Central Valley’s 1-0 playoff softball victory over University not only assured the Bears a trip to Friday’s District 8 4A tournament semifinals and automatic berth to regionals, but ended a losing streak to their rivals extending back to April 2000.
The Bears beat U-Hi that year 2-0 in a non-league contest, but had lost 21 straight league or playoff games since a 3-2 victory in 1999 ended the Titans’ 42-game GSL league winning streak. The ‘99 CV team was coached by Jon Schuh, who now heads U-Hi’s program.
“Over time we’ve closed the gap,” said Jeff VanHorne, CV’s coach since 2002 who earned his first win over U-Hi. “It was a very exciting win.”
He characterized the Bears as bright and committed to each other. All have contributed at varying times to this year’s success, he said.
“Up and down the lineup, we don’t have any weaknesses,” he said.
CV has won nine straight games since back-to-back losses to U-Hi April 16-17. Six players are batting .456 or higher, led by Alexa Morales‘ .538. She and McKenzie Gummersall tied for the lead in triples and Morales was the RBI champ with 37.
Pitcher Alyssa Erickson, who job shared with Lauren Mandler until the latter injured her shoulder, threw the last 13 games for CV, winning 10. She also hit .500.
“Lauren started off fantastically,” said VanHorne. “Alyssa took up the slack. She has treasured the moment and shined.”
The Bears play Friday at Whitworth University. The opponent could well be No. 3 seed U-Hi – which opens district play at 3 p.m. today against Lewis and Clark.
Titans activities coordinator and former softball coach Ken VanSickle said this is the first time since the regional format began that U-Hi has not finished first or second in the league to earn an automatic regional berth.
Mead plays Gonzaga Prep in today’s second district game at 5.
St. George’s baseball coach Bob Pate admits his Dragons and Northport have a spirited and at-times contentious rivalry. That’s why he took exception to a Tuesday article calling the Mustangs Panorama League champions.
“It’s a great rivalry because we’re both so good,” said Pate.
They split a season-ending doubleheader, the Dragons winning 11-4 in a game he contends was for the regular-season championship, and losing 13-12.
Both finished 16-2 in league. Northport won the 1B division and tournament. St. George’s won the 2B division and plays at 10 a.m. Monday at Whitworth in the District 7 playoffs for state.
West Valley’s WSU-bound senior Ashley Kenney threw the discus 152 feet last week, making her the 20th girl in state history to break the 150-foot barrier. Her throw is 16th all time and second in Spokane history behind the 160-10 that Dory Reeves of Lewis and Clark had in 1989. The state record is 182-0 by Mandy Borschowa of Mt Si in 1998. Pullman’s Anna Albrecht set the 2A state meet record of 145-6 last year.
Soccer at six
State seeding 4A matches will both be played at 6 p.m. Friday. District 8 champion Central Valley hosts District 5/6 champ Pasco for the regional title and 1-2 state seeding. Mead is at Wenatchee in a match between district runners-up for the region’s third state berth.
How bad was this year’s spring in the Inland Northwest? So bad that a GSL golfer suffered frostbite.
It happened to Central Valley’s Janae Schneidmiller at snowy Indian Canyon on April 21.
“She got blisters on her feet in golf shoes the week before, and was out there in tennis shoes,” said coach Rick Giampietri.
Schneidmiller told him in the van after the match her feet were numb.
“She had frostbite on her little pinkies and came to school on crutches,” Giampietri said.
She was told it was lucky she hadn’t jumped into a hot bath before they thawed.