LACEY — Joslyn Eugenio stands a mighty 5-foot-3, but her power in the batter’s box is more than hitting singles.
The Saint Martin’s senior first baseman is the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s career leader in doubles after Thursday’s home doubleheader against Western Oregon.
In the second game, she went 3-for-3 with a two-run double that broke a sixth-inning tie, helping the No. 23-ranked Saints sweep the Wolves, 8-1 and 12-6, at Saints softball field.
Eugenio had a two-run home run in the third, a fifth-inning single and her go-ahead double to lead Saint Martin’s to its 13th victory in 15 games. She now has 60 career doubles with 10 regular-season games remaining.
“All I focus on is putting the ball in play, and things will happen,” said Eugenio, who was 4-for-7 in the two games. “I struggled in the first game a little, and as a senior, you feel you have that extra leadership role, especially hitting-wise. I had to show that in the second game.”
It has been a week of recognition for the Saints. They finished second at the Tournament of Champions in Turlock, Calif., last weekend, including an upset of then- No. 9-ranked Humboldt State. Earlier this week, the program earned its first national ranking in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s NCAA Division II Top 25 poll.
“They’re rock stars on campus,” Saints coach Rick Noren said.
Two years ago, the Saints won nine games in Noren’s first season. Since then, they have won 61 games and counting. They sit in second place in the GNAC at 10-4, a half-game behind Simon Fraser.
Eugenio — one of three current Saints on that 2011 team — has seen the team go from hoping for a win to playing to win every game.
That means a mightier target on the players’ backs.
“Now,” Eugenio said, “we’re a team that everyone comes out with the best people they have and give us a good game.”
After sophomore pitcher Sam Munger threw a four-hitter in Game 1, the Saints (28-11 overall) fell behind 5-3 in the second game before scoring nine runs over the final two innings for the win.
Christina DeMar, an Elma High graduate, tied the score 5-5 in the fifth with a two-out, two-run single to right. But the sixth inning was when the bats got hot.
The Saints sent 11 batters to the plate and torched Western Oregon pitcher Hannah Pomeroy for six of their seven runs in the inning.
Pomeroy was lifted after Eugenio and Dani Wall scored to give the Saints a 10-5 lead. Two of the five hits in the inning were for extra bases — Eugenio’s two-run double to left and catcher Aubree Pocklington’s two-run home run to left-center field that hit off a window of the Charneski Recreation Center.
Munger (14-6) also earned the win in Game 2, pitching the sixth and seventh innings. Starter Taylor Bakos was lifted after 32/3 innings, and Eugenio pitched 1.theolympian.com/southsoundsports