Baseball crowned kings of the diamond

Whitworth co-conference champions, ties school record for wins in a season

Sundays have officially become the Whitworth baseball team’s favorite day of the week. After sweeping Whitman College in a three game series this past weekend, the Bucs earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, their first ever appearance.

“For the program, this is huge,” senior first baseman JR Jarrell said. “When I was here as a freshman, we won 10 games total and now, four years later, we’re conference champs.”

Pacific stood in first place until a Boxer loss on Saturday allowed the tie. Whitworth holds the advantage against the Boxers in head-to-head play, which earns it the automatic bid in the tie situation.

Whitworth opened Saturday’s doubleheader with a 7-4 win.

“We knew going into the weekend that we’d have to get the sweep in order to win conference,” said senior third baseman Landon Scott. “We went out and got the job done.”

Freshman Dan Scheibe pitched a complete game for the Bucs and allowed Whitman just two hits in the first six innings. The Missionaries broke through in the top of the seventh, tying up the score when they rallied for all four of their runs.

“It wasn’t the greatest game defensively,” freshman shortstop Nick Motsinger said. “But offensively we did a fairly good job executing.”

Whitworth answered with four hits and three runs of its own to take the final lead of the game.

Neither team got on base in the eighth inning and after Whitman managed a single hit in the ninth, Scheibe secured the win for the Bucs with his 11th strikeout of the game.

“[Scheibe’s] been great for four straight weeks,” Scott said. “Whenever he pitches we feel like we’re going to win the game.”

Whitworth breezed past the Missionaries in game two, with a dominating 13-2 victory and earning the first place tie spot with Pacific.

Jarrell led the way with four hits which included his third home run of the season. Motsinger collected five RBIs with a two-run double, two-run single and a RBI sacrifice bunt.

“It’s really helpful for our pitchers’ confidence when we put up runs and get up early,” Motsinger said. “Keeping the pressure going all nine innings translated to good results on the defensive end.”

The Bucs took an early 2-0 lead when Jarrell’s single to center field scored Muelheims and then Niksarrian hit a single to right field to score Scott.

“The second game we put it on them really quick,” Motsinger said. “[We] put up runs every single inning, which is what you have to do to put a team away.”

In the sixth, Whitman loaded the bases with no outs, but freshman pitcher Carson Blumenthal struck out two in a row and then got the last batter to ground out. The Pirate offense responded with three runs of their own off a Motsinger double and Scott single.

Jarrell’s homer came in the seventh and Whitworth wrapped up its doubleheader sweep with four runs off three hits in the eighth inning. Motsinger drove a two-run single to center field, scoring the final two runners of the game for the Bucs.

“They kind of jumped back up on us when we had gotten comfortable,” Jarrell said. “But we executed like we needed to and got big hits like we needed to.”

Blumenthal tossed eight innings for Whitworth, allowing one run off six hits, while striking out six batters and giving up four walks. Senior James King pitched one inning of relief and gave up one run off three hits.

Sunday’s contest was the determining factor for Whitworth’s share of the NWC title and Whitman made the Bucs earn it. In a down-to-the-wire final game of the three-game series, Whitworth defeated the Missionaries 8-7, improving their record to 19-5 in NWC action and tying the school record with 26 games won in a single season.

“It’s the first conference championship since 1991,” Scott said. “At the end of the day, winning conference, you can’t really explain the excitement.”

The Bucs took a 3-1 lead after three innings.

“I think offensively we executed pretty well,” Jarrell said. “We put up enough runs to win but it was a lot closer than any of us wanted it to be.”

Whitman took a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth, but the Bucs answered in the bottom of the inning with five runs to regain the lead.

“I thought we were pressuring [ourselves] a little bit today,” Motsinger said. “Even though we had the lead we weren’t as loose as we have been in past games.”

Whitman challenged the Bucs’ lead again when it scored three runs in the eighth, but Whitworth was able to hold on and capture the one-run victory.

CJ Perry started for the Bucs and threw four innings, giving up one run off three hits. Taylor Isadore came in for just over an inning and allowed three runs off four hits before freshman Spencer Ansett pitched two innings and gave up three runs off two hits. Sophomore Jason Renner closed the game for the Bucs in one inning of relief, allowing no runs and one hit to earn the save.

“Today was senior day so CJ got the start,” Scott said. “Taylor Isadore is tied for the team lead in appearances, Ansett will keep us in the game every time and Renner has been our shut down guy all year.”

Whitworth celebrated its biggest win on Merkel Field in 20 years with a dog-pile near the pitcher’s mound and will travel to Linfield College May 16-20 for the West Regional games of the National Division III Tournament.

 

Story by Corina Gebbers Staff Writer

Photographer: Hope Barnes   

 

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

‘Script’ lit journal extends creative outlet to students

Sometimes during college, under the weight of science textbooks, analyses and piles of scholarly writing, students need and crave a creative outlet. In its 22nd year, Script, Whitworth’s student literary arts journal, provides students with just that.

Published annually at the end of each school year, Script contains student-submitted fiction, non-fiction, art, drama and poetry.

It is open to anyone enrolled at Whitworth who wants their work published.

The journal is funded by one of the English department’s donors, said Annie Stillar, program assistant for the English department.

But English majors are not the only ones submitting to the journal, said junior Diana Cater, assistant managing editor of Script.

“We have people from all academic backgrounds submitting their work,” Cater said.

She said Script is inspiring because it helps Whitworth artists realize they aren’t alone.

“Something really wonderful happens when you realize you are in a community of artists,” Cater said. “It’s really inspiring to say, ‘Hey, I’m surrounded by all of these really talented people.’”

Once submitted, the work is reviewed by a group of editors.

The editors determine what makes the work “good” as well as how it can be improved.

“What we’re really looking for is either people who just have a really solid craft and their writing is beautiful, and also students who are using innovative forms,” Jacquelyn Wheeler, senior and student editor of Script said.

Work can then be revised by the author and resubmitted. It becomes a learning process for both the editors and authors.

“We’re learning how to be editors, you’re learning how to be writers,” according to the Script Lit Journal Facebook page. “You help us by submitting, we want to help you, too.”

Many students submitted this year and Script is publishing a book with 170 pages of student work, including more art than has been seen in previous years, Wheeler said.

“Jacquie and I believe a thick journal is better than a thin one,” Cater said.

However, that does not mean quality was compromised. More than 20 editors worked on the journal to ensure that every piece of work was worth publishing.

While some works were rejected from the publication, authors can still learn from the editors’ critiques.

“You still get feedback and that’s a really important experience,” Cater said. “Keep writing and find ways to improve your craft.”

This year’s publication comes out on May 4. There is a Script Reading to celebrate its release by the Campanile (if it is raining it will be held in the HUB MPR) at 4 p.m.

Anyone published in Script is welcome to read their work at the ceremony and attendees can get a free journal.

“It’s pretty well attended every year,” Stillar said. “It is usually attended by about 70 to 100 people and it usually lasts about an hour.”

Next year, students interested in becoming an editor for Script should keep their eyes open during the fall for when the informational meeting will be held. Previous experience is not required as plenty of it will be gained from becoming part of the staff.

Submissions will be accepted starting in the fall.

 

Story by Nerissa Kresge Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of: Jacquelyn Wheeler

 

Contact Nerissa Kresge at nkresge12@my.whitworth.edu.

Nude takes first place in Seattle band battle

Of the 147 bands that applied to the Experience Music Project’s 11th annual Sound Off! competition, Spokane-based band Nude wasn’t even hoping to win the competition.

It was not an effortless win, the band members said. Nude tried to remain calm about the experience, but still wanted to be a significant part of the competition.

“We really just wanted to make it to the final round, and then from there we just kind of tried to let go of it,” said Nathan Mead, the band’s vocalist and guitarist. “We weren’t trying to really be competitive. It’s too stressful to be super competitive.”

The competition was held for bands aged 21 and under from the Pacific Northwest. The bands go through a process of three semi-final concerts, and during the final, the winner is chosen.

Because Nude was named winner of Sound Off!, they received a spot at Seattle’s Bumbershoot, a music and art festival that takes place every September.

“It was such an advancing experience, I think,” Cody Thompson said, the band’s drummer. “We pushed ourselves really hard because we were so excited about it.”

The band consists of two Whitworth seniors, Jeff Bass and Jackson Cate (currently studying abroad in Australia); as well as Mead and Thompson.

“Winning Sound Off! was such an amazing thing,” lead guitarist Bass said. “We won Bumbershoot and recording time, and so much awesome gear that fits our needs so well.”

Along with a slot at Bumbershoot, the band will also be recording its first EP in May in Seattle.

According to the band, the EP it is releasing is significant to the start of the band’s career.

“It’s the first stepping stone to initiating ourselves as a band that wants to be recognized,” Thompson said.

Initially, the band had been recording its demos in Bass’s bedroom. According to the band, recording in a studio will be a big — and welcome — change.

“We’ll have a chance to really have [the songs] make sense dynamically,” Bass said.

Nude also said it wants to give its fans a powerful experience through their EP.

“It’s our first chance to create a full experience that people can have outside one of our shows,” Thompson said.

Nude was formed initially during fall of 2009, when Bass and former Whitworth student Mead took a music theory class together.

“We started talking about music, ended up jamming together, and we never really stopped,” Bass said. “We had a hard time finding other people who wanted to do the same weird things we did.”

Bass resorted to using beats made on ProTools and looping the sound during shows when Nude didn’t have a drummer.

Fortunately for Mead and Bass, they met Cate and Thompson. Together, they were able to form Nude.

Mead, who describes the band’s genre as “beat-heavy dream-pop,” described the varying musical backgrounds of all of the members.

“If I were to talk about the sounds we were influenced by, I would say Jeff was influenced by melodic garage rock, with some bebop influence,” Mead said. “I come from 80s mope pop and Cody really likes jazzy stuff but also just street beat.”

Despite their differing musical backgrounds, the band’s unique energies help bring the sound together.

“It never feels like we’re treading on each other’s styles, it just fits,” Thompson said. “We’ve helped to make this sound that we’ve all created with our personalities.”

The band members said they are attracted to passionate, expressive playing that makes listeners have a visceral reaction to the music.

“That’s what we want to be, is expressive,” Mead said.

Nude performed at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture’s BeGin! show on April 13.

Sophomore Seth Owens attended the performance, and described Nude’s style. He has seen the band perform on multiple occasions, and said they get better every time he sees them play.

“Nude live is a dream-like experience,” Owens said. “The unique repeated guitar licks and complementary vocals make it sound as if everything is accidentally perfect.”

Owens said he generally stifles the temptation to dance at shows, but for Nude, he makes an exception.

“When I watch them on stage, I feel like they’re almost contingent upon my interaction as a member of the audience,” Owens said. “They invite, I react, they reward.”

Sophomore Sam Bjoraker, who also attended the show at the MAC, agreed.

“Nude is so fun to watch because of how effortlessly they play complicated arrangements,” Bjoraker said. “They just get up there and enjoy themselves, and you can’t help but do the same. I spend most of the show with my eyes glued to Jeff’s fret board. You can’t help but dance.”

Bjoraker said he believes Nude definitely has a future among other famous bands.

“Mark my words, Nude will be signed to a label in the next eight months,” Bjoraker said.

The band has multiple upcoming shows, including a Star Wars show on May 4 in Seattle. Nude will be playing two shows in June: Elkfest in Spokane  and the Catapult Music Festival in Anacortes. Nude also has a few tentative house shows coming up in Spokane.

To keep track of Nude and sample its demos, visit its Facebook page.

Story by Katie Harriman Staff Writer

Photography by Greg Moser

Contact Katie Harriman at kharriman14@my.whitworth.edu.

Congo escapee joins incoming freshmen

Whitworth University sends out letters of acceptance to new students all over the world. This year, a letter of acceptance was sent to the home of Wilondja Muyoma, a 19-year-old living in Seattle. Muyoma, like many other prospective students, came to visit the Whitworth campus last November and fell in love with the university. He attended a few classes and said he was very impressed with the school.

“I visited several other colleges but my experiences at Whitworth were so different and unique,” Muyoma said.  “And as I did more research on the school, I saw what an amazing job they are doing in academics and I wanted to go there.”

He is now looking forward to studying philosophy and economics and perhaps taking a few French classes.

Muyoma is soon planning to pack up his things and make the trek from Seattle to Spokane.

The transition should be quite easy for him, for his journey to Whitworth began in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Specifically, he has traveled from the city Bukavu in Eastern Congo.

Muyoma’s native tongue is Swahili, but at the private Christian school he attended he mostly spoke French. Muyoma said that in Bukavu everyone lives in a tightly knit area. He said everyone is so close that he would consider the members of his community to be like relatives. He cared deeply for his friends and family.

Muyoma’s home was directly affected by one of the deadliest wars in Africa’s history, the Second Congo War. A peace treaty was signed in 2003 but fighting prevailed in the eastern part of Congo. When Muyoma was 12, the war that brought malnutrition and disease was forcing young men to join the army and leave their families.  All of those conditions became too much for Muyoma and he decided it was time to leave.

“Congo is pretty close to Rwanda, so we decided just to run there,” Muyoma said. “But along the way, my parents got lost and we were separated.”

There is estimated to be nearly 3 million refugees across Africa who have fled their homes due to violent conflict and persecution. There is a program established in Kenya that is designed to help reconnect families that might have been separated during the war. After nearly three years of searching for his family, Muyoma learned his parents were located back in the Congo.

Not wanting to risk going back to Bukavu, Muyoma was taken to an overcrowded, English-speaking refugee camp. Mapendo International, also known as RefugePoint, is an organization that happened to be visiting Muyoma’s camp at that time. RefugePoint goes to Kenya to assist families and individuals fleeing war who need urgent and lifesaving help. The foundation works with the United States and the U.N. to identify durable solutions for people in danger.

“The camp was such a blessing, because Mapendo International was there and offered to take me to America,” Muyoma said. “They offered me safety from the Congo and a chance to study in America and get a real education.”

The youngest of the group, Muyoma was the only one under 18 to travel to America. He and several others left Nairobi and flew to Europe, then to New York, and finally to Seattle.

“It was a very long flight, but just knowing I was going back to school made it worth it,” Muyoma said.

Muyoma settled into his new home in Seattle and quickly taught himself to speak English fluently. He said when he came to America he was excited to learn about business. So, he applied for an internship with Microsoft in the summer of 2011 and was one of 20 finalists accepted into the program.

“I had no clue what it was going to be like,” Muyoma said.

Muyoma was put into a group which would focus on the social aspect of marketing in the U.S. He worked with real Microsoft clients and learned persuasive marketing skills to get people to buy his products.

Muyoma then decided it was time to start a new chapter of his life. He was accepted into Whitworth’s Act Six program and is excited to move to Spokane and live on campus.

“When I visited I really liked East and Duvall,” Muyoma said. “But as I researched more, BJ looks fun because it’s all freshmen and it’s a close and tight community, kind of like my home was in Bukavu.”

 

Story by Jennifer Ingram Staff Writer

Photography by Corey Hage, courtesy of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide  

 

Contact Jennifer Ingram at jingram13@my.whitworth.edu.