INLAND EMPIRE LEAGUE
Coeur d’Alene Vikings
1997 records: 20-7, 13-0 (league champ)
Current record: 3-3
Top returners: Blake Hoorelbeke, sophomore, pitcher; Kelli Babcock, senior, catcher; Katelyn Tatum, sr., 1b; Patti Stranger, soph., shortstop/center fielder; Tara Lenz, sr., 2b; Selina Latiti, junior, ss; Stacey Weber, jr., right fielder.
Top newcomers: Cassandra Vig, soph., c/of; Seila Latiti, jr., p; Kari Lenz, soph., 3b.
Coach’s comment: “I never like to be the favorite, but I have confidence we’ll be competitive. I don’t deny that we should be picked to be good. But if you’d said that to me after the first three games (losses) I’d say you’re full of it.”
Outlook: And anybody that doesn’t say CdA is probably the favorite is full of it. The Viks lost little to graduation, and Hoorelbeke has developed an off-speed pitch that should make her fastball look faster.
Lake City Timberwolves
1997 records: 12-12, 5-6
Current records: 4-1
Top returners: Courtney Zimmerman, sr., p; Megan Carpenter, soph., c; Shelby McIntosh, jr., of; Jill Ashonos, soph., 2b.
Top newcomers: Brandi Brumley, soph., 3b; Kelli O’Hara, jr., ss; Lindsay Jost, soph., of; Bobbi Daretta, freshman, p; Monica Lang, jr., of.
Coach’s comment: “We have come a long ways mentally. The only concern I have is the kids picking up what we show them and retaining it.”
Outlook: Good. LC struggled in league last year, but bounced back to knock off CdA in the regional championship game. Wilson will have his team playing well when it counts.
1997 records: 9-15, 5-8
Current record: 4-2
Coach: Dick Richel, 6th
Top returners: Naomi Yokomizo, sr., pitcher; Amy Church, sr., inf/p; Alisha Blake, sr., inf/of; Rachelle Peterson, jr., of; Jessica Presnell, sr., inf; Becky Overall, sr., of; Rachelle Gill, jr., of; Michelle Bausch, jr., inf.
Top newcomers: Amanda Vantroba, jr., inf; Michell Chapman, soph., inf; Tara Colegrove, sr., inf.
Coach’s comment: “There is great chemistry with this group.
Outlook: Richel said Yokomizo had a strong off-season and he’s expecting a big season from her. Lewiston returns eight starters. The Bengals should be much improved over last year.
Post Falls Trojans
1997 records: 2-18, 1-13
Current record: 2-1
Coach: Jack Foster, 2nd
Top returners: Angie Foster, sr., ss/p; Becca Reed, soph., p; Paula Thompson, jr., 1b; Shandy Mills, sr., lf; Saundra Juhlin, sr., of; Cassie Porter, jr., 2b.
Top newcomers: Mary Gorman, jr., inf; Jodi Booth, jr., inf; Jayme Smith, soph., c; Shannon McCormick, soph., c.
Coach’s comment: “We’re definitely improved from last year. They’re a great working group of kids. They communicate well together.”
Outlook: The Trojans have already matched last year’s total wins. Post Falls is athletic and boasts one of the top pitchers in the area in Reed, who attends Falls Christian Academy. The Trojans will be in the thick of things.
1997 records: 10-7, 8-5
Current record: 0-5
Coach: Radd Raynor, 2nd
Top returners: Bobbi Jo Jensen, sr., c; Katrina Sanders, jr., 1b; Briana Staglund, jr., ss; Katie Pinch, sr., 3b.
Top newcomers: Jarae Raynor, jr., 2b; Alison Carter, jr., of; Kelly Herron, sr., p; Natalie Ballard, jr., of.
Coach’s comment: “We graduated our entire infield and we’ve got to find some pitchers. We’re going to have to work our butts off to keep out of the cellar.”
Outlook: Raynor is right. Sandpoint must develop pitching after allowing 83 runs in five games. If pitching doesn’t develop quickly it could be a long year.
1997 records: 19-7, 10-2 (league champ)
Current record: 2-2
Coach: Danielle Bean, 11th year
Top returners: Jeri Huber, sr., of; Jacque Foster, sr., 3b; Tiffany Hall, sr., p/ss; Paige Smith, jr., 2b; Casi Reisenauer, soph., of/ss; Angie Carhart, soph., of; Bobbi Jo Tweedy, soph., 1b.
Top newcomers: Kerinsa Jennings, soph., c; Heather Kreider, soph., of; Loni Baumann, soph., p.
Coach’s comment: “We’re still awfully young. We’ll obviously rely on (Hall’s) pitching.”
Outlook: The Hawks fell short of expectations last year, but will be chased by the rest of the teams again this year. The Hawks will have to take advantage of their speed.
1997 records: 22-8 (second at state), 10-2
Current record: 2-4
Coach: Robin Barnes, 5th
Top returners: Amy Sorbel, sr., p/inf; Emy Makus, sr., inf/p; Casey Kinziger, sr., inf/p/c; Christina Thornton, sr., of.
Top newcomers: Sara Lathen, sr., inf/of; Amber Matthews, jr., of/inf; Traci Sanchez, soph., inf; Christy Maurin, sr., 3b.
Coach’s comment: “We’re a little behind but it’s early. Lakeland will be the top team in the league. But we’ve got kids who can do it. I feel good about this team.”
Outlook: Barnes should feel good about her team. It finished second at state and will make another charge. The Bears and Lakeland should have some entertaining battles.
St. Maries Lumberjacks
1997 records: 10-11, 7-5
Current record: 3-1
Coach: Jason Hillman, 2nd
Top returners: Alicia Adams, sr., ss/p; Amy Reid, sr., cf; Kim Reid, sr., c; Jamie Hammes, jr., 3b; Tiffany Holdahl, soph., 2b; Shasta Schwartz, jr., lf.
Top newcomers: Lindsey Harpole, soph., rf; Nikki Gibson, soph., p; Allison Bender, fresh., p.
Coach’s comment: “We have some great athletes, but we’re still adjusting to fastpitch. We don’t play it in the younger leagues here.”
Outlook: The Lumberjacks will struggle, but should make up for some of their deficiencies with athleticism.
Priest River Spartans
1997 records: 1-8, 0-12
Current record: 0-0
Coach: John Mullaley, 3rd Top returners: Katie Scott, sr., pitcher; Michelle Hagen, sr., lf/p.
Top newcomers: Desiree Queen, soph., 3b; Tiffany Troudt, freshman, cf.
Coach’s comment: “We’re inexperienced, but we’re looking at a real good year. I think the kids will pick it up.”
Outlook: Priest River lost four returning starters for assorted reasons. So the Spartans have some gaps to fill, especially up the middle. The future looks bright with the addition of a junior varsity team.
Bonners Ferry Badgers
1997 records: 4-13, 3-9
Current record: 0-0
Co-coaches: Niccole Bayley and Lynn Ogden, 1st
Top returners: Brittany Schabe, jr., c; Julie Day, jr., 2b; Raija Erickson, soph., p/1b; Linsey Faulk, jr., p; Becky Merrifield, soph., ss/c; Kayla Howlett, soph., ss/of.
Top newcomers: Julie Bateman, fresh., 1b/p; Marie Truesdale, fresh., 3b.
Coach’s comment: “I like their willingness to stick in there,” Bayley said. “They’re young and they know it, but they have good spirits.”
Outlook: The Badgers know they will struggle, but they’re looking forward to building on whatever successes they enjoy.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: PLAYERS TO WATCH Blake Hoorelbeke, sophomore, pitcher/first baseman, Coeur d’Alene Courtney Zimmerman, senior, pitcher, Lake City Becca Reed, sophomore, pitcher, Post Falls Tiffany Hall, junior, pitcher/shortstop, Lakeland Angie Foster, senior, shortstop/pitcher, Post Falls Amy Sorbel, senior, pitcher/infielder, Moscow Alicia Adams, senior, shortstop, St. Maries Katelyn Tatum, senior, first baseman, Coeur d’Alene Bobbi Jo Jensen, senior, center fielder, Sandpoint