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Crawford and Masada Find Balance with Off-Field Involvement

Crawford and Masada Find Balance with Off-Field Involvement

by Jake Bilyeu, sports information student writer

PARKLAND, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran softball team continues conference play this weekend, as they head out to Spokane to take on Whitworth. 

With a conference record of 11-9, good enough for a third place tie with George Fox, the Lutes can jump up in the standings with a good weekend against the Pirates, who currently sit at first place with a 14-6 record.  As always, head coach Lance Glasoe is solely focused on his team and what he can control.

"We've been playing some good softball last two weeks," Glasoe said. "We've played well against really good teams, and that's largely because we've been great on offense recently."

This week is also Division III week.  All across the nation, student-athletes are getting recognized for the work they're doing off the field.  The Lutes have many student athletes worthy of recognition.

"That's one of benefits of playing in Division III, you have balance," Glasoe said. "Schedule allows academic focus, and so we've raised the team's GPA this year, and the team has been involved around campus and still been able to compete athletically."

Two students in particular who have been putting in great work on and off the field are Kelli Crawford and Thalen Masada.

Kelli Crawford is a senior in PLU's Education Department. Crawford has been completing her student teaching requirement by recently wrapping up nine weeks of special-education teaching and now moving on to teach in a third grade classroom.  Because of her great work, Crawford has recently been hired by Fern Hill Elementary.

"Balancing school and softball with teaching has required plenty of flexibility and understanding," Crawford said.  "I was fortunate enough to find a school that was close enough to PLU and still allowed me to commit to my team."

Thalen Masada has been very busy this year, as she's recently brought back PLU's Hawaii Club, which had been absent since 2009. Masada, a junior, has been working with a group of sophomores, including soccer star Kristi Kaneta, to bring back the club, which has been a big hit after the school had 16 students come from Hawaii this year, a record.

"We all decided to make it happen as a way to express our culture," Masada said. "It's been a gateway program for all of the Hawaiian students on campus, and Kristi Kaneta has been very helpful while I try to balance the club and the team."

While the Lutes have been very active outside of the softball team, they've still been very committed this season.  They hope to continue their great run this season before wrapping up the regular season against UPS next weekend.