Contact: Bob Guptill
No Clear Cut Favorite In GNAC Pre-Season Coaches Softball Poll
GNAC Coaches Poll
1. Western Oregon (3)
Central Washington (1)
3. Western Washington (2)
Saint Martin’s (1)
5. Simon Fraser
6. Montana State Billings
7. Northwest Nazarene
34-23 (18-6, 1st)
32-20 (16-8, 3rd)
30-14 (17-7, 2nd)
27-22 (15-9, 4th)
4-35 (2-21, 7th)
20-20 (10-13, 5th)
13-34 (5-19, 6th)
WOU lost its top two hurlers – Kelli Demianew and Eryka
Brill – who made 45 starts and combined for 24 wins – but
they do have three players who saw time in the circle
including Jourdan Williams (5-8, Sr., McMinnville, OR) who
made 17 starts two years ago.
Last spring Williams played mostly at third base, but did
make 11 appearances in the circle, including six as starter.
She pitched 45 innings and finished with a 7-1 record and a
(Note: First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 6-5-4-3-2-1
PORTLAND - If the coaches’ pre-season poll is any
indication this spring’s GNAC softball race figures to be a
Two other returning pitchers – Stephanie Morgan (5-4, Jr.,
Pleasant Hill, OR) and Sammi Cadwallader (5-8, So.,
Toledo, OR) – each made nine appearances and combined
to throw 38 innings.
Just one point separates the top four teams in the poll.
Defending champion Western Oregon and Central
Washington tied for first in the balloting with 28 points.
Two newcomers are also available for the circle Clackamas CC transfer Alyson Boytz (5-9, Jr., Noti, OR –
Elmira) and freshman Lizzet Dominguez (5-8, Fr., Kent, WA
Western Washington and 2013 champion Saint Martin’s
were just one point back of the co-favorites.
All four teams received first place votes led by WOU with
three. WWU earned two first-place votes in the balloting
and CWU and SMU received one each.
Boytz posted a 31-9 record in two seasons at Clackamas
twice earning NWAACC Southern Region all-region honors.
She posted a 1.89 ERA last spring.
Of the remaining three teams, Simon Fraser, which
welcomes back all-league pitcher Kelsie Hawkins who
missed last season with an injury, figures to have the best
chance to break into the Top 4 and earn a berth in the
Western Oregon returns the fewest number of starters of
any one in the league, but the quality is good.
Outfielder Amanda Evola (5-7, Sr., Beaverton, OR –
Westview) ranked third in the GNAC in batting last season
(.403) and was the conference leader in doubles (16) and
The top four teams in the regular-season qualify for the
tournament which will be played April 30-May 2 at
She also finished second in runs scored with 53 in earning
second team NFCA and Daktronics West Region honors.
Montana State Billings and Northwest Nazarene compete
the poll, earning No. 6 and No. 7 pre-season rankings.
Williams and second baseman Kelsie Gardner (5-8, So.,
Salem, OR – South Salem) were also starters. Williams
batted .246 and drove in 30 runs.
Following is a team-by-team review of the GNAC’s seven
Gardner, who earned second team all-conference honors
and was selected GNAC Freshman of the Year, batted .384
and drove in 25 runs.
Western Oregon (34-23, 18-6, 1st)
Western Oregon coach Lonny Sargent (61-49, 2 years;
Overall, 92-116, 4 years) will have to rely on a rebuilt
pitching staff if the Wolves are to repeat.
Only two other returning players had at least 30 at bats –
first baseman Destiny Kuehl (5-8, So., Portland, OR – David