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Saturday, August 8, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Five players from Spokane teams picked for USA Softball 12U All-American Games

Two members each from the Spokane Diamonds and Spokane Mudhens and one from Spokane Stealth programs were selected for the Region 9 Red team that will participate in the inaugural USA Softball 12U All-American Games on Aug. 18-20 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Infielders Isabella Bay (Salk) and Mackenzie Nine (Lakeside Middle School) were chosen from the Diamonds, pitcher Chloe Flerchinger (Salk) and catcher/infielder Payton Dressler (Mountainside) from the Mudhens and pitcher Madison Johnson (Northwood) was selected from Stealth following a tryout.

Fuzzy Buckenberger, longtime Spokane commissioner and adult and youth coach, is head coach of the team that will also include players from Montana, Utah and Wyoming. His older Diamonds’ team won the USA Softball 16U A Western National championship two weeks ago.

Red is one of two teams from Region 9 in the 24-team tournament. Region 9 Blue will have players from Seattle/Tacoma, Portland, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Each of the 10 USA Softball regions will have two teams with 15 players each in the tournament designed to give national exposure to some of the top 12U players in the country.

Chloe Flerchinger had a grand slam and two triples and drove in five runs in one game to highlight the performance of the Spokane Mudhens in the USA Softball 12U Western National Championships last week in Portland.

The hitting of Flerchinger (Salk) and pitching of Bailey Benson (Cheney), who tossed a three-hitter, led the Mudhens to a 10-2 victory over the Petaluma (California) Steal Breeze and a second straight victory in the loser’s bracket.

The Mudhens were eliminated in their next game as WAGS 12U Gold from Thousand Oaks, California, rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth for an 8-7 victory after Spokane had put together a four-run top of the sixth to go up by two in a game ended by time limit.

The Mudhens (3-2 bracket play, 3-4 overall) tied for 13th in the 45-team tournament.

Mudhens players: Payton Dressler (Moutainside), Teagan Webster (Salk), Brooke Long (Spirit Lake), Abigail Flerchinger (Balboa), Jade Christianson (Lakeside), Macie Connor (Horizon), Madison Saty (Summit), Emily Schulhauser (Greenacres), Carly Imes (Evergreen), Grace Melcher (Summit), Sierra Fischer (Summit). Coaches: Matt Connor, John Dressler.

Crimson Rice (Spokane Public Montessori) hit .555 and Taylor Craig (Castlegar, British Columbia) batted .538 to highlight the showing by Spokane Stealth Gold (1-2 bracket, 2-3 overall), which tied for 25th in the 12U Western National in Portland.

Rice was 3 for 3 in a 15-13 pool-play win over Northwest Thunder from Vancouver, Washington, in which Stealth put together eight straight hits in the fifth inning to rally from behind for the victory.

Stealth players: Carly Bippes (North Pines), Peyton Bischoff (Colbert Elementary), Mackenzie Edwards (Sacajawea), Abigail Iverson (Northwest Christian), Madison Johnson (Northwood), Makenzie Ritchie (Northwest Christian), Gabriella Sanchez (Horizon), Jessica Waters (Mountainside), Bailey Wilkins (Mountainside). Coaches: Carla Bischoff, Luke Rice, Kristen Johnson.

Riley Rivera (Lakeland) slugged two home runs to highlight the performance by the Spokane Valley-based Reapers, who collected a fourth-place finish in the small, five-team USA Softball 18U B Western National last week in Medford, Oregon.

Reapers (1-2 bracket, 1-4 overall) defeated Tigers FP from Yakima 11-2 in the first round of bracket play but lost its next two, eliminated 10-7 by Murrieta, California, which went on to win the championship.

It was a send-off for two Reapers seniors who are headed to college to play softball: Chloe Longwill (Central Valley) to Piedmont University, North Carolina, and Georgia Robinson (East Valley), to North Idaho College.

Reapers players: Alyssa James (University), Kaylee Thompson (Medical Lake), Grace Tyrrell (Central Valley), Jaelyn Strand (Central Valley), Suheyla Tanak (Central Valley), Suzanne Shores (Medical Lake), Chelsea Becker (Colfax), Shelby Sebastain (Timberlake), Taylor Carpenter (Medical Lake), Cecilia Lucero (EV), Grace Hardesty (CV), Abbie Miller (Colfax). Coaches: Cal Hardesty, Billy Carpenter.

Legion baseball

The Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen lost 4-3 in 10 innings to Nampa, Idaho, on Saturday in Eugene and were eliminated from the Northwest Class A American Legion Regional Tournament by the team it defeated twice a week earlier for the Idaho State championship.

Quinton Bunch had two hits and an RBI and Carter Friesz and Devon Johnson each drove in a run as the Lumbermen wrapped up a 47-13 season.


The NBC Cagers 17U boys team closed out “multiple years” of playing together by capturing first place at the 2017 Northwest Premier Oregon Showcase (B) in Salem that also wrapped up a successful summer.

The Cagers, most of whom are headed into their senior year of high school, went 6-0 and placed first in the 37th Inland Empire Championships in Yakima, and were second place in the 2017 Magic of Basketball in Yakima.

The team: Quin Hopkins, Rhys McVay, Michael Coumont, Dylan Oja, Jackson Clark, Jarett Wright and Ryan Crosswhite (all Freeman); Ryan Myer and Ethan Sieveke (both Lewis and Clark). Coach: Mark McVay.


Makenzie Funk, a Mt. Spokane graduate who is headed to Knox College in Illinois to play softball, was one of 24 runners-up for the 2017 U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Award of Excellence.

Emily Scott of Elizabethtown, North Carolina, who played volleyball, basketball and softball at East Bladen High School and is headed to East Carolina University, was named winner of the award at the Pro Football Hall of Fame event during the weekend in Canton, Ohio.

Funk, who played four years of softball at Mt. Spokane, was among the 25 finalists recognized for their accomplishments in athletics, academics and their community. The award is open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.


Jerry Clark is an assistant coach on the Spokane Diamonds 16U A girls fastpitch softball team. His name was inadvertently omitted from the story that ran in the Youth Notebook last Thursday.

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