The wait has served Cheryl Andrizzi well. Most Greater Spokane League softball teams would have gladly inserted Andrizzi into their starting rotation last year. But Andrizzi was a sophomore at University, which already had a fine pitcher in senior Jamie Fox.
When Fox was hurt late in the season, Andrizzi stepped in and helped U-Hi to the State AAA tournament. Still, she considered 1996 a test run.
“I feel more comfortable this year,” Andrizzi said Friday after pitching a three-hitter to lead junior-dominant U-Hi (7-0) to a 7-0 win over visiting Central Valley (4-3). “I was ready last season, but seniority took over.”
Seniority has meant little to the Titans this year. Shortstop Lisa Muroya was the lone senior in Friday’s starting lineup, and junior second baseman Megan Mertens is the only returning starter from last year’s league-title team.
“I guess it’s a compliment to the players, summer coaches and parents,” said U-Hi coach Ken VanSickle. “They came into the season ready to play.”
“A lot of people thought we were young and might not do well,” said Andrizzi, who also went 3 for 3 and drove in a run. “But we have a lot of talent. It’s just that we couldn’t play last year because of all the seniors.”
Andrizzi threw her third shutout of the season. Only once (against Ferris) has she allowed more than two runs and six hits.
Against CV, the right-hander was at her best with runners on third base. CV’s Dawn Stangland singled to open the fifth and moved to third on an outfield error. Andrizzi stranded her there.
Kristen Heuett tripled with one out in the CV seventh, but also was left at third.
“(Having runners in scoring position) makes it more intense for me,” Andrizzi said. “I need to get the job done. I like being in control, feeling like I did a good job.”
The Titans broke open the game with a five-run sixth. Nicki Meyer had an RBI double, Julia Yoke singled home two, and CV committed three errors.
U-Hi supported Andrizzi with more good defense. The Titans have just 10 errors in seven games.
“Cheryl has kept us in ballgames because she’s a great pitcher,” VanSickle said, “but we’ve also played great defense.”
U-Hi right fielder Royann Thomas saved a second-inning run by stabbing a sinking liner near the line with no outs and Heuett on second.
University 7, Central Valley 0
C.Valley 000 000 0 - 0 3 4
University 101 005 x - 7 10 1
Decker, Mills (4) and Stangland; Andrizzi and Christensen. W-Andrizzi (7-0). L-Decker (0-2).
HITS: Central Valley-Del Mese, Kr.Heuett, Stangland. University-Madsen, Mertens 2, Muroya, Andrizzi 3, Meyer, Nollmeyer, Yoke. 2B-Meyer. 3B-Kr.Heuett.
Gonzaga Prep 5, Shadle Park 4 (12)
Daria Toth singled home the go-ahead run in the 12th, and Brooke Egger and Anne McClain homered to help the visiting Bullpups (3-4) knock the Highlanders (4-2) out of second place.
Rachelle Stockman struck out 10 in eight innings and Kelly Durgan homered for Shadle. The Highlanders left the bases loaded in the eighth and ninth, and had runners in scoring position in the 11th.
Prep 000 020 002 001 - 5 8 3
Shadle 002 000 002 000 - 4 5 3
Shrope, Leonetti (12) and Egger; Stockman, Rice (9) and Drake. W-Leonetti (1-2). L-Rice (2-1).
HITS: Gonzaga Prep-McDonald 2, Egger 2, Palmer, Toth, McClain, Leonetti. Shadle Park-Durgan 2, Gooch, Rice, Buckley. 2B-Buckley. HR-Egger (2), McClain (1), Durgan (1).
Rogers 4, Lewis and Clark 0
Jamie Merrill pitched a four-hitter to outduel fellow freshman Kaylene Fountain as the visiting Pirates (5-2) beat the Tigers (1-6) at Jack Blair Memorial Field to jump into second place.
Angie Vulcano tripled for Rogers. Fountain finished 3 for 3.
Rogers 100 030 00 - 4 7 0
LC 000 000 00 - 0 4 3
Merrill and Vulcano; Fountain and Babin. W-Merrill (5-2). L-Fountain (0-3).
HITS: Rogers-Perry, Christensen 2, Fairbanks, Vulcano 2, Draine. Lewis and Clark- Evans, Fountain 3. 3B-Vulcano.
Ferris 3, North Central 1
Kylee Curry allowed Amber Carter’s leadoff homer and little else as the host Saxons (3-3) beat the Indians (0-8) for their third straight win.
Curry struck out eight and walked one. NC’s Rachae Bertholf scattered three singles.
NC 100 000 0 - 1 3 5
Ferris 100 002 x - 3 3 3
Bertholf and Hahn; Curry and Rudell. W- Curry (4-3). L-Bertholf. HITS: North Central-Carter, Bibb, Hahn. Ferris-Domonouski, Curry, Meeker. 3B-Bibb. HR-Carter (1).
North Central 7, Ferris 6
Justin Williams broke a tie with an RBI double in the fourth, then tripled in a run and scored in the seventh as the visiting Indians (4-4) moved within 1-1/2 games of the second-place Saxons (5-2).
Brian Munhall of Ferris hit a three-run homer in the seventh, but reliever Andy Grigsby retired the final two batters. Ferris fell one full game behind idle Mead (6-1). The two meet Tuesday at Seafirst Stadium.
N.Central 010 301 2 - 7 8 3
Ferris 100 200 3 - 6 8 4
Starr, Grigsby (6) and Farr; Fountain, Moll (7) and Munhall. W-Starr (1-1). L-Fountain (1-1). S-Grigsby.
HITS: North Central-Corigliano, Williams 2, Farr, Grigsby 2, Schwarzer 2. Ferris-Schuchart, Guthmueller, Sandberg, Munhall, Soter, Socha 2, Moll. 2B-Williams, Schwarzer. 3B-Williams, Farr, Moll. HR-Munhall (2).
University 3, Central Valley 2 (8)
Chris McMurtrey pitched a three-hitter and struck out eight, and Andy Dunham drew a bases-loaded walk in eighth as the Titans (4-3) beat the visiting Bears (3-4) to take over third place.
U-Hi’s Aaron Fryer went 3 for 3 with one RBI.
C.Valley 100 000 10 - 2 3 2
University 001 010 01 - 3 7 1
N.Bartlett, Chance (8) and Folkins; McMurtrey and Haiar. W-McMurtrey (1-1). L-N.Bartlett (1-1). HITS: Central Valley-Jochim, Boots, Paventy. University-Fryer 3, Bartlett, Price, Short, Dunham. 2B-Price.
Gonzaga Prep 6, Shadle Park 2
Zach Yarbrough struck out five and walked none, and Mike Kocharhook had a two-run single in the seventh as the Bullpups (3-4) beat the host Highlanders (2-5) at Seafirst Stadium.
Shadle’s Jeff Lafferty struck out five and walked one.
G-Prep 010 120 2 - 6 7 3
Shadle 200 000 0 - 2 7 4
Yarbrough and O’Connor; Lafferty and Womach. W-Yarbrough (3-0). L-Lafferty (0-2).
HITS: Gonzaga Prep-Greif, Thacker, Kocharhook, O’Connell, Herrin, O’Connor. Shadle Park-Heuett, Lafferty 2, Hughes, Townsend. 2B- Herrin.
Rogers 13, Lewis and Clark 5
Andy Bayne hit a three-run homer in the fifth, when five unearned runs crossed the plate, as the visiting Pirates (3-4) beat the Tigers (2-5) at Hart Field.
Shawn Carlson of Rogers fanned five.
Rogers 100 154 2 - 13 12 2
LC 101 002 1 - 5 8 6
Carlson, West (7) and Liberty; Strasser, Johnson (7) and Kestell. W-Carlson (2-2). L-Strasser (0-2).
HITS: Rogers-Steeneck, Dorton 2, Carlson, West 2, Bayne 2, Scott, Crowley, Mace, Anderson. LC-Wheaton, Da.Johnson, Monroe, Sorensen, Broderson 2, Kestell. 2B-Anderson, Wheaton. 3B-Johnson. HR-Bayne (1), Broderson (1).
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.