Unlike in previous years, there is no one dominant pitcher in the Greater Spokane League this season. Central Valley returns half a dozen players from last year’s state qualifier. “You have to give credit to the king (Shadle Park) until someone beats them,” CV coach Jeff VanHorne said. CV’s Bears might be a logical choice as successor, but most teams have proven position players and workmanlike hurlers. Two teams to watch are Lewis and Clark and East Valley. “We do have potential and are optimistic about the season,” VanHorne said. “Going to state really helps.”
This position is more an unknown entity than years’ past, even though relatively experienced. … CV senior Alyssa Erickson was particularly tough during postseason last year. University (Mollie Buelow and Devynne Johnson) and Mead (Taneesha Pounder and Alisha Meade) return two each from regional-qualifying teams. … Mt. Spokane’s Delaney Zalud showed promise … LC’s Kendall Pavey made strides for the district playoff qualifier and the Tigers bring in a freshman. … So does EV; Tiffany Lucas could make an instant impact.
A league strength. U-Hi third baseman Ali Warren is headed to DePaul; CV shortstop Alexa Morales and infielder/pitcher Danielle Lynn have signed with Portland State and Shadle outfielder Allie Burger with Oregon; CV outfielder Genasee Aman is headed to Weber State as the league continues to stock Division I programs … Others to watch are first-team All-GSL Mead outfielders Jill Pecka and Brianna Lookabill, LC outfielder Rachel Head and Gonzaga Prep’s Jen Rambo; second-teamers are EV shortstop Morgan Manchester, catcher Alene Bethel and infielder Ashley Moon from U-Hi, Shadle catcher Megan Skillingstad, Mead infielder Regin Gallagher, CV outfielder/infielder Chrystal Holt, NC infielder Katharine Lively and Rogers infielder Kellsy Sledge.
Weather has been uncooperative so far, with coaches saying their first time outdoors will be when league play begins today. … League and region have undertaken an overhaul. Three-time state finalist Shadle and Rogers are now 3A, where the GSL gets four berths to regional. … Only two teams make it to the 4A regional, leaving little margin for error among the six GSL 4A schools, including regional veterans CV, U-Hi and Mead. … The league should be more balanced. “Now it’s nice going into all games knowing you have a chance,” EV coach Kurt Krauth said.