Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 1 (NFCA) Division III National Pitcher of the Week (Abbie Bergerson, 2015)
  • Two National Top-25 Rankings (2016, 2018)
  • One NAIA Regional Tournament (1994)
  • One NAIA District Championship (1994)
  • One Cascade Conference Championship (1994)
  • 1 NAIA District Coach of the Year
 

By: Ryan Lackey

TACOMA, Wash. --- The Bruins lost to the Linfield Wildcats, 4-3, on Saturday in the final game of the NWC tournament, despite a tremendous last-inning comeback that nearly proved decisive. Despite Linfield's championship win, though, the Bruins have reason to celebrate.

Even with the last loss, the Bruins finish the season with a stellar 31-13 record and a fantastic .705 winning percentage. As a team, they hit .314 and launched 30 home runs, and the emergence of the two-headed pitching monster of Abbie Bergerson and Madison Sorensen, both freshmen, has been a revelation. On offense, three players – Kayla Anderson, Amanda Woods, and Annie Veatch – hit over .370, and Anderson alone hit eight homers. And then, of course, there was the heroics of Megan Furtado and her walk-off grand slam.

Saturday's loss itself showed exactly how far the Bruins have come and how talented they are. After a virtuosic complete-game win earlier in the day, Bergerson started and held Linfield to two runs over three and one-third innings. In a symbolically profound sense, Sorensen completed the second half of the game with similar deft, also restricting the explosive Wildcat offense to two runs over the game's last three-odd innings.

The game remained scoreless through three, neither team threatening, until Linfield found an opportunity in the fourth, turning three hits – including Cheyenne Fletcher's homer – into two runs. In the fifth, Sorensen held Linfield hitless, but the Wildcats cobbled together two errors, a sacrifice, and a walk into two more runs.

The Bruins never counted themselves out, though. In the sixth, Anderson led off by slicing a double into the gap, and Woods' single into right put runners on second and third with no outs. Veatch legged out an infield single to load the bases, and Becca Olsen's groundout plated the Bruins' first run. Julia Apodaca then slashed a double to score two more, and the Bruins were in striking range.

In the seventh, trailing by a run, the Bruins loaded the bases with one out, but an especially impressive job by reliever Brooke Chapman held the game, and the championship, for Linfield.

Still, there is joy in Newberg, and rightfully so. The Bruins' season not only is a victory itself, but the possibilities it suggests for the next few years ought to get any fan excited. Bigger things are to come. The Bruins will wait and find out if they will receive an At-Large bid to the NCAA Tournament.