T-Birds open the 2024 CCC Championship Tournament against Southern Oregon

VANCOUVER – For the seventh straight season, the UBC Thunderbirds have advanced to the playoffs and will head to the Cascade Collegiate Conference Softball Championship Tournament this weekend, hosted by Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls, OR. The T-Birds (25-20, 16-11) open the postseason as the fifth seed and kick off the double-elimination tournament with a matchup against the fourth-seeded and defending NAIA World Series champion Southern Oregon University Raiders ( 15/34, 7/20) bright and early on Friday, May 3 at 9:00 AM PT.

Jennifer McKellar‘s team finished the regular season on a hot streak, securing victories in seven of their final eight games, with dominant runs over Providence and Corban.

“I am so proud of this team and everything we have accomplished this year,” McKellar said. “They really play for each other and love to compete together. Our team has really found our own identity as a calm, confident group on both sides of the ball. I think this has really reflected in the way they tough competition, especially in the middle of the match.” our season we played four ranked teams in five straight weeks, adversity (lots of injuries) and team and personal success. We set some big goals this year and worked really hard for them (25 wins equals the most wins ever). a UBC softball season), but we are hungry for more and can’t wait for the CCC tournament. Two players (Keona and Gabby) had 100 career hits. Shae now has the most career wins as a pitcher in our program (24). Carleen is tied for the most victories as a pitcher in a single season (11)”

Keona Nordquist seen from the side at maximum follow-through, at full stride with the bat wrapped around her and stabbing into the air

Offensively the trio of Kaitlyn Kim, Gabriel DorvalAnd Keona Nordquist played a big role in pacing the ‘Birds in 2023. Kim posted the highest batting average for the blue and gold at .357, leading in home runs (4), RBI (34) and hits (50). Dorval and Nordquist finished the regular season with 46 hits each, while managing to hit .341 and .324, respectively.

Shae Sever (8-5) and Carleen Murray (10-5) have combined to pitch 198 innings as the two have been relied on to do most of the work this season. Sever leads the team with 91 strikeouts, while Kempel has pitched four shutouts.

“We knew our job for the last two conference series and it was super exciting to be part of the team’s flawless execution,” McKellar added. “Everyone has played a role in finishing at such a high level, both at home and on the road. Adjustments have been made and players have stepped up when called upon, and that’s exactly what you want to see when you play the first round of the playoffs, especially in our conference.”

The T-Birds will face a tough challenge ahead of their opening game against Southern Oregon. In four regular season meetings against SOU, all on the road during a weekend series in mid-April, UBC managed to secure one win. The SOU offense features three players with six home runs: Hannah Clavelle, Jordan Henderson and Kennedy Kila. Pitcher Katie Machado has won 19 games with 122 strikeouts.

VANCOUVER,BC: March 2, 2024 – UBC Thunderbirds v Bushnell University Beacons during NAIA softball action at UBC in Vancouver, BC, March 2, 2024. (Jacob Mallari/UBC Athletics Photo)***MANDATORY CREDIT***

“Southern Oregon may be the fourth seed, but they are also the defending NAIA World Series champions,” McKellar concluded. “They play very well under pressure and, as a program, know how to win in the postseason. We played them on their home court three weeks ago and participated in all the games, managing to go 1-0 after a great performance from Shae.” We were right in the other two conference games, so I know that gives us confidence. Even though we know we’re a bit of an underdog, this group is so driven in our goal of making a playoff run, I know we’ll just do that. Take it one field at a time, slow the game down and check what we can do. I expect a very exciting match.”

The first pitch is scheduled for 9am (PT) on Friday, May 3. If UBC wins the opener, their next game will be later that same afternoon. The schedule for the entire championship tournament can be found below.

2024 CCC Softball Tournament Schedule (All Times Pacific)

Friday May 3
Game 1 – 9am | #5 British Columbia vs. #4 Southern Oregon
Game 2 – 11:30am | #6 Carroll vs. #3 College of Idaho
Game 3:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Winner Game 1 vs. #1 Oregon Tech
Game 16 – 4:30 pm | Winner Game 2 vs. #2 Eastern Oregon

Saturday May 4
Game 5 – 9 hours | Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3 (loser eliminated)
Game 6 – 11:30 am | Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 4 (loser eliminated)
Game 7:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
Game 8:00 PM – 4:30 PM | Winner Game 5 vs. Game 6 winner (loser eliminated)

Sunday May 5
Game 9 – 11 am | Loser Game 7 vs. Game 8 Winner (Loser Eliminated)
Game 10 – 1:30 pm | Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9
Game 11 – If necessary, 30 minutes after the end of Game 10