Hey ’Cats. With less than two weeks remaining before finals, it’s time to slam on the gas and never look back until summer vacation is ours at last. Make sure to take breaks while studying, folks, for as the saying goes: all work and no play makes Jack want to stab his study buddies with a sharp pencil…something like that. Anyway, when you do decide to take a chill pill to de-stress for a bit there’s still going to be plenty of sports action around Linfield and beyond to keep you busy.
Early Thursday morning, our top-ranked softball team had its first matchup at the NCAA Division III softball playoffs at Central College in Iowa. Their opponent was Anderson College, the surprise champion of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference who had to claw its way through 12 innings of hard play in the HCAC title game just to make it to the playoffs. But the Ravens of Anderson were no match for our ’Cats, and led by the ace pitching of senior stud Claire Velaski, Linfield romped to a 10-0 shutout. Velaski only allowed a single hit in six innings while three Linfield sluggers (juniors Emilee Lepp, Stacy Doucette and Jaydee Baxter) nailed homers, extending the team’s own NCAA single-season home run record to 86.
Some days before the game, star Anderson pitcher Monica Crowe made a bit of an error that surely only fired up the ’Cats future when she went on record to the Herald Bulletin.
“I think it will feel good after we beat them. This is like when we got to Florida and we don’t know the other teams but they don’t know us. I think this is to our advantage,” Crowe said.
Oops. While Crowe’s impressive season (a 1.84 ERA with 130 strikeouts in 112 innings) is certainly something that deserves accolades, perhaps somebody should have told her how Catball plays when they have extra motivation.
In other news, the women’s tennis team went off to the NCAA D-III playoff regional in Claremont, Calif., to face the University of Texas-Tyler in first-round action.
They triumphed in dramatic fashion in a 5-4 victory, including impressive wins by Abby Olbrich (1-6, 6-4, 6-4) and Sarah Click (7-5, 6-4). This is the second time Linfield has advanced to the second round in the last four years. Linfield faces the University of Pomona-Pitzer at 10 a.m. on May 13.
Look for more playoff updates as they come online at www.linfield.edu/sports and on The Linfield Review’s sports blog. Go ’Cats!
Chris Forrer/For the Review
Chris Forrer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.