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It was an exciting weekend for the Linfield Wildcats as they won their first home conference series against the Willamette Bearcats 2-1. As Sunday’s match was pushed up to Friday, March 7, there was no doubt that the ’Cats were ready for a showdown.
The Wildcats won the first game of the series defeating Willamette 5-2 with runs in the first, second, fourth, and eighth inning. In the first inning, senior outfielders Kramer Lindell and Nick Fischer drove in the first two runs putting the ’Cats up 2-0. The second inning looked no different with third baseman, sophomore Eric Lawson earning an RBI on a sacrifice fly putting the Wildcats up 3-0. Not long after, the ’Cats came through again in the fourth inning dominating the bases as junior shortstop Corey Vandomelen ripped a single driving in junior catcher Chance Laboda and giving Linfield a 4-0 lead. The final run came in the bottom of the eighth inning from Lindell’s hit and a Bearcats defensive error. However, it was not only the ’Cats offensive power keeping them on top. According to Lawson, the ‘Cats rely on the consistency of the pitching and defense. “We turned many crucial double plays this weekend and our pitching is the most consistent strength we have.” This was clear as the defense pushed to the end alongside junior pitcher Chris Haddeland giving up only two runs for the game.
Nonetheless, the ’Cats still had a job to complete. On March 8, the Wildcats took the mound for a double header to complete the series against the Bearcats.
In the second game of the series, the Wildcats took a hard loss to the Bearcats 7-3 with both teams battling neck and neck for a lead. In the fourth inning, a ’Cats pitching error gave Willamette their first run putting them up 1-0. Linfield responded in the seventh inning with a run scored by pinch hitter sophomore Finn McMichael and an RBI from VanDomelen. The Bearcats scored three more runs in the top of the seventh and Linfield responded with two in the bottom of the seventh. Only one run down, Linfield was three outs away from making a comeback that would win them the game. However, it was evident the Bearcats had the hot hand as they drove in three more runs in the top of the ninth giving Linfield their first conference season loss.
“We did pretty good. We just had a few bad innings. We need to execute better on our plays,” sophomore Kekoa Kaulukukui said.
“Our team can improve on situational hitting and base running. We did not execute like we know we can, and that seemed to be a common theme throughout the weekend,” Lawson said.
Excitingly, this loss seemed meaningless to the Wildcats as they came back to win the series with a 5-2 victory over the Bearcats. Linfield dominated the final match of the series with thirteen hits in comparison to Willamette’s four. The ’Cats caught on fire in the bottom of the second inning with four back-to-back singles with RBI credited to Laboda. Shortly after, a Bearcats’ error drove in Junior left fielder Jo Carroll putting the Wildcats up 2-0. Then, Kaulukukui drove in another run and VanDomelen’s single drove in Laboda to end the inning 4-0, ’Cats. Junior pitcher Aaron Thomassen also showed his skills on the mound giving up no runs in the first five innings. “Our pitchers threw well. They were getting outs” stated Kaulukukui. The last Wildcat score came from a Bearcat defensive error and Linfield would see a small response from Willamette with two runs scored in the top of the sixth. However, the ’Cats defense remained solid and the Bearcats would not see home plate again.
The Wildcats are dominating the conference with a record of 5-1. Their next appearance is in Walla Walla, Wash., against the Whitman Missionaries. With their performance on the mound this weekend, there is no doubt that the ’Cats season looks promising. According to Lawson, the team has a positive outlook going forward.
“We know we have to work on a few things, but the great thing about this team is that every single guy wants to get better,” Lawson said. “So we are going to take it day by day and make sure each day we are somehow bettering ourselves.”
Only time will tell whether they will repeat their NCAA National Championship.
Casie Gaza/ Senior Sports reporter
Junior Aaron Thomassen pitches towards a Willamette University player during the three round games which the ’Cats won two out of the three.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Bird
Junior Jo Carroll dives back to first base during the three games that the Wildcats played against Willamette University at the home field.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Bird
The undefeated softball team kept up its winning steak this weekend against Pacific Lutheran University and Puget Sound University with back-to-back games.
The Wildcats team defeated the Lutes despite the poor weather conditions on March 2 with final scores of 3-0, 6-1.
Senior pitcher Karina Paavola pitched all seven innings of the first game striking out nine players and never let the Lutes get past second base. The team secured their win in the later innings with single runs to get a score of 3-0.
The ’Cats continued to run past the Lutes during the second game that day. The two teams started off at a stand off with neither one getting a single run in until the sixth inning. Pacific Lutheran got on the board first with a single run before giving the ball back to Linfield. That’s when the Wildcats got six unanswered runs, one right after the other. The Cats then held the Lutes for the final inning, striking them out to a final score of 6-1.
Linfield continued its undefeated streak after winning the two games against Puget Sound University on March 8 with final scores of 9-1, 9-1.
The ’Cats started the first game an explosion of runs in the second inning after no one being on the board yet. Linfield brought in five runs before the end of the inning with the first one being from a hit by senior Haylie Watson. The Loggers finally got on the board with a run in the fourth inning, however once the ’Cats were at bat they got four more runs sealing their win.
Linfield got ready for its final game that would determine if this would be another winning weekend. The Wildcats didn’t wait long to get ahead, getting on the board first with three runs in the first inning. The Loggers got their only run in the fourth inning like the last game and also like the first inning the ‘Cats proceeded to pull even farther ahead with three more runs. Going into the fifth inning the ‘Cats didn’t want to make the game last any longer so they sealed the Loggers fate by getting 3 more runs making the final score, 9-1.
The softball team will play Pacific University at 5 p.m. on March 12 at home.
Stephanie Hofmann/Sports editor
Senior Katy Brosig runs to the next base during one of the games against University of Puget Sound on March 8, which the Wildcats won 9-1.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Bird
Junior Montana McNealy pitches toward a University of Puget Sound player that the Wildcats won 9-1 for both games.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Bird
With the Wildcats’ track and field season in full motion, the team anticipates some thrilling and progressing growth in the next few months to come. George Fox University’s track and field team hosted their very first sporting event, Rich Allen Classic, welcoming Linfield College and Pacific University to their new stadium.
Linfield’s junior Ellie Schmidt finished first in the women’s 100- and 200-meter as well as helped her team finish first in the 4×100-meter relay. The other members on the women’s team are freshman Dallas Edge, sophomore Rachael Gernhart and junior Halsie Peek. The women finished the relay at 50.25.
Alongside Schmidt in the sprints with times at 12.83 and 26.38, Peek placed second in the 100-meter dash at 12.85 and freshman Haley Patishall coming in third in the 200-meter race at 27.57.
In the 4×400 meter relay Patishall, Peek, Gernhart and Schmidt took second at 4:16.65, shedding off over four seconds from February’s Icebreaker time.
Edge placed in the 100-meter hurdles as well, coming in third at 15.55, while freshman Madison Gladding also took third in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:12.95. Coming in third for the men’s 110-meter hurdles Clay Monahan timed in at 18.05 and in fourth in the 400-meter hurdles.
Freshmen Treve’ Ensley, Jake Mihelich, Bryce Evans and Kennedy Johnson represented Linfield in the men’s 4×100-meter relay coming in third with a time of 44.11. In the 4×400-meter relay, sophomores Steven Holland, Tom Steelhammer, and freshmen Zack Knight and Mihelich came in second with a time of 3:35.63.
Mihelich and Ensley both proved notable against their opponents in the 200-meter dash finishing second and third at 22.93 and 23.45. Mihelich also struck first in the 400-meter dash clocking in at 49.70.
Linfield’s very own, Hannah Greider, Katie Skinner and Siena Noe, senior runners in the 5000-meter showcased the women’s teamwork and impressiveness so early on in the season. Greider said her and the other ladies all worked together and strategically took turns leading. Greider finished first with a time of 18:23.82, Skinner in second at 18:28.42, and Noe coming in third at 18:30.95.
“It’s awesome to have such strong teammates that all work together…We have a lot of depth this year,” Greider said in an email. “Despite it being so early on in the season, people are performing really well. The beginning of track season is tough, and a lot of it is just about getting in shape and pushing through some rough workouts, so to see everyone getting great times, distances and heights so early on is excellent.”
In some of the other distance women’s events junior Audrey Lichten pocketed a few wins as well. Lichten finished second in the 800-meter at 2:24.11and grabbed first place in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:54.15. On the men’s side, sophomore Manuel Finley finished the 800-meter in third at 2:06.09.
For the field events, the women continued to see victory. Senior Anna LaBeaume captured first in all her events including shot put, discus and the hammer throw. LaBeaume distance for shot put was 11.80 meters, for discus she threw 36.71 meters and 45.15 for the hammer throw. Courtney Alley came in second for the shot put with a distance of 10.37 meters.
On the men’s side, Scott Anderson placed first in shot put for a distance of 12.20 meters, with Mike Maierhofer coming in second with a distance of 12.19 meters. For men’s discus throw, Lucas Clark came in second and Jake Evans coming in third throwing 38.26 and 37.01 meters. In the hammer throw Nick Fairhart took second throwing 46.71 meters.
On the runway, Senior Kate Shear threw a distance of 38.25 meters earning her first place in javelin. For men’s javelin, Morgunn Ewing threw 53.42 meters earning him second place.
In the sand pits, Kennedy Johnson competed in the long jump, receiving second for jumping 6.61 meters and first place in the triple jump with a distance of 13.22 meters. Gernhart also competed in the triple, taking second on the women’s side after jumping a distance of 10.74 meters. Freshman Eric Igbinoba took second in the triple after jumping 12.75 meters. Dezi Roberts tied for third in the women’s high jump and Holland took second for the men’s high jump.
The grey and cloudy day didn’t stop the Linfield ladies from shining through and capturing first place in the women’s division; while in the men’s division, Linfield took second but only leaving room for growth and personal records.
Freshman Zach Knight competes in the four by four hundred with the rest of his team in which they got second.
Photo courtesy of Amanda Gibbon
Freshman Jasmine Fojas sticks her landing for the Triple Jump which she got third in at the GFU Rich Allen Classic. Fojas was one of the four athletes from Linfield to make the top five.
Photo courtesy of Amanda Gibbon
Double amputee track star Oscar Pistorius is currently on trial for the murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The “Blade Runner” is a double amputee South African sprinter who gained world-wide recognition when he made the jump from competing in the Paralympics to the Summer Olympics in 2012. During the Summer games, Pistorius became the first double-leg amputee to participate as he ran both the 400-meter sprint and 4×400 relay and even won a silver medal for his participation in the South African 4×400 relay. This made Pistorius the first double amputee to win an able-bodied world track medal in history. Pistorius previous accomplishments include six gold medals and two broken records for the 400-meter sprint and 4×100 meter relay during the 2012 Paralympics Summer Games. Although there have been disputes about his prosthetics and how the materials of his prosthetics may give him an unfair advantage over abled-runners, Pistorius was always regarded as an inspiring athlete that was able to beat incredible odds to follow his dreams.
But on Valentine’s Day in 2013 all of that changed. The sports community went into shock when Pistorius was taken into custody on suspicion that he may have murdered his girlfriend. According to CBS news, one of Pistorius’ neighbors “heard a woman scream, followed by moments of silence, then heard gunshots and more screaming” the night Pistorius’ girlfriend was murdered. Pistorius was charged officially in August 2013 with premeditated murder. The court dates were issued for March 3 of this year and are currently on going.
Pistorius is not denying killing Steenkamp, but claims that he believed she was an intruder and meant to implement South Africa’s “right to life” law, making it permissible to use lethal force only when your life is directly threatened. So far, the court hearings have basically consisted of beginning statements and testimonies from witnesses like Pistorius’ neighbors and ex-girlfriend. One of Pistorius’ neighbor described that it was adamant that the screams that she heard on the night of Steenkamp’s death was indeed a woman’s and not a man’s. Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, also spoke against Pistorius as she described him as controlling and very concerned about his own safety.
Another neighbor heard the screams and gunshots and went to Pistorius’ home to check on the residence. He describes being let into the house by one of Pistorius’ security guards and watching Pistorius carrying Steenkamp’s deceased body down the stairs. He describes Pistorius as being very upset and screaming that he thought that Steenkamp was an intruder. The neighbor also made a point to mention Pistorius’ sincerity and the amount of emotional pain the Olympian was in during the night of the murder.
There are a few legal issues associated with the case. South African court hearings do not utilize a jury and instead implement a judge to interpret the case as well as sentencing the defendant. The law also states that for pre-meditated murder the sentencing is a mandatory 25 years in prison. In short, Pistorius either receives the full sentence or walks away a free man. In addition, Pistorius tampered with evidence when he picked up and moved Steenkamp’s body during the night of the murder which could be used against him by the plaintiff.
The case is expected to last another two weeks and so far each side is being heard equally. The next court hearing is scheduled for this week where testimonies will continued to be heard on March 11.
Camille Weber/ Sports columnist
Everything good must eventually come to an end. That was the story of the Linfield golf team this weekend, as they finish sixth of eight on March 8 and fifth of eight on March 9.
Junior Taylor Klopp was again the highlight athlete for the Wildcat golf team, shooting just four over par and finishing fifth individually. Klopp has been consistently a top tier player for Linfield this year, finishing in the top five individually in most of their tournaments.
Not a single player shot even or under par in the tournament, the lowest score being a 73, or two over par, shot by Puget Sound University’s Derek Wilson. Puget sound took the top two individual spots and also ended up winning the match as a team.
Another top-10 finisher for Linfield was senior A.J. Taylor. He finished tied for ninth place, shooting six over par with a 77.
Taylor has averaged about a 77 throughout his career her at Linfield, and has shown steady consistency when he does play. He has been out for the majority of the season due to injury.
Juniors Kyle Hargrave and Kevin Kowasaki have also been steady contributor for Linfield averaging 77.72 and 76.91, respectively. However, Kowaskaki had a rough round in his last match, shooting 12 over with an 83, and Hargrave did not compete.
Drew Mahrt/For the Review