Fresh from being pivotal figures in helping Linfield secure its 10th consecutive berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs, Linfield softball players Ashley Garcia (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.) and Karina Paavola (Jr., Kelso, Wash.) have been named Northwest Conference Student-Athlete Position Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively.
The recognition was announced Tuesday by the conference office following a vote of the league’s sports information directors.
Paavola received her third NWC Pitcher of the Week honor this spring, picking up four wins during the week and running her season record to 22-2. She totaled 21 strikeouts against eight walks in 18.1 innings and moved into second place on Linfield’s career strikeouts ladder. Her 22 victories rank third among Division III pitchers.
Garcia earned her first NWC weekly honor of the season after hitting a team-high .600 (9-for-15) with three extra-base hits, four RBI and a perfect fielding percentage in five games last week, including two weather-delayed victories over rival Pacific Lutheran. The junior second baseman went 3 for 3 at the plate against PLU in the championship game of the NWC Tournament.
Seventh-ranked Linfield wrapped up the regular season with a pair of victories over PLU, then added three wins to claim the NWC Tournament championship, defeating Pacific 3-2, Whitworth 12-0 in five innings, and Pacific Lutheran 3-2.
The Wildcats (36-6) await the May 6 announcement to learn which of eight NCAA regional playoff sites they will be headed. The full field will be presented on the annual Selection Show on NCAA.com that morning at 7 a.m.
Ashley Garcia, Karina Paavola
Fuel 'Cats to NWC Tourney sweep
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128