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Archive for May 2009

WSU’s season ends with 7-2 loss


COUGARS

Washington State had one bad inning against Oklahoma on Sunday, but the seventh inning was bad enough to end the Cougars’ 32-25 season, the school’s best since 1990. Here’s the Daily Oklahoman’s quick, end-of-game story about the 7-2 defeat to the Sooners in Norman. We’ll be back tomorrow with links to all the game stories. Until then …

Looking back, and ahead, at WSU in NCAAs


COUGARS

It’s a do-or-be-out day for Washington State, facing Oklahoma this morning at 11 then, if the Cougars win, turning around and dealing with Arkansas at 5 this afternoon. WSU has already faced the Sooners this year, splitting an early season four-game set in Pullman. For more on Saturday’s win over Wichita State, read on.

Shock run record to 9-0

Spokane’s two most lopsided wins this season have come against Tri-Cities. The Shock clobbered the Fever 61-20 on Saturday night to improve to 9-0. Spokane crushed Tri-Cities 62-32 six weeks ago in Spokane.

More below.

 

WSU wins first NCAA game since 1990


COUGARS

WSU just eliminated Wichita State, 3-2, behind the 10-strikeout pitching of Chad Arnold (a career high), a two-run home run from Derek Jones (his 12th) and a solo shot from Jared Prince (his seventh). The two home runs were on back-to-back pitches in the sixth. The Cougar bullpen, which struggled mightily in the loss to Arkansas, came through this time with Jeremy Johnson getting the save, his 10th. Now WSU will wait to see which team they’ll play. It will be the loser of today’s Arkansas vs. Oklahoma game. To win the regional, WSU has to win four consecutive games. With today’s win, the Cougars need three more.

Looking back at WSU’s defeat


COUGARS

Washington State will be back on the diamond in a couple hours, so let’s catch up with what happened yesterday. Even if you don’t want to, read on.

State track: two days down big day to go

Forty finals have been completed - mainly in the field events. Bulk of the State 2A-3A-4A track meets here at Mt. Tahoma High, 65 races and field events in all, will be contested today. We got to watch Thursday’s events before moving over to softball today. Dave Trimmer took in today’s action - and survived.

Here’s what he wrote about for tomorrow’s S-R:

State softball: Shadle hangs in

Greetings from Tacoma. Shadle Park and North Central lost their openers at the State 3A softball tournament. The Indians went out in two straight games, but the Highlanders bounced back for two wins and reached the final eight. Two wins and they’ll trophy for the fifth straight year. Pretty impressive efforts.

Here’s my story that will run tomorrow in The Spokesman-Review.

 

Eighth inning does in WSU


COUGARS

The day started so promising for WSU. But a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth collapsed quickly, with Arkansas exploding for nine runs in a 10-3 NCAA-opening-round win. You can read the wire story here. When our story appears we’ll link to it for you.

Unbeaten Shock visit 1-7 Tri-Cities

Back with an advance of Saturday’s Spokane/Tri-Cities game. The unedited version is below.

 

WSU, Way ready to take on Arkansas


COUGARS

With the baseball team doing something today it hasn’t done since 1990, that is, playing in the NCAA Tournament, we have stories that will get you ready to listen. Read on.

Lewis and Clark wins state golf title

The Lewis and Clark girls golf team won its first 4A State title Thursday, blitzing the competition at the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. Chessey Thomas also took the individual title with a birdie on the final hole. Over at Canyon Lakes in Kennewick, Hank Frame of U-Hi finished a stroke out of a playoff for the individual boys crown. Lewis and Clark’s boys finished fifth in the team race. For our unedited story that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R, read on.

Opponents scheming against Shock offense

I attended Shock practice Wednesday and put together a notebook that will run In Thursday’s S-R. You can read an unedited version below. Pictured above is backup quarterback Casey Hansen.

 

Few chosen for USA basketball post

Gonzaga’s Mark Few is one of six court coaches chosen to work with USA Basketball’s U19 and World University Games team trials. More here.

Catching up with WSU news midweek


COUGARS• UPDATED: 8 P.M.

Want an interesting way to start your Wednesday? Sit down, make sure no one will disturb you for an hour or so and then just read on for Washington State links.

What’s on Daye’s mind?

Austin Daye is in the midst of NBA workouts that will likely determine whether he stays in the draft or returns to GU for his junior season.

More on Daye in Hoopsworld and ESPN.com. And here’s a link to numerous NBA mock draft boards. 

WSU headed to Oklahoma


COUGARS • UPDATED: 12:20 P.M.

As you may know, Washington State University is headed to Norman, Okla., for the first round of the NCAA baseball tournament. The Cougars will open with Arkansas, a team that swept them in a three-game series early in the year. But they feel pretty good about the chances. UPDATE: Read on for the unedited version of our story for tomorrow’s paper.

WSU sweeps UW aside


COUGARS

Just a quick post to let you know WSU’s baseball team defeated UW again today, this time by an 10-5 score. The win gave the Cougars a sweep of their cross-state rivals in a three-game series for the first time since 1984 and the first time in Pullman since 1979. You can read more from the WSU sports information site here. The NCAA selections will be made at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow on ESPN. The sites have been picked - along with 16 teams that are in - and the West Coast ones are at Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine. We’ll be back tomorrow when we find out where the Cougars are headed.

Shock shut down Central Valley

Major computer issues here at the Arena, so hopefully this post makes it. Spokane defeated Central Valley 43-22 on Saturday. Unedited game story below.

 

WSU strikes fast, KOs UW


COUGARS

Two games, two wins. Washington State’s baseball team is on a roll, thanks in a large part to a pitching staff that has punched out more opposition hitters than any in Cougar history. They reached that mark Saturday midway through a 7-1 win over UW. Read on for my unedited game story – and continuing reading for a couple links worth checking out.

WSU one of few from Pac-10 headed to postseason


COUGARS

The Pac-10 is one tough college baseball conference. Year in, year out. Though this might be one of those out years, the Pac-10 is still darn good. But, because other than Arizona State at the top and Oregon at the bottom, it’s a conference in which any team can win on any given day, it’s not going to have a bunch of teams in the NCAA Tournament. One of those few, however, is going to be Washington State. No matter what happens today and tomorrow against Washington, the Cougars will finish second in the nation’s most successful conference. And the second place team will always get an NCAA berth. Read on for more.

GU baseball rallies for 4-3 win

I know nearly every post on this blog is basketball-related, but I staffed the GU-LMU baseball game Friday night and witnessed an outstanding game.

GU won 4-3, taking a one-game lead in the best-of-three WCC Championship Series. My unedited game story is below.

 

WSU stops UW in 10th


COUGARS

Just when it looked like WSU would breeze to their seventh Pac-10 series-opening victory, the Huskies rallied to take the lead. And then the Cougars rallied back. UW tied it again. And in the bottom of the 10th, WSU won it 6-5 on Michael Weber’s bases-loaded walk. Read on for the unedited version of my game story.

Stockton plans to walk-on at GU

There’s going to be another Stockton at Gonzaga.

John Stockton’s son, David, is heading to GU as a walk-on. The Gonzaga Prep senior (his last day of school was Friday) received recruiting interest from Idaho, Seattle U and The Citadel, but decided to stick close to home with the Bulldogs.

Stockton (pictured above against Richland in a Feb. 25th game) wasn’t sure if he would redshirt this season, but it sounds likely and it would give him additional time to add speed and strength.

More below.

Shock adjust roster, await CV

Back with an advance of Saturday’s Spokane-Central Valley game at the Arena. The unedited version is below.

Also, the Shock shook up their roster with a couple of trades and three new additions. None of the newcomers are expected to be activated for Saturday’s game. More here.

Dillon catches on with Shock

Former Washington State Cougar Charles Dillon has been an impact player for the Spokane Shock from the first day of training camp. Read more about Dillon here.

A newsy day for WSU

COUGARS • UPDATED: 2:50 P.M.

There is plenty of Washington State news to pass on this morning, thought not all of, heck most of it, would never be considered positive. Of course, very little Ryan Leaf news has been, since he left the Palouse. Read on.

GU-WVU game off

Looks like the proposed Gonzaga-West Virginia game won’t take place. More here.

Big weekend awaits WSU baseball


COUGARS • UPDATED: 5:50 P.M.

Not a lot of WSU football and basketball news, but there are a few things to pass on to you on this fine Tuesday morning. All you have to do is read on.

All’s well in end for Titans baseball

All’s well that ends well. After suffering an ignominious loss to Lewis and Clark, seeded fifth in district, the top-seeded University Titans baseball completed a three-game run of loser-out games to return to state for the third straight year. U-Hi beat Southridge 6-2 in eight innings, on the road at that, and will play Kamiakin in the first round of the 4A tournament in Richland. Could there be a Titan-Bomber finale for a berth in the Final Four?

“Maybe the loss was good for us,” said coach Scott Sutherland. “It caught our attention.”

The Titans softball counterparts weren’t as fortunate, falling victim to the LC jinx as well, and will miss the regional tournament for the first time in memory. The Tigers won 5-4 in extra inning to oust the GSL co-champions. Lewis and Clark had high hopes entering the season, but had lost their last five league games and were just 5-15 before winning three playoff games including over Mead and the Titans. Go figure.

 

No homecoming for Murrietta

Jason Murrietta, who opened the 2008 season as Spokane’s starting quarterback before losing the job to Nick Davila, won’t lead Central Valley against the Shock on Saturday night. He’s out with a shoulder injuury.

Read more below, along with several other Shock notes.

Your chance to weigh in on shot clock

Last week I wrote a column about the impending shot clock for high school basketball in Washington next year. I talked to a batch of coaches who were mainly in favor of it, but also offered reasons why the current ways are OK.

Here’s your chance to debate the issue. Will the game be better, worse or will things really change?

Preps post-season: age is showing

You know you’re getting old when you can remember standing in the middle of a track or along cross country courses watching the Weitz family run -  not only last fall, but 35-plus years ago.

Lynn Weitz was the first, a scrawny youngster who, you could tell, was going to be something someday, and he did, winning a state title. His sisters, Diane, Jan and Judy were all accomplished distance runners - top five state placers in track and cross country with team and individual titles in their scrapbooks.

Now there’s Lynn’s son Nathan, another wisp of a youngster with the unmistakeable gait of a star. Already, the Shadle Park freshman is near his dad’s career marks and must outrun North Central’s standouts and Allan Schroeder of Mt. Spokane or meet state standards to qualify for state.

Yes it’s that time of the year. State qualifying is upon us this week, state is next and another school year has flown by.

Williams hopes to return Saturday

(Memo to self: Never forget computer on four-day, out-of-town trip again.)

Shock defensive back Aaron Williams (knee) didn’t play against Florida, but he’s optimistic that he’ll return for Saturday’s home game against Central Valley. I’ll have more after I attend tomorrow’s practice.  

UPDATE: Central Valley took its lumps in more ways than one in losing to Arkansas and ex-Shock coach Chris Siegfried. More here and a little more here in the Fresno Bee, which apparently doesn’t staff home games..

OK, this info is obviously beyond late, but we’ll put up the links anyway from Spokane’s latest win. Here’s the story from the S-RShock PR, Firecats PR and the News-Press of Fort Myers.

There’s a few WSU links to talk about


COUGARS

As another workweek starts off with a near-perfect day, we have a couple of links for you. They run the gamut of sports, though we’re focusing on the state of Oregon for some reason. Read on.

Is there a new receiver in WSU’s future?

COUGARS

There’s not so much in the way of breaking news today, but there is some interesting items. One of which we’ll even do some speculating about here with your morning dose of Washington State links. Read on.

Shock visit Florida

The Spokane Shock this morning will catch a flight to Seattle, then it’s on to Houston and finally into Florida late Friday night. Spokane takes on the Florida Firecats on Saturday night. You can read my unedited game preview below.

 

State weighs in on concussions

The state legislature has now become involved in high school sports by passing a law that puts the onus on teams whenever a concussion is involved. This Seattle Times article explains the law passed by the swish of Chris Gregoire’s pen. The idea is admirable, but it seems to be one more case of Big Brother deeming what’s best for we, the unfortunate masses. Don’t we as parents have enough common sense and responsibility, along with coaches and team physicians to look after the health welfare of our children athletes without having one more law hanging over our heads? Apparantly not in the eyes of the elite.

WSU links from here to Sunday


COUGARS

Haven’t seen this many stories to link since the middle of the basketball season. Instead of wasting your time with inane chatter, let’s get right to it. Read on.

GSL Baseball: Don’t count your chickens

I suppose there are two ways to look at things when it comes to state qualifying baseball playoffs. You figure as the league champion you’re number two pitcher should be good enough to beat the No. 5 seeded upstart. Or you can play it safe, go with your ace and then let the chips fall where they may down the road.

University chose the former and it backfired in a 9-1 loss to Lewis and Clark, which right now is the hottest brand going. Jimmy Reed and Benny Baird are pitching as well as anyone and combined for 13 scoreless innings for two district playoff victories before U-Hi scored a harmless run in the final inning Wednesday night. The Tigers run the bases with abandon 1-through-9 and used that speed to good advantage. And everyone hit.

CV chose the latter, got a brilliant six innings from J.T. Beach and beat Mead 6-2.

LC plays CV for a regional berth and the district championship Friday, 7 p.m. at Avista Stadium. The Tigers would have to go back to 2002 for the last time they were this close and maybe even two decades that they last had this many wins. Who’da thunk it.

The Titans will pitch ace Billy Moon against Mead in loser out on Friday, both hoping to survive, then let the devil take the hindmost with available pitching on Saturday against either the Bears or Tigers.

Here’s my story for tomorrow’s S-R:

WSU, Bone agree on contract

COUGARS

Washington State University president Elson Floyd signed off on new basketball coach Ken Bone’s contract Monday and the university released it today. Read on for the unedited version of our story for tomorrow’s S-R.

WSU’s Thompson may have summer plans


COUGARS

Just a quick post on a note that appeared last week on a Big East-oriented blog while I was out of contact. Seems this poster knows the list of players who will be trying out for the U19 World Championship team. His list includes WSU’s Klay Thompson.

Shock remain No. 1 in af2

Spokane has taken up residence in the top spot in the weekly af2 poll. For the eighth straight week, the Shock are at No. 1. The only surprise was that Spokane lost a couple of first-place votes (down from 24 of the 25 possible to 22), even though it defeated last week’s No. 7 Boise.

Boise dropped to ninth. Florida (3-4), which entertains Spokane on Saturday, is 16th.

More here.

Shock notebook

Compiled a Shock notebook that may or may not run in Wednesday’s S-R. Depends on space, meaning it could be pushed back to Thursday.

You can take a look at the unedited version below.

WSU’s Mackay battles back

COUGARS

We talked with Washington State football coach Paul Wulff today concerning the injuries suffered by freshman Cory Mackay (No. 6 in photo above) in an automobile accident while headed home last week. The unedited version of the S-R story is on the link, so read on.

A couple Tuesday morning WSU links


COUGARS

A couple of football-related links to pass on, one of which is pretty funny. Read on.

Idaho preps

Here are a couple of feature stories from Sunday’s Handle Extra.

Click here to read a story on Lakeland softball standout Alisha Watson.

Click here to read a story on Timberlake softball standout Afton Allred, who is seen in the picture above.

Here is our updated North Idaho Track and Field Honor Roll going into this week’s state meets. Click the tab below to see.

Summer starts for WSU


COUGARS

School’s out, but sports teams still carry on. There’s the WSU baseball team finishing up the Pac-10 season en route to its first NCAA berth in almost 20 years. And the track teams are competing in the conference championships. Read on.

We’re back with WSU news


COUGARS

Where were we? Right. Going off the grid for a few days. Of course, when you do that, big things happen. Read on.

Shock hold off Boise, 64-62

This one had a little of everything. Spokane outlasted Boise 64-62 and the only thing missing — more time to write it up before deadline!

Anyway, my unedited game story is below. A couple of injury notes: Andy Olson sat out much of the second half with cramping and Harrison Nikolao was sidelined by injured ribs. Charles Dillon left briefly but returned, as did Sergio Gilliam, whose two interceptions helped turn the tide.

Update: Here’s John Blanchette’s column on the game.

 

Shock, Burn tangle again

Back with the game preview for Saturday’s showdown between Boise and Spokane at the Arena. Read on for an unedited version that will run in Saturday’s paper.

GSL baseball: Moon no-no clinches title

Billy Moon pitched University top its second straight Greater Spokane League title with an 8-0 no-hitter at Mead. The Titans can become the first to win 19 league games, I was told by coaches, if they beat the Panthers at home on Friday. Moon’s breaking pitches were nearly unhittable and he offset it with a fastball judicious use of the plate to stifle what may be the best hitting team in league. The Panthers didn’t help themselves on defense.

Here’s a look at tomorrow’s story:

 

T-Wolves 5A regional champs

The Lake City softball team captured the 5A Region I championship Wednesday. Read about it here.

Knee surgery last fall in soccer sidelined Clark Fork’s Bailey Hewitt, keeping her from defending four state titles in track. But it won’t keep her from pursuing her passion at Oregon State University. Click here to read more.

Hewitt, who played soccer at Sandpoint, is pictured above.

Zags score 975 on APR

The Gonzaga men’s basketball team scored 975 on the APR, safely above the 925 target figure. Read more about the men’s team and the numbers for the rest of GU’s programs here.

(Pictured is Jeremy Pargo, who will be part of Gonzaga’s commencement ceremonies this weekend.)

Shock notes

I went out to Shock practice Tuesday and filed this unedited notebook that will run in Wednesday’s S-R. You can read it below.

(Pictured above is John Booker, in ‘surf’ celebration mode against Iowa.)

Time to think prep baseball post-season

League championships will be determined this week in Greater Spokane League and Great Northern League baseball. University (17-1), which is assured a title tie and was ranked No. 1 in the Washington State baseball poll this week, hosts Mead (15-3) tomorrow with a chance to lock up another undisputed title at home. U-Hi’s high ranking is flattering, but is probably unrealistic given the GSL’s baseball history. Still, being league champs and a regional participant is an accomplishment enough.

Cheney (11-1) leads Clarkston (10-2) and Pullman (9-3) in the GNL race and hosts the Greyhounds Friday in a doubleheader to determine the titlists. For more on the Blackhawks, check out my weekly prep notebook.

 

Handle Extra sports

Here’s a feature on Lake City hurdles standout Tanner Schalk that was published in the Handle Extra on Sunday.

Click the tab below to see the latest North Idaho Track Honor roll going into state-qualifying meets this week.

Last WSU post for a while


COUGARS

Let’s see. What’s on my vacation checklist. Flip flops? Check. Cooler? Check. Sunshine? Eeh, not so much. Not going to stop me though. Read on.

Spokane downs Iowa to stay unbeaten

Spokane is the only unbeaten team left in arenafootball2. The Shock defeated Iowa 49-30 on Saturday to hike their record to 5-0.

Read on for my unedited game story that will run in Sunday’s S-R.

 

This and that for WSU’s Saturday


COUGARS • UPDATED: 11:45 A.M.

Hope you’re planning to have an action-packed weekend, what with the beautiful weather predicted for today and Bloomsday, a Spokane institution, on tap for Sunday. We’ve got the Kentucky Derby-viewing and baseball-watching on our to-do-list. Read on for links.

Shadle’s Rodgers commits to WSU


COUGARS

Just got finished talking with Shadle Park High’s Jake Rodgers, who decided Thursday he is going to accept a football scholarship from Washington State. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound senior-to-be said he like the WSU atmosphere and how everyone seems so close knit, among other reasons for picking the Cougars. Read on for the unedited version of the story that will be in tomorrow’s S-R.

Shock back home to face Iowa

No. 1-ranked Spokane, healing up after a run of injuries the last two weeks, returns to the Arena on Saturday night to take on Iowa, which started off 3-0 before dropping its last two games.

Read on below for an unedited game preview that will run in Saturday’s S-R. (That’s head coach Adam Shackleford and assistant coach Rob Keefe pictured above.)

Patience at the plate can pay dividends

Having sat through countless college softball games this spring and witnessing the Mead-Central Valley Greater Spokane League baseball game Thursday afternoon, I remain mystified how impatient hitters can be. Panther Cody Lunt had been brilliant for five innings against the Bears, but his relief, Kramer Kembel, was struggling in the sixth, hitting two batters in succession to force in a run. Rather than wait Kembel out, the next Bears batter took his hacks on the first pitch. Kembel got out of the inning and Mead won 7-4.

It’s happened so often at the college level in softball (and in high school where batters chase the high rise ball) that it makes you wonder if hitters think it a crime to walk. At certain times in a game, working the count and accepting a base on balls is the appropriate thing to do.

WSU rugby to play in Final Four


COUGARS

Did you know there is a team representing Washington State that is playing in the national semifinals this weekend? Read on.

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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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