Baseball takes on Pacific for NWC lead

In a Northwest Conference baseball show down last weekend, second place Whitworth met conference leader Pacific on Merkel Field in a best out-of-three game series that went to the wire. The Pirates were topped 6-2 by the Boxers in the opening game Saturday, but took control in the nightcap, gaining a 7-1 victory that boosted them to 3-1 win on Sunday.

“We haven’t been in the situation to win the conference in a very long time,” senior catcher Michael Takemura said. “We started a little slow but I think the confidence came when the series got going.”

After sophomore second baseman Gerhard Muelheims doubled in the first inning, senior third baseman Landon Scott drove him home on a single that put the first run on the board for either team.

“We thought we’d be able to keep adding on after that first run,” Muelheims said. “[But] their pitcher was throwing really well [and] we had a tough time seeing the ball.”

But Pacific answered with a flurry of runs over the next three innings, scoring six runs, while Whitworth struggled to connect at the plate.

Freshman shortstop Nick Motsinger got the offense rolling with a single to third base in the sixth inning, and Whitworth scored its second run off sophomore left fielder Tyler Pfeffer’s sacrifice fly to right field.

“I thought the first game we were a little tight [but] the second game we played pretty loose,” Takemura said. “These games didn’t mean anything unless we won them out.”

After freshman pitcher Carson Blumenthal tossed the first four innings, freshman pitcher Nick Scourey stepped on the mound and shut out Pacific in five innings of relief. But the Pirates were unable to close in on the Boxers’ lead, and with the loss surrendered the top spot in the conference to Pacific for now; final conference standings have not been determined.

“Everyone was disappointed we lost,” Muelheims said. “But we’ve lost the first game of a series before and ended up winning the next two games.”

Whitworth grabbed an early 2-0 lead in game two after Motsinger walked and Pfeffer singled up the middle to score Motsinger in the first inning. Miller singled to right field in the second inning, advanced to second base on a balk, then to third when senior center fielder Kevin Valerio grounded out to second base, and scored on freshman right fielder Erik Nikssarian’s single to left field.

“I think this whole year we’ve done a great job coming back from losses,” Takemura said. “We wanted to punch back.”

Pfeffer’s three-run homer in the third and Nikssarian’s homerun in the fourth boasted a 6-0 lead for the Bucs. Senior first baseman JR Jarrell’s RBI single brought Pfeffer home again in the fifth inning to score Whitworth’s final run.

Freshman pitcher Dan Scheibe pitched a full game, striking out 12 batters with no walks. In his past two pitching performances  for the Bucs he has struck out 25 batter without a walk, and his presence on the mound Saturday secured the win for the Pirates, as Pacific scored just one run off six hits.

“The second game Dan threw great,” Takemura said. “He gave us a lot of confidence by shutting them down.”

It took until the fourth inning for either team to earn a run on Sunday, but after Scott singled to center field, he scored off Valerio’s sacrifice fly. Jarrell got on base with a single up the middle, and then scored thanks to Nikssarian’s RBI single through the left side.

“I think it was pretty key that we got on the board first,” Muelheims said. “Scoring those two runs was big especially because it was right after an inning where they had the bases loaded and we struck their guy out.”

Whitworth’s final run came in the fifth when Takemura was hit by a pitch, advanced to second when Motsinger grounded out to the catcher, and scored off Muelheims RBI single to center field.

Pacific also scored in the fifth, plating their lone run of the game. But the Boxers had several opportunities to take the lead, leaving 13 runners on base by game’s end.

“In the dugout the players knew we were going to win,” Takemura said. “But we gave [Pacific] too many shots.”

Spencer Ansett pitched the first six innings, allowing one run off seven hits. Jason Renner finished the game, grabbing his sixth save of the season.

“We used a lot of the momentum we had from the second game [on Saturday],” Muelheims said. “Holding those guys to one run took away some of their confidence.”

Whitworth improved its record to 13-5 in NWC action, just one game behind Pacific in conference standings, and will face Willamette University in Salem, Ore., April 21 and 22.

 

Story by Corina Gebbers Staff Writer

Photography by Chrissy Roach

 

Contact Corina Gebbers at cgebbers15@my.whitworth.edu.

Spotted from the Crow's Nest: Sami Parr, softball

Softball coach Cristal Brown said Sami Parr is the type of player you want on your side going into battle.

“She’s a hard worker, she’s determined, she’s competitive,” Brown said of the senior second baseman. “She has a never-say-die attitude.”

As a 4-year-old, Parr begged her parents to put her on a  tee-ball team so she could keep up with her older brother who was a baseball player. As she put it, she fell in love with the game and has been playing ever since.

Now a senior leader on the Whitworth softball team, Parr acknowledges she didn’t necessarily see herself several years ago where she is today. Upon applying and being accepted to Whitworth on somewhat of a whim, she was offered the opportunity to play the game she loves.

“I just really liked the mission of the school; it really hit home for me,” Parr said. “The opportunity to get a great education and play the sport I love was an opportunity I couldn’t really pass up.”

Last year as a junior Parr was named to the honorable mention All-Northwest Conference squad. She led the Pirates in total runs scored on the season — an accomplishment she is on track to repeat this year. But Parr is recognized as a leader in more ways that just her play.

“She’s definitely a leader for us,” Brown said. “She’s not as vocal [and] you probably won’t hear Sami when you’re sitting in the stands, [but] the girls look to Sami because she leads by example. If you’re emulating Sami’s work ethic then you’re on the right track.”

Regardless of her individual achievements, Parr says one of her favorite things about playing softball is the teamwork.

“I love being a part of a team,” Parr said. “There’s really no other feeling like that. I love competing and being out on the dirt and leaving it all out there.”

Junior teammate Heather Hesselgesser reiterated Parr’s desire to be a team player.

“Sami leads by example; she is always giving her best effort and makes others want to do better,” Hesselgesser said. “She is a student of the game and understands the ins-and-outs better than any teammate I have ever had.”

After graduation, Parr plans to attend graduate school at Eastern Washington University to earn her doctorate in physical therapy. Until then, she wants to make the most of her final season. Contributing to wins is definitely an ambition, but Parr says her biggest goal right now is to make an impact on her team.

“I would just tell [younger players] to not have any regrets throughout their college career,” Parr said. “It’s going to be over before they know it. Put the extra hours in, don’t take anything for granted, try to make the most of it, practice hard every day.”

Those are the values that Parr has tried to build upon during her collegiate career.

“Sami has been a consistent and vital player every year here at Whitworth,” Hesselgesser said. “She is someone a coach would be proud to have representing their team.”

Brown would agree with that.

“Sami is a huge part of our team,” Brown said. “We’re going to miss her next year with her being a senior. She has the spirit you want to see in all of your athletes so it’s a joy to coach her.”

Story by Sena Hughes Staff Writer

File photo by Chrissy Roach

Contact Sena Hughes at shughes15@my.whitworth.edu.

A taste of sweetness for men’s basketball

Pirates into the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 for the third consecutive season

The Whitworth men’s basketball team found something sweet in Belton, Texas, on March 2 and 3 when it knocked McMurry University and Trinity University out of the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Pirates improved their record to 26-3 overall and for the third consecutive year are headed to the Sweet 16.

The Bucs found an advantage in the paint against a quick and scrappy McMurry defense Friday night as senior post Felix Friedt scored a career-high 35 points to lead the Pirates to a 90-79 victory over the War Hawks. Friedt went 16 for 17 from the line and 9 for 16 from the field.

“Felix was tremendous throughout the night,” head coach Matt Logie said. “With the amount of pressure that McMurry puts on the basketball, it was very important that we had an outlet inside to relieve that pressure.”

Senior forward Jack Loofburrow hit a 3-pointer to regain the lead after McMurry tied the game at nine five minutes into the first half. The War Hawks were quick to answer, scoring six points to Whitworth’s two. As the top rebounding team in the nation, McMurry challenged Whitworth on the boards.

“The plan was to crash the glass with all five players,” Friedt said. “It was a rough battle, but we had everyone fight together.”

Friedt scored his 10th point of the half with 10 minutes to go off a three-point play. Sophomore guard Dustin McConnell scored a bucket for the Pirates to help energize a run, and Whitworth went up 29-22 when junior guard Wade Gebbers earned his first points of the game on a drive to the basket.

The War Hawks weren’t easily shut down and went on a 10-4 run against the Bucs. It was senior forward Idris Lasisi who broke the McMurry momentum when he threw down a message-sending dunk off an assist from McConnell. Then with just six seconds remaining in the half, Lasisi hit a baseline jumper to give the Pirates a 41- 37 advantage.

“In the first half we got rushed,”Friedt said.“But[we] played more controlled in the second half.”

Whitworth scored in bunches to stretch its lead to as many as 11 points after halftime. Friedt had five consecutive points, Gebbers drove the lane and scored, and sophomore guard Colton McCargar came off the bench contributing five points to open up the second half for the Bucs. McMurry would answer with its own flurry of baskets, but Whitworth held its own and sustained the lead the entire half.

“We were able to maintain our lead throughout the second half and withstand a few runs from McMurry despite making some uncharacteristic turnovers,” Logie said.

With just six minutes remaining, the War Hawks bounced back to within six points and by the 2:30 mark were within four points of Whitworth’s lead. Lasisi scored four consecutive points to fuel Whitworth late in the game, and Friedt put away the game for good with four points from the foul line in the final minute of play.

Whitworth outrebounded McMurry 41-38 and shot 82 percent from the stripe to earn a spot in Saturday night’s game. Lasisi scored 15 points for the Bucs, while Gebbers added 11 and McConnell dished three assists.

In Saturday night’s matchup against Trinity, Whitworth’s strong defense carried them 64-53 over the Tigers. Trinity came in confident after upsetting the No. 10-ranked host school University of Mary Hardin-Baylor the night before.

“We executed really well defensively and didn’t give them many easy looks,” Lasisi said.

Whitworth came out energized, finding an 8-3 lead off a Friedt bucket and treys by Lasisi and junior forward Mack Larkin. The Bucs were sparked by 17 of Lasisi’s game-high 22 points to maintain a steady lead throughout the first half.

“We are fortunate that the NWC plays its league games on Friday and Saturdays,” Logie said. “We are very accustomed to the quick turnarounds and how to go about preparing ourselves for those situations.”

Lasisi opened the second half with two 3-pointers, but the Bucs’ offensive momentum decelerated and Trinity made a huge comeback, closing the 20-point gap to just three with under seven minutes remaining.

“We rushed things on offense and had some turnovers,” Lasisi said. “Because of our bad offense we weren’t as focused as we should be on defense.”

Whitworth called a timeout in an attempt to freeze the Tigers’ offensive streak. Loofburrow responded by netting eight points.

“Our players really responded on the defensive end following that break and put some stops together which got us going offensively,” Logie said.

Loofburrow’s surge for the Bucs was enough to help Whitworth regain a 13-point lead, and execution on the defensive end denied Trinity any comeback opportunity.

Whitworth kept the Tigers off the free throw line for the entire first half, while also forcing its opponent to shoot 38 percent from the field. Loofburrow contributed 13 points for the Bucs on the offensive end, while Friedt added 12 and Gebbers dished seven assists.

Whitworth will face Virginia Wesleyan College in the Sweet 16 on March 9 in the Sectional Semifinals at Wisconsin-Whitewater in Wisconsin.

Story by Corina Gebbers Staff Writer

File Photos Chrissy Roach

Contact Corina Gebbers at cgebbers15@my.whitworth.edu.

Women's tennis claims pair of conference victories

Strong singles play for the Whitworth women’s tennis team on Saturday helped the Bucs to notch another Northwest Conference win, as they defeated Pacific University in the Scot- ford Tennis Center.

Trailing 3-1 after the first four matches, the Pirates won five straight singles matches for the victory. Whitworth improves to 3-0 in the NWC and 4-1 overall.

“I’m really happy with the way we played singles,” head coach Jo Ann Wagstaff said. “Losing in doubles really fired the team up for singles. We played our best singles all year.”

Freshman Saryn Mooney was a part of two wins for the Pirates. Mooney and senior Claire Hemming earned the first point for Whitworth as the two beat Pacific’s No. 3 doubles team 8-0. Mooney also defeated the Boxers Rachel Mizuno in No. 3 singles later in the match.

Pirate senior Erica Bosman started the comeback in singles play as she defeated Pacific’s Megan Yoshimoto 6-1, 6-1 in No. 2 singles after Boxer Cat Goya defeated Whitworth senior Alli Marshall in No. 1 singles.

After being beaten in doubles by Pacific’s Lillian Do and Kelsey Trujillo, Whitworth juniors Megan Wingfield and Jessi Steele got their revenge in singles play as Wingfield beat Trujillo 6-2, 6-4 in No. 4 singles and Steele defeated Do 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 5 singles spot.

Senior Siri Carlson finished off the Boxers by defeating Pacific’s Kelsey Lack 6-2, 6-1 in No. 6 singles.

Whitworth will stay home next weekend as it takes on George Fox University and Lewis & Clark College March 9 and 10.

Story by Nathan Webber Staff Writer

Photo by Chrissy Roach

Contact Nathan Webber at nathanwebber13@my.whitworth.edu.

Men’s basketball takes home sixth consecutive Northwest Conference title

Feb. 25 will once again go down in the record books. On this day in history, Michael Jordan scored a record 58 points in one game for the Chicago Bulls, Pete Maravich scored a career high 68 points for New Orleans, the University of Connecticut’s head coach Jim Calhoun won his 800th game as a coach and, as of late, the Whitworth men’s basketball team won their sixth consecutive Northwest Conference title.

The No. 10 ranked Bucs, who improved their record to 24-3, are on the way to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the sixth straight year after two wins at home over Lewis and Clark College and the University of Puget Sound last week.

Senior forward Idris Lasisi scored 21 of his 27 points in the first half to carry the Pirates to a 79-61 victory last Thursday night over Lewis & Clark College. The Bucs started slow in their NWC Tournament opener, but Lasisi scored 13 consecutive points to rally Whitworth out of an 8-0 deficit to start the game.

“Idris gave us a nice spark in the first half to get us going and move us along,” said head coach Matt Logie.

Then it was senior post Felix Friedt who took control, scoring the next seven points for the Pirates. Junior forward Zach Payne, recovering from an injury, made a solid presence on both the offensive and defensive end of the floor, and senior forward Jack Loofburrow hit a jumper with just under six minutes to play before half time to help the Pirates find their momentum. Despite lacking their usual offensive flare, Whitworth took a 13-point lead into the locker room after a switch to zone defense and outrebounding Lewis & Clark 25-16.

“We did a good job rebounding both halves; guys were putting bodies on bodies,” sophomore guard Dustin McConnell said. “[And] we did a good job talking on defense and helping our teammates out.”

Whitworth maintained the lead through the second half, mainly in part to their solid defense.

“Our defense really gave us a lot of confidence,” Logie said. “We felt like we could get stops as the game went along.”

Junior guard Wade Gebbers scored his first bucket of the game as the Pirates found a rhythm and ran with it. Lasisi hit a 3-pointer to put Whitworth up 49-34 with just under 13 minutes to play, and with the Pirate offense clicking, Lewis & Clark fought to stay within reach. Junior guard Colton McCargar fueled the Bucs off the bench with eight points in the second half, contributing to Whitworth’s 18-point lead at game’s end.

“Overall, we did pretty well,” McConnell said. “When we execute well good things happen for us.”

Lasisi led the way with 27 points, Friedt added 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and Loofburrow contributed nine points. Overall, the Pirates outrebounded Lewis & Clark 46-34.

With the win, Whitworth moved on to the championship game of the NWC Tournament.

“To be here Saturday night [in the NWC championship game] and be able to punch our ticket to the NCAA Tournament here at home is a really great opportunity,” Logie said.

The Pirates matched up against UPS Saturday night, defeating the Loggers 86-71 to clinch their sixth straight NWC Tournament title.

After UPS scored the first basket of the game, Lasisi and Gebbers each hit a trey to spark an 8-0 run for Whitworth. It was the first of several sequences that boosted the Pirates over UPS, but the physical Logger team battled hard and hit their shots to stay within 10 points of Whitworth’s lead.

“We played really well in the first half,” Loofburrow said. “Everyone was playing good defense, but they had guys step up and shoot well.”

With just under seven minutes to play in the first half, the Loggers rallied offensively and regained the lead by one point. Lasisi answered for Whitworth with back-to-back 3-pointers to fuel the Bucs, and Whitworth grabbed their biggest lead of the half off a trey by Loofburrow with less than a minute remaining.

Even with their offensive blaze back the Pirates’ defense contributed greatly to their victory.

“[Defense] was the biggest key to our game,” junior forward Mack Larkin said. “We had a good scout going in and we knew what we needed to do going in. It was a matter of executing what our coaches set out for us.”

And execute is what they did. The Pirates shot 60 percent from the field in the second half, while holding their opponent to less than 50 percent.

“Playing together and having depth [makes it] hard for teams to have a defensive plan against us,” Loofburrow said.

UPS trailed the Pirates by as many as 18 points with just under five minutes to play, but the Loggers threatened to have a late game comeback, cutting Whitworth’s lead to 11 with less than two minutes remaining. But a bucket by McConnell and two Friedt free throws escorted the Bucs to a 15-point victory and the NWC championship title.

“We’ve got some great momentum,” Larkin said. “If we play our game we won’t have any trouble competing when we get into the national tournament.”

Lasisi finished with 19 points and five assists for the Bucs, Gebbers had 17 points and five assists, Friedt ended with 12 points and eight rebounds, Larkin and McConnell added 11 points apiece and Loofburrow contributed 10 points.

“It was a balanced attack tonight,” Larkin said. “It was a matter of one person stepping up at the right time.”

Whitworth will find out Monday morning when and where they play for the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Story by Corina Gebbers Staff Writer

Contact Corina Gebbers at cgebbers15@my.whitworth.edu.

Top photo by Chrissy Roach

Second photo by Tanner Scholten

Women’s softball opens season on road

The Whitworth softball team kicked off its season last weekend, going 2-4 in the Northwest Cup in Clackamas, Ore. The Pirates dealt with constant rain all weekend, making for wet fields and cold conditions. “It was really good for us to get out on the dirt and work as a team,” freshman pitcher Riley Fritz said.

The Bucs went 1-1 Friday, losing their season opener to the College of Idaho and beating Concordia University (Ore.) later in the day. Whitworth hung with C of I for most of the first game, but fell to the Coyotes 2-1. Senior Sami Parr had the lone run in the top of the first inning when junior Jamie Brunner was walked. After its initial run in the fourth, the C of I hit a home run in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win. Fritz pitched in her first career start for the Pirates.

Concordia and Whitworth duked out a hard-fought battle in the second day of competition. The Pirates started strong with nine runs coming in the first two innings. Concordia cut the lead to 9-5 in the fifth inning, but Parr clubbed her first homer of the season to keep Whitworth in control of the game. Redshirt freshman Taylor Gilbert pitched the first 2.1 innings and was relieved by Fritz, who secured the victory for the Bucs.

Whitworth split again on Saturday beating North- west Christian University 6-5 and losing to Corban University 12-4. In the NCU game, Whitworth got off to a quick start and led most of the game. NCU made a run, but the Bucs pulled out a close win thanks to three runs in the final inning.

“I think the biggest highlight [of the weekend] was our comeback win against Northwest Christian,” Parr said. “Everyone showed a lot of character and didn’t give up going into last inning.” Freshman Megan Fisher pitched 4.2 innings in her first career start. Junior Heather Hesselgesser had a team-high two hits.

In Saturday’s second game, Whitworth could not match the late momentum of Corban University who scored eight of its 12 runs in the final few innings. Fritz started the game again, pitching for the first 5.1 innings, but Gilbert came in to close. Parr led the team with three runs and three hits.

“As a team the biggest area of improvement would be consistency,” Parr said. “We need to string some stuff together and perform [our best] each inning both offensively and defensively.”

After beating Concordia Friday, the Pirates fell 8-0 in the rematch on Sunday. Whitworth struggled at the plate; they were held hitless and were on base just twice due to walks.

“As a team, we need to improve on some things, but nothing that a few practices can’t work out,” Fritz said.

Sunday afternoon the Bucs lost 7-3 to the defending NAIA National Champion Oregon Tech Owls in their final game of the weekend. In the third inning, the Owls exploded offensively scoring all eight of their runs and leaving Whitworth in the dust. Fritz pitched 6.1 innings. Freshman Ashlyn Mundo led the team with three hits.

“I think it was even if we didn’t play to our full potential it was good to get out and play this weekend and travel with the girls,” Fritz said. “I think we’ll be ready when league starts.”

Whitworth plays its first Northwest Conference series against Linfield on Saturday and Sunday at home.

“It’s just really good to see the character of the team,” Parr said. “We had a couple [of] big losses but it’s really good to see people bounce back from that. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the season goes.”

Sena Hughes Staff Writer

Contact Sena Hughes at shughes15@my.whitworth.edu.

File Photo: Chrissy Roach Photo caption: Junior Heather Hesselgesser throws the ball during a game last spring.

Women’s basketball wins in final game

Pirate offense explodes for 90 points on Senior Night at the Fieldhouse After losing to Whitman College earlier in the week, Whitworth won against the Willamette University Bearcats on Senior Night, putting up 58 points in the second half alone.

On Tuesday night, Whitman beat the Pirates 71- 52, dashing their hopes of making the Northwest Conference Tournament. Sophomore guard Kayla Johnson started the Pirates off with a basket, giving them the lead. That would be the only lead of the game for the Pirates.

Junior guard Lauren Picha ended the first half with a three-pointer, sending the Pirates into halftime down by 16. Early in the second half, senior forward Lexi Belcher sunk two free throws and pulled the Pi- rates to 40-29, but then Whitman went on a scoring streak and the Pirates could not catch up.

The Pirates then played their final game of the sea- son against Willamette, who was last in the conference standings.

“We didn’t play to our best in the first half,” head coach Helen Higgs said after the game. “[We] played really, really well in the second. By the second min- ute of the second half, I knew we had it.”

Before the game, the team honored its two seniors, Taylor Taylor and Lexi Belcher.

“Senior nights are hard,” Higgs said. “You’re close to the team, [and] the emotions of Senior Night are hard. I’m glad we finished with a win.”

The first half of the game was close, with many lead changes between the two teams. The Bearcats shot 59 percent from the field and looked like they might get their first conference win this season, while the Pirates only made 30 percent of their shots. Just 10 minutes into the game, Willamette was leading.

However, both teams found themselves at the free throw line early and often in the close first half. Af- ter sophomore guard Jenna Cacchillo sunk back-to- back free throws, the teams were tied 21-21.

Although Whitworth gained the lead for a while, Willamette caught up once more and took a 33-32 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Taylor had seven rebounds and scored six points to help the team in the first half, and Picha had sev- en points, as well as two steals, in her 15 minutes of playing time during the first half.

“In the first half, we were not as focused as we needed to be,” Belcher said. “[We were] more intense in the second half.”

Whitworth came out in the second half deter- mined to win. After trailing for a few minutes, the Pirates started a scoring streak, eventually building a 53-40 lead. Junior guard Emily Guthrie began the comeback with back-to-back three pointers, and Whitworth continued to extend its lead as the game went on.

With just six minutes left in the game, Johnson sunk a three-pointer, extending the lead 79-52.

The Pirates held on to the lead the rest of the game, finishing 90-67.

The second half saw different results for the Bearcats, who made 37 percent of their shots. Whit- worth increased its shooting percentage in the sec- ond half to 60 percent, a big improvement from the first.

Picha led the team in scoring, with 16 points as well as two rebounds and two assists. Johnson added 15 points, two assists and six rebounds, and Guthrie had 14 points, two assists and two rebounds. Taylor had the most rebounds (eight), assists (four) and steals (four).

“We came and did our job,” freshman forward Katara Belton-Sharp said. “[We] made the seniors proud.”

She said the number of fouls called on both sides was what stuck out to her about the game. However, she said, “[The calls] weren’t a factor. We played to the refs.”

“I think [the team] was very effective offensively [this year],” Higgs said. “If we can up our defense we will be tough to beat.”

Belcher said although she wishes the team could have made the playoffs, the team overall had a good year.

“The fact that we had such balanced scoring, it just showed that we’re a [team unit where] everyone can score and do awesome,” Belcher said.

The women’s team finished the season 11-14 overall and 7-9 in the NWC, putting the team in fifth place in the NWC standings.

Story by Meghan Dellinger Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Dellinger at mdellinger15@my.whitworth.edu.

Photographer: Chrissy Roach Photo caption: Senior forward Taylor Taylor searches for a teammate in her last game as a Pirate on Saturday.

 

Whitworth offense swings the bats well in Pasco

 

The 2012 Whitworth baseball season is underway. The Pirates have posted a 4-3 record while exploding for 54 runs in their first seven games.

Over the weekend, the Bucs were in the Swing into Spring Baseball Classic in Pasco, Wash. Whitworth had a strong first two days of the tournament as the team beat Lewis & Clark College twice (14-5, 15-1), but lost 4-3 in a close contest with Corban College. The Pirates also beat the University of Puget Sound 7-3 on Sunday.

“We went into the weekend with the expectation of coming away 4-0,” head coach Dan Ramsay said. “We ended up going 3-1, which is not a bad way to finish. I’m pretty happy with the way we performed and hope to continue with the momentum we gained from this tournament next weekend.”

In Whitworth’s Friday game against Lewis & Clark, the Pirates started off strong, collecting 11 hits in the game and 10 walks in the winning effort.

The game against Corban College started in similar fashion as the Bucs scored three runs in the first inning but then surrendered the lead in a 4-3 loss.

The Bucs ended Saturday the way they ended Friday, though, as they roughed up Lewis & Clark 15-1. The Bucs had a solid outing from senior pitcher CJ Perry as he gave up only one run in seven strong innings. An eight- run seventh inning for the Bucs finished off the Pioneers.

In Sunday’s game, the Pirates scored early and often again with four runs in the first two innings. Senior Landon Scott drove in one run and had two hits, and Muelheims (pictured above) had an RBI double in the 7-3 win over Puget Sound.

Whitworth will play again on Feb. 18 as it takes on Concordia University at 11 a.m. and University of Puget Sound at 1 p.m.

Story by Nathan Webber Staff Writer

Contact Nathan Webber at nwebber13@my.whitworth.edu.

File photo: Chrissy Roach Sophomore Gerhard Muelheims had an RBI double against the University of Puget Sound.

Whitworth shoots its way to NWC title

The Whitworth men’s basketball team clinched the Northwest Conference title after wins on the road against Linfield College and Pacific University on Feb. 10 and 11. “I think that everything we’ve been working for is much closer and much more tangible,” said head coach Matt Logie. “[Motivating the players] is easier in this point in time with the opportunity to accomplish the goals we set at the beginning of the year.”

The Pirates kicked off the weekend with a 95- 67 win against Linfield. The Wildcats nearly upset Whitworth on Jan. 14, but Whitworth learned from their mistakes and overcame the Wildcats the second time around.

“The first time we didn’t execute defensively the way we would have like to,” Logie said.

Senior guard Wade Gebbers sparked the Bucs’ offense with two treys, and a bucket by junior forward Mack Larkin boosted Whitworth to an early lead. Senior forward Jack Loofburrow rallied the Pirates with five consecutive points, but Linfield managed to answer with a 7-0 run.

Contributions from the bench supplied another flare for the Pirate offense. Junior guard Colton McCargar went four for four from three-point range in the first half, while Loofburrow generated offensive momentum for Whitworth, scoring 10 of his 13 points during the first half.

“Everyone’s contributing,” said redshirt freshman guard Austin Ehlo. “And if someone gets tired there’s someone to step up.”

Whitworth powered over the Wildcats in the second half despite foul trouble for senior post Felix Freidt (pictured left) and senior post Michael Taylor. Linfield struggled to defend the Pirate offense, and Whitworth went on to shoot 61.35 percent in the second half.

“We were really ready to go and pumped to come out this weekend,” McCargar said. “We really executed well.”

Whitworth pulled ahead 72- 55 on a Gebbers’ trey. Linfield couldn’t endure Whitworth’s fast-paced offense and solid defense, and the Pirates sustained their significant lead.

“Toward the end of the game we really pushed the ball and played faster and were able to score points in bunches,” Logie said.

Senior forward Idris Lasisi and McCargar led the Bucs with 15 points apiece. Larkin finished with 13 points and junior guard Dustin McConnell, Ehlo and Friedt each contributed 10 points.

On Saturday night the Pirates beat Pacific University 76-54 to secure the NWC title.

“Tonight we came in with a plan and from the start we played with a lot of energy,” Gebbers said.

After four lead changes to start the game, Lasisi hit a three-point basket to spark an 8-2 run for the Pirates and Gebbers hit his 71st trey of the season to put Whitworth up 20-13. But Pacific played relentlessly and stayed within 10 points until just eight minutes remained in the first half.

“We lost our energy for a few possessions,” Gebbers said. “[But] we came right back at them with a run of our own every time they started to get their confidence up.”

The Pirates combined aggressive offense with tough defense to gradually extend their lead to 48-25 going into halftime.

“We did a good job of locating shooters and playing good defense in the post,” Gebbers said. “We were able to string some stops together and that fueled our offense.”

Pacific scored the first points of the second half, but Friedt answered with a bucket for Whitworth, and the Pirates extended their lead to as many as 30 points by game’s end.

Lasisi led all players with 24 points, Loofburrow contributed 14 points, and Gebbers added 10 points and five assists for the Pirates.

Before the games Logie reflected on the past month’s importance to his team.

“Every weekend we had important games on our schedule,” Logie said. “We were really able to have a lot of success during that time and put ourselves in the lead in the conference.”

The Pirates took a hit losing Loofburrow, Larkin and junior forward Zach Payne to injuries, but found strength off the bench, and formed an identity of hard work and confidence in each other.

“I think we’ve really kind of figured out who we are,” Logie said. “Everybody knows their role and we’re playing really well together because everyone has had to step up.”

The Pirates battled close games both at home and on the road, including a double overtime win over Pacific Lutheran University and a victory at the University of Puget Sound.

“Our trip to Tacoma in early January was a critical moment for us,” Logie said. “We had a lot of different guys step up and help us to those victories, [and] I think that gave us a lot of confidence through the rest of the month.”

Whitworth, ranked ninth in the nation as of last Sunday, hosts its final conference game on Feb. 18 against Willamette.

Story by Corina Gebbers Staff Writer

Contact Corina Gebbers at cgebbers15@my.whitworth.edu.

File photo: Chrissy Roach Photo caption: Senior Felix Friedt was named 2nd Team All-NWC last year. The Pirates play their last conference game on Feb. 18.

Tea room provides ministry

Taste and See Tea is a home-away-from-home get- away. The tea room, located at 521 E. Holland, greets guests with its warm, contemporary-yet-vintage feel. Soft, classical music plays in the background as you choose your own china ware to drink your hot tea from. Sheer linens on the enormous windows separate you from the hustle-and-bustle of the busy street outside, providing a relaxing shelter from everyday life. Not only does Taste and See Tea provide an escape, but it also provides a ministry to homeless women who currently live in transition centers. Specifically working with Anna Ogden Hall, which is associated with the Union Gospel Mission, the tea room helps these women transition into a working environment.

“I volunteered down at the [Union Gospel] Mission and saw a need to give these ladies a chance,” owner Thada Ziegler said.

Ziegler started Taste and See Tea in 2006 by inviting friends into her home to have tea, and donated the money she raised to Anna Ogden Hall. In 2008, Ziegler opened a facility on the South Hill after she received non-profit status for Taste and See Tea. However, be- cause of the small facility and Ziegler’s desire to expand, Taste and See Tea recently moved to the north side of Spokane.

Taste and See Tea offers a business practicum to the women they work with, providing these women with internships. The internships consist of 240 hours of one-on-one training with Ziegler on business etiquette — conflict resolution, building up self-esteem, taking direction and working as a team.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to work with these women. This is an amazingly fulfilling job,” employee Barb Cressey said. “They expose us to many of the trials and hardships they have experienced in their lives and as we train them, we often times are the ones receiving the blessings.”

Interns start out washing dishes, then start serving food and waiting on tables, but continue at their own comfort level.

“They need to branch out because being in the real world is different,” Ziegler said. “We’re helping them ease in for what lies ahead. They have lots of hurts and a past they have to work through.”

Overall, Taste and See Tea has had six interns, who are paid by tips and gratuities.

“We have the most gracious and lovely customers,” Cressey said. “They’re here to support the ministry. We know they’re here for a reason, not just to be self- indulgent.”

When Ziegler was deciding what kind of business to open, she wanted to create a relaxing environment.

“I don’t have Wi-Fi in here,” Ziegler said.“I want people to come in and have a place to talk to each other.”

Ziegler also saw an opportunity to bring something new to the Spokane area.

“Over the years I collected a bunch of tea things — linens, cups,” Ziegler said. “I got really interested in tea, and since there isn’t much around here for tea, I wanted to bring a new market.”

Sophomore Rebecca Southwick’s first experience at Taste and See Tea was a birthday party.

“There were five of us total and we ordered more than 17 pots of tea,” Southwick said. “Each kind of tea is unique, but delicious, which made us want to keep ordering more. I think we tried more than half the teas on the menu.”

Taste and See Tea serves 27 different kinds of tea, ranging from black tea to fruit blends. It also provides fresh goods made in-house, such as scones, cookies and sandwiches.

Not only serving delicious treats, Taste and See Tea helps homeless women overcome their hardships in order to prepare for a work environment.

“We want our customers to know they’re partnering with us to keep us open,” Ziegler said.

Story by Chrissy Roach Photo Editor

Contact Chrissy Roach at croach14@my.whitworth.edu.

Photographer: Hope Barnes