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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Bill Pierce’s almanac: Rogers softball tops list of runner-up finishes

When it comes to winning state championships for baseball and softball, Spokane teams haven’t had much success over the years, with rare exceptions.

West Valley has the only baseball crown, having won the 1978 title in what is now 3A competition. The GSL schools have never won a state championship, in spite of playing in the title game on seven different occasions. North Central and Shadle Park have finished second twice, while Mead, Ferris and Central Valley each has been runner-up once. CV while still a member of the Border League in 1974. 

The girls have two fast pitch softball championships, University in 2003 and Shadle Park in 2007. The Highlanders actually made the title game three years in a row from 2006 through 2008 on the arm of pitching sensation Sam Skillingstad. West Valley finished second twice back in the 1980’s, and Gonzaga Prep and Rogers each made the title game once in their history.

The Rogers girls had quite a run to the softball championship game in 1995.  They had finished third in league that season behind Mead and University. They were second in district playoffs to Mead, but came alive at regionals, beating Moses Lake and Richland before defeating Wenatchee for the GSL’s first ever regional softball title.

At state, which was held at Franklin Park in Spokane, every game Rogers played was decided by one run. They opened with a 3-2 victory over Woodinville, followed by a 1-0 victory over Marysville-Pilchuck and a 2-1 win against Central Kitsap to advance them into the title game against South Kitsap.

Rogers was led all year by the pitching of Traci Moore, who came into the championship game with eight shutouts. The title game was hard fought, but Rogers came up short, losing 1-0. In the final inning the Pirates had a runner on third with Moore at bat, but a game ending fly-out gave the state championship to the Wolves. Still, it was a remarkable run for a team that finished third in its own league. Coach Paul Cooley was very proud of the way his team represented the GSL. Rogers ended the season with a 24-6 record.

Bill Pierce
Bill Pierce is a sports blogger who writes the weekly nwprepsnow prep sports almanac.

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