Fri, Mar 14 - Sat, Mar 15
Game Time...Northwestern College will play in the David Filmore Memorial Softball Tournament, hosted by Evangel University in Springfield, Mo. The Red Raiders will play three games on Friday, March 14, beginning with Evangel (Mo.) at 10am. Games against Cardinal Stritch and Oklahoma City will follow and then the Red Raiders will play on Saturday against opponents to be determined. Check out the Evangel Softball website at the following link:
All-Time...This will be the first ever match-ups played against both Cardinal Stritch and Oklahoma City and the Red Raiders are 1-1 all-time against Evangel, last playing the Crusaders in 2006.
About Evangel...The Crusaders have won five straight games and enter the weekend with a 10-3 overall record. They have wins over Centenary, Northwood (Texas)(2) and a sweep over Bacone (Okla.) last time out during their current streak.
Evangel finished fourth in the in the Heart of America Athletic Conference last year with an 11-7 record, 29-13 overall. Head Coach Jerry Breaux, who took over the program in 1994, has over 880 wins in his career and has guided his teams to 20 or more wins 17 times. He returns six starters and eight letterwinners off last year's team.
The Crusaders are hitting .359 as a team and average over seven runs per game. Brittany Arnold leads the team with a .487 batting average and has two home runs with 16 RBIs. Megan Washam is hitting .438 with a home run and 15 RBIs while Cassidy Gillihan has 10 runs scored and seven stolen bases to go with a .414 average.
Evangel's pitching staff sports a 2.24 ERA and has 47 strikeouts in over 80 innings. Michaela Tolliver leads team with a 4-1 record and 1.11 ERA in a team-high 31.2 innings.
About Cardinal Stritch...The Wolves are off to a 2-6 start this season, winning their last game against Viterbo (10-1). They own another win over Viterbo and have losses to Mount Mercy (2), William Penn (2) and Waldorf (2).
CSU finished eighth in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference last year with an 8-12 record, 25-30 overall.
The Wolves have scored 26 runs this season and are hitting .237 as a team. Gabi Palacios is the top hitter, coming with a .300 batting average. Olivia Wenzel is hitting .200, as is Katie Herberg.
CSU pitchers sport a 2.69 ERA and teams are hitting .256 against them. Tori Burke is the top pitcher with an 0-2 record and a 1.62 ERA.
About Oklahoma City...The Stars opened the season ranked third in the NAIA preseason poll and are an impressive 20-1 this season. They have won 16 straight games since losing to Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) on Feb. 15. Most recently, OCU swept SAGU (Texas) in a doubleheader.
Long-time head coach Phil McSpadden, in his 27th season with the Stars, has won eight national titles, the most of any NAIA program. He guided OCU to the national championship last season and finished with a 51-15 overall record.
The Stars boast the top offense in the NAIA, hitting .336 and averaging nine runs per game. They have 11 home runs and are 32-of-33 in stolen bases. Kyndra Holasek ranks third in the NAIA with 24 runs scored and has a .431 batting average. Jocelin Diaz is hitting .417 with three home runs and 21 RBIs while Kylee Rounsaville is hitting .347 and ranks second in the NAIA with 36 RBIs.
OCU sports the second best ERA in the NAIA at 0.99, striking out 83 in 106.1 innings pitched. Maria Gomez is 9-0 with a 0.95 ERA and Jamie Rateliff is 3-0 with a 0.63 ERA.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are 7-7 so far this season, beginning the year with a 2-2 mark at the Oklahoma Baptist Invite and most recently going 5-5 during their spring break trip in Tucson, Ariz. They are 1-1 against ranked teams, defeating #23 Friends in the first game of the year and losing to #11 Oklahoma Baptist.
Northwestern has scored 54 runs this season, averaging just under four per game. They are hitting .286 as a team, led by sophomore Clare Ipema with a .419 batting average. Ipema is tied for the team lead with nine runs scored. Freshman Morgan Means is hitting .417 with two home runs and six RBIs in her first season at NWC. Lindsey Remien and Laura Hurley are the other top hitters, carrying a .378 and .372 batting average respectively. Hurley leads the team with 12 RBIs and also has two home runs.
Defensively, the Red Raiders have given up 42 runs (3 per game) and teams are hitting .278 against NWC pitchers. Means (1.38) and Keely Bracelin (1.75) both have 2-2 records while Katie VandeVoort is 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA. The Red Raider pitching staff has recorded 70 strikeouts in 93 innings pitched against just 30 walks.
Up Next...The Red Raiders are scheduled to host Bellevue on Tuesday, March 11 for its home opener.
# 20 | First Base
Junior from Canton, S.D.
# 4 | Centerfield
Junior from Merrillville, Ind.
# 13 | Pitcher/First Base
Sophomore from Council Bluffs, Iowa