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Spring Preview Softball

GSL outlook

University won its fifth league title for coach Jon Schuh last year and is well-stocked to make it No. 6 and return to the State 3A playoffs. Senior pitcher Brittany Hecker, the returning league MVP, leads the way. The Titans also return senior Ryelynn Mendoza, a first-team GSL outfielder; junior second baseman Taylor Morales, a second-teamer; and slugging OF Kendra Bruno, a senior. “Lots of teams bring back pitching,” Schuh said. “It should be a competitive GSL season as teams battle for the top spots.” … Nine starters return for Mead coach Joel Shawen including three first-teamers: senior C Kodee Kinder, senior third baseman Mackenzie Kutz and junior center fielder Ashlynn Bocook. Pitcher Hannah Beloved and 1B Ashley Ayala are seniors who made the second team. “We will be in the mix for the top playoff seeds,” said Shawen, whose Panthers fell just shy of state last year. “We have very solid pitching and defense.” Mead beat CV 11-9 on Wednesday. … CV coach Joe Stanton won the District 4A title and advanced to state in his first season last year. The Bears return six starters including Carli Riordan, junior P/first baseman, first team; Carissa Sdao, senior P/OF, first team; Kaitlyn Richardson, senior OF, second team; and Tia Pau, senior infielder, second team. Senior INF Destiny McCoy and junior catcher/INF Kiara McCoy transferred from U-Hi. … Mt. Spokane coach Carl Adams has four returning starters from last year’s fourth-place team. “I think anyone on our roster is capable of getting a big hit or making a great defensive play to help us win,” Adams said. … First-team OF Tamiya Tisdale and first-team C Emily Ebaugh are among the six returning starters at NC. “We should be able to compete for a playoff spot and get some quality wins,” coach Rob Kuehn said. NC defeated CV 8-6 last week. … Second-team DH Brittney Gately returns for Shadle. … Lewis and Clark returns first-team DH MacKinzie Hoiland and second-team INF Sage Scheiwiller. … Second-team P Michele Strauss, a junior, leads Ferris’ six returning starters. Sophomore Rachel Hardie, a transfer from Colfax, will start at shortstop. “Our goal is to make districts this season and finish in at least the middle of the league,” coach Laurie Smith said. … Second-team senior INF Sarina McKee returns at G-Prep. The Bullpups cut their JV program because of low turnout. … Rogers returns five starters, but starting pitcher Kalena Quilt transferred to Taholah. “We can swing the bats pretty well top to bottom and play good defense,” coach Cris Coffield said.

IEL 5A outlook

Senior P/1B Lindsie Scholwinski and junior OF Zoe Clark are all-league returners for CdA coach Larry Bieber’s defending state champions. Junior 3B/OF Brooke Albertson was co-newcomer of the year. The Vikings own five state titles and six state runner-up trophies since 1998. “We feel that we should compete with the best in the state and return to the state tourney to defend our title,” Bieber said. … Returning MVP Casey Stangel, a senior pitcher, will lead Lake City. Junior all-leaguer Vanessa Shippy and sophomore JaeCie Wilson, co-newcomer of the year, also return for the 2011 state champs. Lake City edged GSL favorite U-Hi 7-6 on March 16. … Lewiston’s five returners include all-leaguers Shawnee Zink, senior P/2B, and Paige Wells, junior SS. “With two senior pitchers we should have good leadership in the circle,” coach Dave Garrett said. … Two-time all-league catcher Dara Kolar, an Idaho State University recruit, leads Post Falls’ seven returners. Kolar and LF Katie King, a two-time all-leaguer, played for the Trojans’ 2010 state title team. Senior pitcher Heather Settle is a transfer. “We should be improved this year, but the league is very good so it will be tough to move up,” coach Jack Foster said.

IEL 4A outlook

Lakeland returns three seniors who were all-leaguers: P Kristin Klopatek, INF Erin Ogden and OF Bekah Kastning, the MVP. … Moscow returns three starters but no all-leaguers. “The team works hard and there is quite a bit of athletic ability,” coach Ted Matsuoka said. … Sandpoint has four starters but no all-leaguers back for coach Derek Dickinson. The Bulldogs have a new on-campus field.

GNL outlook

Colville moved up from the Northeast A and should fit in well before moving back to 1A in two years. Jim Ebel has taken over as head coach after three years as an assistant. Seniors Taylor Kellum and Leanna Carr, and juniors April Hinds, Jessica Wittmeyer and McKenna Cabbage, the team’s pitcher, made all-NEA teams last year. Colville defeated WV 8-0 on Tuesday. … Defending league, district and regional champion WV returns five first-teamers and senior Jess Mitchell, who was a second-teamer at 1B and is leading the Eagles’ untested pitching staff. Senior 3B Bailey Castor, senior RF Cassie Finn, senior 2B Jackie Noble, junior C Katelyn Sage and sophomore SS/P Natalie Noble are the first-team returners for coach Paul Cooley. … Cheney, second at district and regional last season, returns first-team 1B Amy Anderson, a junior, and second-teamers Bailey Towey, junior P, and Katie Bethel, senior INF. “We return eight players who went to state last year,” said coach Gary Blake, who pointed out that the league’s five dominant pitchers of the last two years all graduated. … East Valley returns three second-teamers: seniors Hannah Herndon and Samantha Jacobs, and sophomore Jackie Lucas. … Deer Park has no all-league returners, but the Stags defeated Cheney 4-2 on Tuesday. … Senior Dakota Wickard is a second-team returner for coach Wendy Kruger and Pullman. “There has been a lot of positive leadership by the girls from the very beginning of the season,” Kruger said. … Clarkston’s all-league returners are seniors Sierra Port and Andrea Waller, and junior Zoe Knopes.

GSL predicted finish7. Lewis and Clark
1. University4. Mt. Spokane8. Ferris
2. Mead5. North Central9. Gonzaga Prep
3. Central Valley6. Shadle Park10. Rogers
IEL 5A predicted finish3. Lewiston
1. Coeur d’Alene2. Lake City4. Post Falls
IEL 4A predicted finish
1. Lakeland2. Moscow3. Sandpoint
GNL predicted finish5. Deer Park
1. Colville3. Cheney6. Pullman
2. West Valley4. East Valley7. Clarkston

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