Clan rolls over conference opponents
What a start to the season for Clan Softball! Following a 4–9 record heading into the season, the Clan have stepped up their game and have been dominating the conference in the first week of play.
Starting off the season with a 7–1 win at home over Montana State University Billings, showed what’s in store this season and pushed all skepticism aside for the Clan.
Lauren Mew, who lead the offense in game one, expressed her relief. “We came off a tough weekend so it was amazing for the team to get a result like that in game one.” Mew went three for four, two runs batted in and a run scored, being a key part of the win.
Game two was suspended during play due to weather conditions and a date for completion for the remainder of the game will be announced soon.
The most impressive double header so far in the young season was against the Central Washington Wildcats. What started out as a close encounter in the first three innings, turned into a “Clan domination” over their guests.
Cara Lukawesky pitched for a complete game shutout in game one, as Kaitlyn Cameron went two for four and a run batted in as Lauren Mew continued her impressive performance from the last game, going onefor-three with a single, two RBIs and a run scored. In game two, building on their 6–0 sweep in game one, the Clan got the win in a game that was shortened by the mercy rule.
Kelsie Hawkins pitched all five innings, allowing only two hits and a run. Cameron notched three RBIs, while Mew and Lauren Kolanko also had one each, before Mackenzie Bender finished the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, notching three RBIs with a double, giving the Clan a well deserved 9–1 win.
“It was a great feeling to get that hit,” said Bender and most of the Clan faithful in the stands would agree. Overall, the great weather, enthusiastic fans and solid performance of the Clan, gave the team a confidence boosting 3–0 record heading into the next game.
With less than 24 hours to recharge their energy, the Clan took on the Northwest Nazarene Crusaders in their third day at the Beedie Softball pitch. While again pitching a complete first game, Lukawesky allowed for only two hits and one run. Alex Baylak had two RBIs and a home run, while the other RBI came through Carly Lepoutre for a 3–1 win by the Clan.
In game two, pitching a complete shutout by Kelsie Hawkins, was key to the Clan’s 4–0 win. Nicole Ratel went two for two while Kaitlyn Cameron went two for three with an RBI. A big part of this season’s good run by the Clan, Cameron stays humble. “I’m just focused on getting better everyday,” which is exactly what Coach Renney would want to hear.
Speaking exclusively to The Peak, Renney explained the goals and aims of the team. “We’re not shooting for number one, we’re not shooting for number two in our conference. We’re shooting for one of four.
“Right from day one of our practices in fall, we said: Within our conference of seven teams, we know the top four teams make the playoffs.” He paused before continuing, ”We want to be one of those four teams.”
When asked about the recent success of the team, he pointed out, “We’re not where we need to be, we’re not where we want to be. We have lots of games and lots of practices left.” It might be a hint for big things to come, but again, Renney is quick to calm those down. “We’ve had a good start, but it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Wrapping up a fantastic week of action and a 100 per cent start to the season for the Clan (5–0), was the announcement that Clan’s Lukawesky, last season’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) pitcher of the year, was named Red Lion Pitcher of the week in the GNAC.
The Clan faces the Western Washington Vikings at home before their first away matchups at Western Oregon University and Saint Martins University, respectively.