Kierrla Yates, Staff Writer
Softball and baseball season has officially begun in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). The Saint Martin’s softball team started the season by competing in the Desert Stinger Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. The baseball team had their first game of the season on Feb. 7 against Holy Names University from Oakland, Calif. Both teams have been seeded in the GNAC Coaches’ Pre-season Polls. Our men’s team was seeded 4th of 6 in the conference and the women’s team was seeded 6th of 8.
The women’s team has already shown an aptitude for success, bringing in three wins from their first four games at the Desert Stinger Tournament. The softball team first defeated University of Mary from North Dakota with a score of 6-2 and dominated against Dominican University of California by 12-6. By winning three of their first four games, the lady Saints are currently first in the GNAC. Other GNAC teams such as Central Washington University and Simon Fraser University also played in the Desert Stinger Tournament.
The baseball team will not be playing at home for nearly a whole month. They will be on the road in California playing in Oakland and San Francisco against other Division II schools. Their first home game will be on Feb. 29 against Concordia University, ranked just behind Saint Martin’s, with 10 votes in the coaches poll. Being that this is a home game, and the team has experience on the road, the men should be able to claim victory against Concordia. The men’s team also has several key returners to help give them an advantage this season. Among those returners are Tanner Inouye, an All-Region pitcher, Aaron Renaud, an All-Conference first baseman, Ryne Oshiro, an All-Conference shortstop, and Micah McNicoll, an All-Conference third baseman. As their season rolls, the baseball team should be off to a good start.
The women have several key players returning to the field this season, including Emery Norwood, Brandi Schoessler, and Devyn Connolly, the three of whom are All-Conference players. Returning sophomore, Kylee Vanderbout, and senior, Nicki DeHan, also add to the list of critical players for the women’s team. In March, the women will have their first GNAC game of the season against Western Oregon University, who was ranked number one in the preseason coaches’ poll just a few weeks ago. With old and new additions to the team, as well as a good start in the Desert Stinger tournament, the ladies have the potential for a great season.
As the season continues to roll along, both baseball and softball teams have the setup, and motivation for a great season. The men had nearly made it to their first GNAC championship game last season and the women are off to a successful start. Hopefully, they can utilize those advantages to make 2020 something special.