GFU women's golf team among national contenders
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The No. 2 George Fox women's golf won its second consecutive Northwest Conference co-title on Sunday, finishing second at the NWC tournament and winning a one-hole playoff against Whitman College.
After the first round, GFU led by two strokes and had a team score of 318. On day two, the Bruins improved their score by eight strokes and cemented themselves as one of the top teams in the tournament.
Whitman made an even greater improvement, however, shaving an astonishing 19 strokes off its score on the second day, forcing a playoff by winning the tournament through two days. The playoff came as a result of the Bruins having won the fall and spring classic tournaments, and GFU delivered a clutch performance to automatically qualify for the NCAA postseason.
A shared title with Whitman makes it 10 consecutive Northwest Conference titles in total for the Bruins and two shared ones in a row. That means 10 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances as well.
The Division III women's golf championships are held in Houston, Texas, at Bay Oaks Country Club. The tournament runs May 14-17 and GFU enters the tourney ranked No. 2 in the nation.
George Fox softball went 1-2 in the Northwest Conference tournament after a strong finish to the regular season, wrapping up its 2019 campaign with a 6-2 loss to Whitworth on April 27.
Before the season-ending loss, GFU beat Pacific 8-4 earlier that day and opened the tournament on April 26 with a 6-0 loss to Linfield. All the tournament games were played in McMinnville.
Linfield star pitcher Shelby Saylors shined in the opening game of the tournament against the Bruins, hurling seven innings and allowing two hits while striking out nine. Saylors upped her record to 18-4 on the season at that point while GFU couldn't manage anything offensively.
The Bruins bounced back against Pacific, however, and got enough offensive production to pick up a solid victory. The production began in the first inning, when Roni Braun had an RBI double to right center. In the second inning, GFU went up 2-0 on a solo home run by Savannah Vargas.
Pacific captured the lead 3-2 after a solid third inning, but a pair of solo home runs from Braun and Claire Fountain gave GFU a 4-3 lead. Pacific tied it in the bottom of the frame.
The sixth inning was where GFU exploded, scoring three runs on an RBI double by Allisa Yabumoto and a two-run home run by Makenna Martin. The final run of the day was scored on a solo home run by Alyssa Gonzalez, capping off a high-powered offensive day for the Bruins in their penultimate game of the season.
The season ended with the 6-2 loss to Whitworth, but GFU had a solid season on the diamond and finished with a record of 26-16, 17-11 in the NWC.
Number 27 GFU men's tennis advanced to the Northwest Conference tournament finals with a 5-0 win over Pacific on April 27. The Bruins lost 6-0 to Whitman in the finals on April 28 and finished 12-8 on the season. Just one senior – Justin Barton – departs the program as the team resets for its 2019-20 campaign.