Daily Archives: March 1, 2013

Baseball team has opportunity to finish high in final standings

This Linfield baseball team is going to contend for the Northwest Conference title this year. In fact, they look like they can win it.

Picked to finish third in the NWC this year by the coaches, it’s obvious that their ceiling is much higher than third place if you watch the team.

Except you wouldn’t have known this if you judged them by their first game of the season.

When starting a baseball season, winning a game 6-0 is definitely an ideal outcome. If you are on the losing side of the coin, however, the taste in a team’s mouth is sour—not Sour Patch Kids style—and unwelcome.

Unfortunately for the Linfield baseball team, it started the 2013 season on the losing side of the coin down at a tournament in Arizona. La Verne College was the team who scored six runs. Linfield stranded 12 men on base including five men on third.

This was definitely not the way to start the season, especially considering the disappointing end to 2012. Last year’s team was ranked as high as number two in the country, but fell out of the rankings completely later in the season and finished a pedestrian fourth place in the NWC.

Luckily, Linfield righted the ship in a huge way by eviscerating Redlands University, 15-3. The team hasn’t looked back since then and has dominated in every facet of the game.

In the six games following Redlands, the pitching staff has fired three shutouts and given up a total of three earned runs. That’s a team Earned Run Average (ERA) of .5 with a strikeout per nine-inning rate of 7.32 and a walks per nine-inning rate of 1.97. That’s incredible.

The staff is due for some ERA regression—.5 is not sustainable—but a six game stretch of dominance like that with a strikeout to walk ratio of 3.71/1 means the NWC should be afraid: the pitching staff is a force to be reckoned with.
Good pitching goes hand-in-hand with good defense, and during this weekend, the defense only made two errors and both occurred in the same game. A play that was indicative of the stellar defense by the team was a diving snag by senior third baseman Michael Hopp on Feb. 24 against Oregon Institute of Technology.

The hitting has been outstanding. Even by including the La Verne game, the team has a slash line of .338/.404/.463 and the team was hitting .462 with runners in scoring position and less than two outs entering the game against Oregon Tech on Sunday.

“The way last season ended made us all work harder in the offseason…we are definitely using the disappointment as motivation and we want to be the best,” junior Jake Wiley said. “The team is playing really well right now…the chemistry we have together is amazing.”

Wylie himself launched an absolute moonshot over the left field fence in the fourth inning on Sunday, easily traveling more than 400 feet.

If this seven-game stretch is indicative of the potential of this team, they can travel like Wylie’s moonshot. It seems as if La Verne and last season are in the rear view, and the coaches probably made a mistake when putting Linfield in third place.

Tyler Bradley
Sports columnist

Tyler Bradley can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Wildcats end season with win against the Bearcats

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The Wildcats women’s basketball team wrapped up the 2012-13 season with a win over Northwest Conference foe Willamette University on Feb. 19 at the Ted Wilson Gymnasium.

Prior to the game, Linfield senior Nicole Barton was honored as the Wildcats’ lone senior on senior night.

The scoring started low for both teams, with only one basket scored in the first three minutes by Wildcats’ sophomore Katelyn Henson. At the 17-minute mark, the ’Cats started their run, extending their two-point lead to five points with 14 minutes left.

Sophomore guard Alex Christenson looks for a teammate to pass the ball to during the game against Willamette. The Wildcats won 66-45. Christenson averaged 2.9 points per game and 39 assists.

“Jumping out to an early lead is always a good indicator of how the overall game will go,” Henson said. “We set the tempo and were able to keep control of the outcome.”

The trend continued for the remainder of the first half, as the Wildcats left to the locker room with a 14-point lead, 34-20. The ’Cats scoring was helped out largely by the bench, who contributed 11 points. The Wildcats out-shot the Bearcats 47-21 percent.

With a healthy lead, the Wildcats took control of the court in the second half and continued with their success. Aided by a 41 field goal percentage in the half, the ’Cats showed their dominance, taking the game by a final score of 66-45.

Junior Kaely Maltman led the Wildcats in scoring with 15 points and shooting six of seven from the field. Henson and Maltman each added seven additional rebounds.

“I felt like collectively, as a team, we were even across the scoreboard,” Henson said. “I also thought that we played great defense and didn’t let them get many second chance shots.”

This was the third win of the season for the Wildcats, who finished with a final record of 3-19.

“Going out on a win was the perfect way to wrap up a season like this,” Henson said. “Although our record doesn’t show it, we have grown immensely over the past few months as a team, and I have no doubt that we will continue to improve as the 2013-14 season rolls in.”

Chris Haddeland
Senior reporter

Chris Haddeland can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Photo by Ivanna Tucker/Sports editor

’Cats complete season with 4-21 record

The men’s basketball team completed a rough season with a 4-21 overall record.

Seniors Dakotah Pine and Zach Meikle and sophomore Brandon Harris played their last career game against Whitman College on Feb. 16, losing 83-58. The three were honored at a ceremony prior to the game.

Throughout the game, the Wildcats struggled to keep up with the Missionaries. In the first two minutes, the Missionaries already had eight points on the board. The Wildcats continued to have turnovers, 11 in the first eight minutes of play.

Throughout the remainder of the game the Wildcats could not close the gap on the scoreboard.

Meikle had his season best with 18 points and Harris contributed with 10 to finish off his career.

The Wildcats struggled shooting wise during their game against Whitworth University, losing 86-53 and allowing the Pirates to claim their fourth straight conference title. Harris and junior Cory Hendryx were the Wildcats’ top scorers.

Senior guard Dakotah Pine tries to pass opponent during his last career game against Whitman on Feb. 16, losing 83-58. Pine averaged 1.2 points per game and 22 assists in the season. He was honored along with two other Wildcats at the pre-game ceremony.

Eight minutes into the game, the Pirates had the lead 13-0. Then Harris put on two points for the ‘Cats followed by sophomore Chris Dirks’ free throw and a three- pointer by junior Jake Hillyer.

With a 33.3 shooting percentage, the Wildcats could not keep up with the Pirates and allowed them to secure the lead. Throughout the end of the game, the Wildcats did not catch up with the Pirates, giving them the win.

Sophomore Tim Logan shined on the court during the Puget Sound University game Feb. 9, scoring 13 points and helping the Wildcats win 77-66.

The Wildcats continued to use substitutions throughout the first 10 minutes of the game, giving 10 different players time on the court.

During the remainder of the game, the Wildcats continued to fight against the Loggers and closed in the win, with various players adding to the scoreboard.

Sophomore Andrew Batiuk received Northwest Conference Honorable member for the second year. Batiuk has sat out the last seven games of the season due to injury. The sophomore is the top scorer and rebounder in the league.
Losing only three members, the men’s team will continue to build a strong line up.

“Our team had really high hopes coming into the season, and we started off the season with some really close loses, which is unfortunate,” Harris said. “But the great thing about our team was that no matter what happened, we never stopped competing and we fought every game.”

Ivanna Tucker
Sports editor

Photo by Ivanna Tucker can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Softball fumbles in first preseason games

Sophomore catcher McKenna Spieth receives a pitch during the game against Whitworth University on Feb. 24. Spieth had four hits and caught one runner stealing during the course of the weekend. The Wildcats split a four-game series against Whitworth. The ’Cats next games are at home against Pacific University at noon March 2.

Tyson Takeuchi/Senior photographer
Sophomore catcher McKenna Spieth receives a pitch during the game against Whitworth University on Feb. 24. Spieth had four hits and caught one runner stealing during the course of the weekend. The Wildcats split a four-game series against Whitworth. The ’Cats next games are at home against Pacific University at noon March 2. Tyson Takeuchi/Senior photographer

Sophomore catcher McKenna Spieth receives a pitch during the game against Whitworth University on Feb. 24. Spieth had four hits and caught one runner stealing during the course of the weekend. The Wildcats split a four-game series against Whitworth. The ’Cats next games are at home against Pacific University at noon March 2.
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior photographer

The Wildcats’ softball season started Feb. 23 and 24, splitting a four game series against the Whitworth University Pirates.

The second double header of the series took place Feb. 24.

The first game started out well for the Wildcats. After a scoreless top of the first, the ’Cats went to work.

After two outs, senior all-American third baseman, Karleigh Prestianni walked. Sophomore designated player Lisa Yamamoto followed with a walk, which brought up junior shortstop Katy Brosig. Brosig doubled driving in Prestianni, putting Catball ahead of the Pirates 1-0.

The ’Cats would not look back, as they scored three more runs in the third. After Whitworth scored three runs at top of the fourth, the Wildcats responded with 11 runs in the bottom half of the inning, sealing the game, which was ended after five innings of play.

The second game of the day was a nail biter. After falling behind 7-1 through five and a half innings, the ’Cats made their comeback. With four singles, a hit batter and a double from Brosig, the ’Cats were able to cut the lead down to a one-run ball game 7-6.

After a scoreless top of the seventh, Linfield had one last opportunity to tie the Pirates. With two outs, sophomore outfielder Chelan Guischer doubled to centerfield. With Guischer in scoring position, sophomore outfielder Grace Middelstadt grounded out to third, ending the game in a 6-7 loss.

The previous day produced two extra inning thrillers. In the first game, Whitworth jumped out to an early 4-1 lead before the Wildcats responded with two in the bottom of the third.

Whitworth tacked on one run in the top of the fifth, but Catball came right back with two in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 5-5.

In the top of the seventh, the ’Cats brought in junior pitcher Shelby VandeBerg to close. With two outs and two on, an error by junior first baseman Haylie Watson allowed one run to score, giving the Pirates a lead 6-5.

Catball would not fold, though. In the bottom half of the inning, with two outs, the Whitworth first baseman made an error on a ball hit by senior outfielder Megan Wallo. The error allowed sophomore catcher McKenna Spieth to score, and tie the game 6-6.

The eighth and top of the ninth innings went by without any scoring, but in the bottom of the ninth, Yamamoto ended the game in one swing, blasting a ball over the centerfield fence, ending the game 7-6.

The final game Feb. 23 was a 15-inning battle that featured nine pitchers and 32 hits.

With the game knotted up at six a piece in the top of the 15th, Whitworth center fielder Caylan Haehl singled. A passed ball by Spieth and a sacrifice bunt by Whitworth catcher Sacha Clow left Haehl on third with one out. Left fielder Riley Fritz flew out to left field, scoring Haehl.

The Wildcats were unable to get a runner on base in the bottom of the 15th, ending the game 7-6 in favor of Whitworth.
Prestianni hit 6-13 on the weekend with one home run, two doubles and three runs batted in. VandeBerg led the way for the pitching staff with 14 and a third innings pitched, allowing nine earned runs on 18 hits and 12 strikeouts.

“I think this weekend showed that we are going to have to fight for every win this season,” VandeBerg said. “As we get ready for next weekend, we just need to learn from our mistakes and keep making adjustments.”

The ’Cats play two games against the Pacific University Boxers on March 2, before heading up to Portland to face off against the Lewis & Clark University Pioneers on March 3.

Chris Haddeland
Senior reporter

Chris Haddeland can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com

Sophomore catcher McKenna Spieth receives a pitch during the game against Whitworth University on Feb. 24. Spieth had four hits and caught one runner stealing during the course of the weekend. The Wildcats split a four-game series against Whitworth. The ’Cats next games are at home against Pacific University at noon March 2.

Tyson Takeuchi/Senior photographer

Men’s tennis struggles to find its footing

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The men’s tennis team had a tough start to its season with a record of 0-4.

The season started on the road for the Wildcats when they played against Pacific Lutheran University on Feb. 15. Roos managed to gain the only match win in singles against the Lutes.

“Every match we play is going to be a challenge, the first three matches included,” senior Zach Lyons said. “Every team in this conference has players that have been working just as hard as we have toward similar goals and want to win just as bad as we do. No team is going to make anything easy for us.”

Senior Zach Lyons sets up to serve the ball during a doubles match against Whitman College on Feb. 22 at home.

The first home match of the season was against Lewis & Clark University on Feb. 16, and while it ended in defeat, the Wildcats earned a match win in singles and doubles. Lyons and Roos outscored the Pioneers 9-7 during their match, and freshman Alex Mangan won both his sets 6-4, winning the match.

Despite the wins, the Wildcats ended the match with a score of 7-2, with the Pioneers taking the win.
The closest match was between doubles team, Lyons and sophomore Micah Roos, who nearly missed the win against the Bruins, 8-6.

Linfield’s second home match Feb. 22 against Whitman College resulted in another loss, 9-0.
Facing off with George Fox University on Feb. 24, the Wildcats were cut down. With no sets won, they were defeated 9-0.

While Linfield has started the season off rough, the team sees improvements made since the fall season.

“Our entire team has been working to become better players, and I think we have,” Lyons said. “We made the choice to put in the time and effort necessary to make the most out of our practice time, and it has made a huge difference. The challenge now will be to maintain our focus and keep on track toward our goals.”

Together the team will be working on encouraging each other to do their best.

“The overarching goal for the spring season is to push ourselves and each other to reach our full potential individually and as a team,” Lyons said. “This means that we must play hard, play smart, play fair and play with passion. It also means that we must work together as a team and overcome obstacles together.”

The Wildcats’ next match will be against Pacific University at 4 p.m. on March 1 at home. The men’s tennis team had a tough start to its season with a record of 0-4.

The season started on the road for the Wildcats when they played against Pacific Lutheran University on Feb. 15. Roos managed to gain the only match win in singles against the Lutes.

“Every match we play is going to be a challenge, the first three matches included,” senior Zach Lyons said. “Every team in this conference has players that have been working just as hard as we have toward similar goals and want to win just as bad as we do. No team is going to make anything easy for us.”

The first home match of the season was against Lewis & Clark University on Feb. 16, and while it ended in defeat, the Wildcats earned a match win in singles and doubles. Lyons and Roos outscored the Pioneers 9-7 during their match, and freshman Alex Mangan won both his sets 6-4, winning the match.

Despite the wins, the Wildcats ended the match with a score of 7-2, with the Pioneers taking the win.
The closest match was between doubles team, Lyons and sophomore Micah Roos, who nearly missed the win against the Bruins, 8-6.

Linfield’s second home match Feb. 22 against Whitman College resulted in another loss, 9-0.
Facing off with George Fox University on Feb. 24, the Wildcats were cut down. With no sets won, they were defeated 9-0.

While Linfield has started the season off rough, the team sees improvements made since the fall season.

“Our entire team has been working to become better players, and I think we have,” Lyons said. “We made the choice to put in the time and effort necessary to make the most out of our practice time, and it has made a huge difference. The challenge now will be to maintain our focus and keep on track toward our goals.”

Together the team will be working on encouraging each other to do their best.

“The overarching goal for the spring season is to push ourselves and each other to reach our full potential individually and as a team,” Lyons said. “This means that we must play hard, play smart, play fair and play with passion. It also means that we must work together as a team and overcome obstacles together.”

The Wildcats’ next match will be against Pacific University at 4 p.m. on March 1 at home.

Kaylyn Peterson
Copy Chief

Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewcopy@gmail.com

Photo by Kaylyn Peterson/Copy chief