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SMART CHOICES SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINE APPROACHES

Applications for the 6th annual WIAA/Dairy Farmers of Washington/Les Schwab Tires Smart Choices Scholarship Program are due April 1. The Smart Choices Scholarship Program recognizes one female and one male high school senior for their achievements in athletics/activities, the community, and the classroom. The selected recipients will each receive $5,000 college scholarships to the college or university of their choice.

Additionally, $8,000 in Smart Choices Scholarship money will be awarded to the four female and four male finalists. Each of these individuals will receive a $1,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice.

Encourage your seniors to apply online at wiaa.com/SmartChoices. Any questions should be directed to smartchoices@wiaa.com.

LUTES TOP RIVAL LOGGERS IN MIDWEEK DIAMOND TILT

The Pacific Lutheran University baseball team had an explosive start to its midweek Northwest Conference tilt against the University of Puget Sound on Tuesday, March 20, rolling to the 15-9 victory at PLU Field.

The Lutes (13-8, 11-2 NWC) started the game off hot in the first inning. Connor Cantu led off with a powerful double, and an Anthony Gosline double drove Cantu home to score the first run of the game. Next up to bat was hot hitter Jacob Bockelie, the NWC Hitter of the Week for the second consecutive week. Proving that he earned that title, Bockelie hit a towering two-run home run over the left center fence to drive in Gosline and himself. Marques Carlson got on base via a single, and eventually scored due to a wild pitch and fielding error, giving PLU a 4-0 edge after one inning

“Offensively we had a ton of quality at bats and Jacob Bockelie is on another planet right now,” said PLU head coach Nolan Soete.

After cycling through the entire lineup in the first, Cantu came back up to start off the second with a single. A single by Gosline moved Cantu to third, and a Bockelie single drove in Cantu to take the Lutes to five runs, and Bockelie to three RBIs on the game. The Lutes ended the second with a score of 5-1

In the third inning, both Cantu and Gosline walked, and were driven in on a second home run by Bockelie, this time to center field. This took Bockelie’s overall RBI count to six on the day.

“Today was good day for us at the plate,” said Bockelie. “We were putting solid swings on the ball all game.”

In the fifth inning, a hard single by Adam Stump went straight up the center. Stump then advanced to second on a passed ball, and to third on a sacrifice bunt from Tori Doten. Cantu singled, and Stump stayed on third. A sacrifice fly from Gosline brought Cantu to second, and an intentional walk to Bockelie loaded the bases for Cole Johnson. Johnson was walked to bring in Stump, keeping the bases loaded for Carlson, who singled to bring in Cantu and Bockelie. The Loggers (12-9, 6-5 NWC) brought in a new pitcher, and Matt Vick hit a single to right to score Johnson and Carlson, taking the Lutes to a 13-3 lead.

Junior pitcher Jacob Mortensen played for a solid seven innings for the Lutes, allowing six hits and striking out four batters to get another win under his belt.

“Mortensen did a great job today,” said Soete. “I thought he got better as the game went on.”

In the bottom of the eighth, Cantu walked and was advanced to second on a stellar bunt turned infield single from Kyle Temme. Johnson hit a strong single to right field, scoring Cantu and moving Temme to third. A sacrifice fly from Cameron Clem scored Temme to make the score 15-9 in the Lutes’ favor.

“We still have a couple areas where we can improve but we’re right on the cusp of being a great team,” said Bockelie.

The Lutes head to Whitman College this weekend, and will be home on Tuesday, March 27 to play a makeup game against Lewis & Clark College.

PLU’S KETTER NAMED NWC TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

The Northwest Conference office released its weekly award winners on Monday, March 19, with Pacific Lutheran University men’s track and field student-athlete Carson Ketter landing Track Athlete of the Week honors.

The Ocean Shores, Wash. native earns the award after winning the 100-meter dash for the second consecutive week. The senior bested the 43-competitor field in the 100 at the Lewis & Clark Spring Break Open on Saturday in Portland after clocking a career-best time of 10.87 seconds. His performance currently sits as the fastest time in the NWC and ranks seventh in all of NCAA Division III. A standout on the football team, Ketter additionally helped the Lutes’ 4×100-meter relay team finish sixth overall (43.70) and the 4×400-meter relay team to a runner-up finish (3:29.10). In both races, the Lutes were the top finishing Division III team in a field that included several Division I competitors.

Ketter becomes the second Lute this year to land NWC Track Athlete of the Week, joining Kyle Rapacz who earned the award on Mar. 5 for his performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

PLU is back in action on March 24, competing at the PLNU Collegiate Invitational in San Diego.

PLU FRESHMAN MAKES NCAA DEBUT IN THE POOL

Pacific Lutheran University women’s swimming student-athlete Kaycee Simpson competed in her first event on March 21, in day one of the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships held at the IU Natatorium.

“NCAA’s has been great so far, Kaycee and I have had a lot of fun here hanging out with coaches and incredible student-athletes from the Northwest Conference and across the country,” said PLU head coach Matt Sellman. “It was awesome to get her first swim under her belt, which wasn’t her fastest, but she had fun and I, as always, loved watching her.”

Simpson, the Northwest Conference Freshman of the Year, clocked a time of two minutes, 11.23 seconds in the 200-yard individual medley, the first of three events the Graham native will compete in over the next four days. Simpson’s time was the seventh fastest among first-years in the 200 IM.

“We’re excited to move through the rest of the meet, swimming fast and having fun,” said Sellman.

An NWC Champion in both the 100- and 200-yard butterfly, Simpson will return to the pool on Friday for the 200-yard butterfly and will hit the water again on Saturday for the 200-yard breaststroke. Preliminaries on both days begin at 10 a.m. (Eastern time).

UPS’ CALLAHAN READY FOR NCAA DIV-III CHAMPIONSHIPS

Kelli Callahan is set to compete in the NCAA Division-III Swimming Championships, which started Wed., March 21, in Indiana University Natatorium. The Championships conclude March 24.

Callahan will compete in the 200-IM (March 21), 400-IM (March 22), and 100-free (March 24).

The Puget Sound sophomore has already put together a memorable 2017-18 season. She was named the Northwest Conference Co-Swimmer of the Year after she set conference records in the both the 200-IM (2:04.41) and the 400-IM (4:25.51).

Shortly after the NWC Championships, Callahan was named the NCAA D-III Women’s Swimmer of the Week by CollegeSwimming.com. She was named the NWC Swimmer of the Week four times this season.

UPS BASEBALL COMPLETES SWEEP OF PACIFIC

Mason Quinlan homered twice, drove in four runs, and scored four times as the Puget Sound baseball team completed a three-game sweep against Pacific at home with a 14-5 win Sunday afternoon.

Quinlan’s first home run was a three-run blast to left field that gave the Loggers a 7-1 lead in the second inning. He also hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to push Puget Sound’s lead to 11-2.

The Loggers faced a 1-0 deficit entering the bottom of the first, but Puget Sound pushed four runs across the plate in the opening frame. Hunter Riley ripped a two-run double down the left-field line, and Kyle Strash and James Dejesus both produced RBI singles. Riley and Strash both finished with two RBI.

Puget Sound starting pitcher Michael Warnick improved to 4-1 after allowing just one earned run through six innings.

UPS SOFTBALL COMPLETES ROAD SWEEP OF LEWIS & CLARK

The Puget Sound softball team’s three-game series at Lewis & Clark ended on Sunday, March 18, with a play at the plate, and the Loggers returned to Tacoma with three more Northwest Conference wins under their belt.

Puget Sound 4, Lewis & Clark 3

Following a tight 6-5 UPS victory the day before, the Loggers carried a one-run lead into the seventh inning, but the Pioneers put the tying run on third base with one out in the home half of the final inning. A fly ball was lifted to right field and the runner tagged up. Mackensie Pearlstein made the catch for the inning’s second out, and then she threw out the runner at home plate to clinch a 4-3 victory for Puget Sound.

Camille Goo gave the Loggers a 1-0 lead in the second inning with her first collegiate home run. Pearlstein added to the Loggers’ lead later in the inning with a sac fly that scored Marissa Oda. Kaitlyn Webster’s two-run triple in the sixth inning provided the much-needed insurance runs.

Goo finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs, and Lia Nakamoto went 2-for-2 for Puget Sound. Jessica Gott earned the win by allowing just two earned runs through six innings.

Puget Sound 7, Lewis & Clark

Goo provided the early runs as Erica Gott tossed a complete game during the Loggers’ 7-2 win over Lewis & Clark.

Goo’s two-run single in the third inning gave Puget Sound a 2-0 lead, but the Pioneers tied the score in the bottom of the stanza. Jessica Gott broke the tie in the fifth inning when her double to right-center field scored Amber Popovich.

Later in the fifth, Goo singled through the left side to Jessica Gott. Kaitlyn Webster ripped a two-run single in the fifth, and Noelle Kerr hit an RBI single in the seventh. Erica Gott allowed just two earned runs through seven innings.

Puget Sound continues a stretch of 12 consecutive road games when it plays at Pacific on Saturday, March 24.

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