Daily Archives: May 8, 2013
The softball team had 12 members receive conference honors for this season.
Senior third baseman Karleigh Prestianni received Northwest Conference Player of the Year and junior Karina Paavola was selected as NWC
Pitcher of the Year. They also received first team honors. This is Prestianni’s fourth time being honored as first team.
Paavola was selected three times this season as NWC Pitcher of the Week
Juniors second baseman Ashley Garcia, pitcher Shelby VandeBergh, sophomores outfielders Erin Carson, Grace Middelstadt and utility Lisa Yamamoto were also selected to join Prestianni and Paavola on first team.
This is the second first team honors for Garcia. For Carson, this is her first year starting and being selected for the all-star team.
Sophomores catcher Mckenna Spieth and pitcher Montana McNealy received second team honors.
Honorable mentions went to juniors shortstop Katy Brosig and first baseman Haylie Watson and senior outfielder Megan Wallo.
This is the second mention for Brosig. Watson received second team honors in 2012.
Head coach Jackson Vaughan was selected NWC Coach of the Year for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons.
VandeBergh was also selected to be on the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District 8 Softball Team.
The finance and business major has a 3.86 cumulative grade point average.
Ivanna Tucker/Sports editor
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Dirt or polyurethane, the surface doesn’t matter for the Wildcats’ distance runner senior Emily Zegar.
Prior to her senior spring semester, Zegar had solely been a cross country runner for the Wildcats.
Improving each year, Zegar qualified for the district meet in the fall of 2012, where the Wildcats placed fourth in the eight-team meet. Zegar finished 54th overall, with a time of 24:49.
“Our women’s team just didn’t pull it together as well as we could have,” Zegar said.
With her success in cross country in the fall, Zegar attempted something she had not done since her days at Sprague High School. She started running track.
“There are differences between the two,” Zegar said. “In cross country you run a set distance. In track, however, there are multiple races to compete in.”
“[A] huge difference between the two, one that I didn’t think I would like, is that in track you know exactly how fast you’re going every lap. You know if you’re speeding up or slowing down and you can compare each week’s race with the past week’s. In cross country, however, every race is different because the terrain and courses are all unique from one another.”
Running the “dead dog” workouts and finishing the optional two miles at the end, the team drives out early in the morning in vans to run up hills of
“I was so relieved to reach the yellow gate where some of my teammates were cheering me on to finish—it was probably one of the best running highs ever,” Zegar said.
Carrying over her success from the fall, Zegar was able to qualify for the Northwest Conference Championships in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races.
Zegar saved her best performance for last in the 10,000-meter. The senior ran the race in 41:31.31, setting a new personal record and finishing 17th.
Zegar also set a personal record earlier in the 2013 track season in the 5,000-meter, running a 18:58, breaking her 20-minute goal.
“This year was my break through year. I really discovered how to tap into what drives me as a runner, and grew a lot stronger as an athlete,” Zegar said.
Concluding her athletic career at Linfield, Zegar has a lot to reminisce about.
“I have truly loved being able to be a part of the distance team at Linfield. I’ve created life-long friendships with such hardworking people who I can share the deep bond of running with, Zegar said.
“It has been a lot of hard work and required a lot of commitment, not to mention taxing on my body, but it has definitely been one of the best decisions I have made at Linfield.”
Chris Haddeland/Senior reporter
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Are you having trouble focusing lately?
The weather is lovely, classwork is piling up and you need to squeeze as much fun out of what time is left with your friends.
Unfortunately, Linfield students, our baseball and softball teams are not going to help you focus. Both teams begin regionals in the next week and a half—softball on May 9 and baseball on May 15—and you will not want to look away.
How come? Well, Linfield has two amazing programs. Linfield baseball is number one in the country, while Linfield softball is number six in the country.
Baseball is looking to reach the NCAA tournament, and softball is looking to return to the Division III championship game for the fourth year in a row.
That’s right, the fourth year in a row. This has only happened once in the 31-year history of Division III softball when The College of New Jersey reached the championship game four times from 1982-85. Linfield students, we could possibly witness history being made.
Two of the best pitchers in the country—juniors Karina Paavola (22-2, 1.81 ERA) and Shelby VandeBergh (12-3, 2.12 ERA)—anchor the rotation, while the lineup was by far the best in the NWC, with a slash line of .361/.425/.564. Seniors Karleigh Prestianni, Rachelle Ridout and Megan Wallo could amazingly advance to the finals in every single year of their career. The softball team—and the rest of the Division III softball teams—discovers their fate with the announcement of Regional brackets today.
As for baseball, the team narrowly missed advancing to the NCAA tournament in 2011. The sting still remains for the players who were a part of the team.
“It’s nice to see that all of the hard work…paid off. What would mean more…is making a run at a championship and bringing back some hardware from Texas,” senior Tim Wilson said.
But the baseball team has a good chance to break through the regional barrier this year. With three of the best pitchers on the West Coast—sophomores Chris Haddeland and Aaron Thomassen and junior Zach Brandon—the pitching staff is excellent. Wilson and juniors Jake Wylie, Kramer Lindell and Nick Fisher have raked all year with cartoon-like OPS numbers of 1.057, 1.055, 1.134 and 1.076. Plus, excellent senior leadership and solid play have come from Nate McClellan, Jordan Harlow and Kyle Chamberlain.
Linfield students have been spoiled all year with fantastic baseball and softball. Now, when everyone is busy and trying to remain focused, the teams are rounding third and heading into the home stretch.
Good luck with focusing on everything. These two teams will make it difficult to look away.
Tyler Bradley/Sports columnist
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His baseball career began in kindergarten when his parents tossed wiffle balls to him, swinging a large plastic bat that was as tall as he was.
Sophomore Aaron Thomassen now sports #42 from the pitcher’s mound for the Linfield baseball team. At a young age, his father told him he could be a good ballplayer if he committed himself and put extra effort in to improve his game.
“Baseball is very different because it is a game where failure occurs more often than success,” Thomassen said. “The game forces me to deal with not always getting my way and has taught me leadership on and off the field. I know my actions can affect others so I’ve learned to tame some of my emotions.”
Thomassen enjoys Linfield baseball because it is a collective effort to succeed. He says baseball does not rely on one person to get the win, and it is a game that is usually won by multiple players.
“At Linfield, baseball is all about the team,” he said. “We know we have talent from the returning players, but we have witnessed that talent does not always win games. We have strong leadership from the upperclassmen and underclassmen who want to compete for positions. The team chemistry this year is unlike any other team I’ve played for. We compete with one another while still having fun, and we all expect to win.”
As a pitcher, Thomassen feels he can control the game and help his team succeed.
“Baseball is a game of momentum,” he said. “If I can control the other team’s momentum, it gives my team a better shot of winning. I’m a pretty high energy guy when I’m pitching, so if I get out of a tough situation, I generally won’t hold back my excitement.”
Thomassen says success never gets old, and he enjoys sharing the team’s accomplishments with his supportive family and friends.
“I’m looking forward to a couple more dog-piles, hopefully,” he said. “Surprisingly, they never get old.”
Aside from his teammates, Thomassen shares his baseball success with friends and family. He shares a unique bond with his grandmother, Joelle, who pays close attention to the team’s stats and conference standings.
This summer he will play baseball for the Fort Collins Foxes in Fort Collins, Colo., in preparation for next season.
“I enjoy playing baseball because their is a feeling unlike any other feeling when you succeed in sports,” Thomassen said. “For me, the sport is baseball, and I have always cherished succeeding with my teammates. Nothing gives me the drive to succeed as much as baseball does.”
Sarah Mason/Features editor
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In hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, the track and field team competed at the Oregon Twilight and Pacific Twilight on May 3 and 4.
At the Oregon Twilight Meet, sophomore Halsie Peek finished fourth in the first section of the 100-meter with 12.71 seconds.
“Being that it was potentially my last meet, my main goal was to just go out and enjoy my last time racing,” Peek said. “I didn’t run any PR’s or do anything too exciting so it was just a normal day on the track, but the atmosphere of the University of Oregon is something to be valued.”
Senior Melany Crocker finished in seventh in the second section with 12.77 seconds. Crocker also finished seventh in the 200-meter with 26.29 seconds.
Junior Anna LeBeaume got ninth in the hammer throw, throwing 48.53 meters.
Senior Lester Maxwell finished in ninth as well in the 800-meter with a minute, 55.12 seconds.
At the Pacific Twilight Meet, senior Jill Boroughs finished ninth in the 5,000-meter run, with 19 minutes, 31.47 seconds.
Freshman Morgunn Ewing finished fifth in javelin. Ewing threw 54.25 meters.
The Wildcats will next compete at the George Fox Final Qualifier on May 17. This will be their last opportunity to qualify for the national championships.
Ivanna Tucker/Sports editor
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