The Western Washington University softball team continues Great Northwest Athletic Conference play with doubleheaders today at Saturday at Viking Field on the WWU campus.
The Vikings, 9-7, began the home stand Wednesday against 2012 conference champion Montana State Billings, splitting two games against MSUB.
Today, WWU hosts Northwest Nazarene at 1 and 3 p.m. and Central Washington on Saturday, March 9, at noon and 2 p.m.
WWU head coach Amy Suiter (3rd year) understands the importance of the contests.
"We definitely have to come out ready to play," she said. "With six conference games right out of the gate, it's a big leap."
The Vikings have enjoyed early success, which included placing third among 28 teams at the MSUB Desert Stinger, because of improved offensive production. Through 14 games this season, WWU has scored 73 runs compared to 49 at the same juncture last year.
Alexie Levin (Fr., Everett) has played a key role, batting a team-high .469 (15-for-32), driving in 11 runs and scoring nine. Levin has accounted for all three of the Vikings' triples, leads the team with an .813 slugging percentage and is currently riding a six-game hitting streak.
"Alexie is just a great athlete," Suiter said. "She hits well, throws well and is a great all-around athlete. We have a lot of depth all the way through the lineup. We also have depth all the way through the bench. I feel like I can go to anyone at any time."