SEATTLE – (April 21) Seattle University softball beat Grand Canyon, 4-3, on senior day at Logan Field Saturday. Emma Mitchell hit a walk-off single to lift the Redhawks in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) contest.
"To win on senior day was big for us," said Coach Geoff Hirai. "These seven seniors are really special to this program because of their work ethic and leadership."
With the win, SU (31-19, 9-3 WAC) kept pace with New Mexico State in the WAC standings. Both teams are 9-3 entering next weekend’s showdown to close the regular season. The winner of the three-game set at NM State will claim the regular season conference title.
On Saturday, Seattle U took a 3-1 lead in the sixth. GCU (24-23, 5-6 WAC) tied the game in the top of the seventh, forcing the Redhawks to find a run in their half of the inning. Molly Campbell walked with one out. Natalie Montgomery came on as a pinch-runner, advancing to second on an Erika Rodgers groundout. Mitchell then looped a base hit to right and Montgomery raced home ahead of the throw, sending the Redhawks pouring out of the dugout to celebrate.
Six different Redhawks had a hit, while Campbell, Kaylee Ree, and Madison Cathcart each drew a pair of walks. Larkins pitched six-plus innings, giving up three runs. Shianne Smith got the win, retiring all three batters she faced in the seventh.
After a rain delay of 100 minutes, Larkins provided another strong pitching performance for the Redhawks, holding the Lopes to a single run through five innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, SU got on the board, tying the game at 1. Ree lined a double to the leftfield wall. Cathcart hit a single to right to put runners at the corners with no outs. Savannah Loomis hit a groundball to the shortstop, who threw home, but Ree slid in safely to make it 1-all. GCU escaped without any further damage, sending the game to the sixth frame.
Larkins tossed a 1-2-3 sixth. With one out, Rodgers drew a walk. The senior then stole second. Ree and Cathcart both walked, loading the bases. Ally Choate worked to a 3-2 count and then lined a single to center, bringing in two runs for a 3-1 advantage.
The visitors scored twice in the top of the seventh, tying the game with no outs. Smith came on in relief and extinguished the Lopes’ hopes. With runners at second and third, Smith got a pair of shallow flyballs and then induced a groundout to second, keeping the score even at 3 and setting up Mitchell’s heroics.
Following the win, SU honored its seven-member senior class, as Campbell, Rodgers, Nicole Bolasky, Sara Dominguez, Maddy Kristjanson, Savannah Loomis, and Susanne Morris played their final home games.
The Redhawks head to New Mexico State to close WAC regular season play next weekend. The teams will play once on Friday and twice on Saturday.