Lady ‘Wolves shy of winning Tournament of Champions

The Sonoma State softball team traveled to Turlock this weekend to partake in the Tournament of Champions. Despite collecting an overall record of 7-1 in the weekend’s games, they fall short of the TOC title in the championship game. 

The first game took place Thursday evening at 4 p.m. at the Pedretti Sports Complex and resulted in a 6-5 Seawolf victory. Amanda Lierena started on the mound for Sonoma, and had a comfortable cushion after the first inning after she set Western Washington down in order, and the Seawolves pushed across five runs in the bottom half of the inning. However, Western Washington would score one in the third courtesy of a solo home run over the center field fence, and then four more runs in the third to tie things up at 5-5. 

The game remained knotted up until the seventh inning when Megan Konieczka trotted home on a double over the left fielder’s head from Hayley Condon. Ashley Long and Amanda Rossetta each picked up a pair of hits for the Seawolves, and the Vikings got three hits out of their leadoff hitter Autumn Isaacson.

The Seawolves played two games on Friday, collecting two wins: a 4-1 victory over Notre Dame de Namur and a 12-0 victory over Hawaii Pacific. The leaders from the day for the Seawolves included Kelsi Chinen who finished the day with four hits, two home runs, and four runs batted in. Holli Brown also collected four hits and four runs batted in.

Sonoma State collected three wins on Saturday, including a 9-7 victory over the Academy of Art, a 4-3 victory over number two ranked Cal Baptist, and an 8-4 victory over Dominican University. Amanda Lierena earned the win in two of the ‘Wolves’ three games while collecting twenty-two batters on the day. 

Leading the way offensively for Sonoma on the day was Konieczka, who went six for 12 with a home run, three runs batted in, and scored three runs herself. Ashley Long collected five hits on the day also with a double, four runs batted in, and three runs scored. 

The Seawolves were now in the Gold Bracket of the tournament, playing in the semifinal against Western Washington entering the final day of the tournament. They started out the day with a 6-0 victory, but sadly ended the day and the tournament with their first loss in the championship against number eighth ranked Humboldt State. 

Although they were unable to capture their second title of the tournament, they did have three players awarded ‘All-Tourney’ honors; Konieczka, who went 12 for 25 with three home runs, seven runs batted in, and seven runs scored; Kelsi Chinen, who went eight for 15 with two home runs, four runs batted in, and three runs scored; and Lierena, who left the tournament with a 3-0 record with 27 strikeouts in 21 innings, while only allowing 18 hits, four earned runs, and five walks.

The Seawolves improved their record over the weekend to 30-12 overall. Even though they broke their 14-game winning streak, they have still won 20 out of their last 23 games, and will resume CCAA play April 11 as they take on Humboldt State again in their last four home games of the season over Friday and Saturday’s doubleheaders.