SEATTLE (March 30) – The Seattle University softball team heads to Grand Canyon to open Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play this weekend. The teams will play a doubleheader, beginning at 5 p.m., on Friday, March 31, and then square off in a single game at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 1. All three games will be played at GCU Softball Stadium.
The Redhawks went 3-2 at the Gaucho Classic last weekend, improving their overall record to 11-21. Paige Bouska was named WAC Hitter of the Week after her record-breaking performance in California. The senior set the school’s career hits record, tripling to drive in the tying and go-ahead runs in a 5-3 win over Santa Clara on March 26. Bouska has 209 career hits, passing Jane Purdy and Isabella Geronimo, who both finished with 208 hits at SU.
Grand Canyon (25-11) has lost four in a row entering this weekend. It dropped a doubleheader at No. 5 Arizona on March 29, losing by scores of 6-2 and 13-0. The week before, the Lopes were swept by sixth-ranked Washington in a home twinbill, losing 14-4 and 7-0.
Bouska leads Seattle U with a .403 batting average (third-highest in the WAC), 48 hits (most in the conference), and 5 triples. Cherise Silvan has come on recently, starting each of the Redhawks’ last seven outings. In that stretch, she is 8-17 (.470) with a double, two triples, and four runs scored. Kaylee Ree has a .427 on-base percentage, as she paces the WAC with 18 walks in 2017. Alyssa Reuble is 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA, including a pair of complete-game victories last weekend.
For Grand Canyon, Shea Smith leads the team with a .371 batting average. Camree Wartman is hitting .363 with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 2 home runs, and a team-high 30 RBIs. Taylor Nowlin is 13-5 with a 2.92 ERA in 20 appearances this year. The Lopes’ pitching staff leads the WAC in ERA (2.88), opposing batting average (.274) and strikeouts (162).
Last season, GCU won two of three meetings in Seattle. Grand Canyon, along with New Mexico State, was voted to win the WAC in the preseason coaches’ poll. Nowlin was picked as Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Seattle U was tied for third in the poll, with Bouska being selected as a Preseason All-WAC performer. GCU is ineligible for the WAC Tournament as it concludes its transition to Division I.