SEATTLE – Seattle University softball swept a doubleheader Friday, clinching its first-ever Western Athletic Conference (WAC) regular-season title. The Redhawks won by scores of 10-2 in six innings and 9-0 in five innings, to set the Division I program record for wins in a season with 35.
SU (35-15, 14-3 WAC) put together a consistent effort in the first game, growing its lead throughout the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Bailey Thompson homered to end the game as the Redhawks secured a share of the WAC regular-season crown.
In the opener, CBU scored in the first inning, but the Redhawks answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Olivia Viggiano and Ally Choate singled to start the action. Madison Cathcart singled to left to plate Viggiano. An error on a Thompson flyball allowed Choate to score. With one out, Carley Nance drew a walk. Cherise Silvan followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 after an inning.
Nance worked around a single in the second and put down the Lancers. A pair of CBU errors put another run on the board and then Thompson hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Viggiano for a 5-1 advantage.
Viggiano singled to spark a rally in the fourth. Choate and Cathcart followed with base hits to load the bases. Thompson brought in Viggiano with an RBI groundout to second to make it 6-2.
The Redhawks pulled away in the fifth, as Viggiano tripled to drive in a pair of runs. Smith, pitching relief, closed the door in the sixth, setting up Thompson’s walk-off smash.
Viggiano went 3-3 with four runs and two RBIs. Choate posted three hits, an RBI and a run, while Cathcart went 2-4 with two RBIs and a run. Thompson collected four RBIs in the win. Nance picked up her 16th win of the season, throwing 4.1 innings and giving up two runs. Smith relieved with 1.2 innings of perfect work, including three strikeouts.
In the nightcap, the hosts burst ahead with four runs in the first inning. Viggiano walked and Choate followed with a base hit. Cathcart brought in Viggiano with a single to center. After an out, Kaylee Ree lined a home run off the right-field foul pole for a 4-0 lead. In the third, SU scored twice more, as an error and a wild pitch resulted in two runs for a 6-0 margin.
Smith kept the visitors at bay all game, repeatedly earning flyouts to Viggiano in center. The freshman tallied a career-high six putouts, covering the gaps to retire Lancer batters. Smith struck out the final hitter of the fifth, allowing the Redhawks to come to the plate needing two runs to win.
Thompson led off with a double and Silvan singled to make it 7-0. Timmons hammered the first pitch of her at-bat into the netting over the right-field fence, sending the Redhawk dugout pouring onto the field in celebration.
Smith pitched five innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four Lancers. Ree went 2-3 with three RBIs and two runs, while Silvan added two hits, an RBI, and two runs.
The Redhawks will celebrate their four seniors tomorrow as they host CBU to cap the regular season. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.