For the first time in school history, a University High School baseball team won a district championship and reached the Region IV finals.
Ed Furlott was a major reason.
Beginning last summer during the American Legion season, the unassuming Titan pitcher suddenly blossomed as the ace of the staff, compiling a 20-2 record between Legion and this year’s high school season.
Included in his 10-1 mark this spring was last weekend’s 4-0 shutout victory over Big Nine regular season champion Kennewick.
Furlott’s forte is not speed, but, said U-Hi coach Don Ressa, unbelievable control.
“He has a curve ball, good slider and unique ability to change speeds,” said Ressa. “He struck out six or seven and Kennewick never did hit the ball very hard.”
Furlott showed some potential as a sophomore from Bowdish Junior High, but lacked confidence in his ability. As a junior he was a starter and had an average season.
Since last summer, he has been virtually unbeatable.
“He’s just a babe in the woods,” Ressa said of his senior pitcher. “He’s a skinny, 6-foot-3 kid with room to grow.”
University had a 17-6 season that included a second Greater Spokane League championship as well as the district title and a berth in the regional championship game.
Both titles, Ressa noted, came with an Asan on the team. Kelly Asan caught for the Titan champs of four years ago. Brother Scott Asan, bound for Gonzaga University, caught for this year’s team.
The season came to an end with an 11-7 loss to Wenatchee which represented the region in this weekend’s state finals in Spokane.
At one point the Titans led 5-2.
“But we just couldn’t hold them down,” said Ressa.
He had no regrets.
“We had a great year,” Ressa continued. “It was just a bunch of average kids who came together. How did we do it?”
The athletes made a pledge to stick together no matter what happens. Even with their share of down moments during the season everyone stuck together.
“In 17 years as head coach I can honestly tell you I never had a team like this,” said Ressa. “We played Wenatchee to the wire and when we got beat they cried (because the season had ended).”
U-Hi softball team comes close
GSL softball teams had only one berth to the state tournament, but came close to earning all three.
It was their strongest showing in the two-year regional tournament against Big Nine teams and University played a major part.
The Titans came within a game of a state trip.
On opening day GSL teams won twice and lost a pair of one-run games.
Included was U-Hi which lost to Big Nine champion Richland 5-4. Trailing 4-1, U-Hi scored three times in the seventh inning to tie, but lost in the bottom of the inning.
The team then won two games in a row, Jami Fox pitching back-to-back shutout victories over Moses Lake and North Central.
In their rematch, Richland broke a 2-2 tie with four sixth-inning runs to end U-Hi’s season.
The Titans went from second in the GSL to fourth in district, but acquitted themselves at regionals.
The better news is that all but one player return next year, including Fox, Stephani Shelton, who had seven hits in four games and Devon Bakken, who had six.
A state appearance, which has eluded University two years in a row, is waiting around the corner.
Hangman Valley ladies golf
Three players broke 100 to win their respective flights of Hangman Valley Ladies Golf Club medal play.
Billie Etter won A with 90, Donna Ogilvie won B with 94 and Margaret Brashears won C with 99. In D flight, Ella Leinwebber shot 104.
Net winners with 72 were Kelly Waltenbaugh in A, Marie Nelson and Fran Nord in B. Sue Henley netted 70 in C and Betty Dalzell had 68 in D.
Painted Hills ladies golf
A familiar name led the way during last week’s Painted Hills Ladies Golf Club outing.
Danice Deckard shot low gross 44 in A flight for the best score of the day.
In B flight, Jan Geiger shot 58. Merilyn Lloyd and Sharon Meier had 59s in C and Patsy Angelo a 66 in D. Maureen Williams had the best nohandicap flight score with 58.
Net winners were Carol McVicker in A flight with 38, Nancy Lochmiller in B and Audrey Kreuziger in C with 39, and Cindee Corrick in D with 36.
Valley View womens golf
During two recent outings of Valley View Ladies Club members, Lorraine Martin was medalist with a low gross 50 one week and Anne Meyers with 46 the next.
Not far behind were respective nohandicap golfers Irene Spidle who shot 51 and Barb Eppling who had 48.
Net winners included Min Arnold with 35 and along with Sylvia Riggin a 32 in A flight, Loriene Rankin with 29, Patsy Angelo and Peg Hallstein with 33s in B flight, Laura Odette with 30 and 31 in C flight.