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Locally: Lake City’s Vanessa Shippy shines at Oklahoma State

UPDATED: Sat., Feb. 17, 2018

Lake City High School’s Vanessa Shippy is off to a fast start in her senior season at Oklahoma State. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Lake City High School’s Vanessa Shippy is off to a fast start in her senior season at Oklahoma State. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
From staff ,news services

Three days, five games, four victories. That’s impressive.

So was Vanessa Shippy.

The Lake City graduate was imposing as she launched her senior softball season at Oklahoma State in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, last weekend, batting 11 for 13, scoring nine runs, driving in six, walking five times and hitting two home runs.

It earned her a trio of national honors - the Louisville Slugger/NFCA D1 National Player of the Week, USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week and College Sports Madness National Field Player of the Week.

And, oh, yeah, it also produced her first Big 12 Conference Softball Player of the Week award in a sparkling career in which she has earned back-to-back NFCA third-team All-America honors on the field and first-team Academic All-America honors in the classroom.

“I’m thrilled for Vanessa because she’s been so consistent and such a great player for our team in my time here,” said OSU head coach Kenny Gajewski, who took over the Cowgirls’ program in June 2015 after Shippy’s freshman season. “She just plays with a different level of competitiveness than most kids and is an all-around great player.

“As proud as we are of her for what she’s done on the field, we’re even more impressed with the person she is off the field,” he added in the school news release. “She’s a two-time first-team Academic All-American and someone that is constantly serving out in the community. Vanessa is just an amazing kid and I’m thrilled for her to be recognized.”

While putting up those gaudy numbers, the left-handed hitting third baseman moved into first place on the Cowgirls’ career walks list with 125. She ranks eighth with 204 career hits, second with 145 runs scored, seventh with 111 runs batted in and eighth with 302 total bases.

College scene

Andrew Hoover, a Case Western Reserve University sophomore from Mt. Spokane, was named the All-University Athletic Association wrestler at 141 pounds after winning both his matches at the 2018 UAA Championships.

Hoover, whose performance earned him the school’s Male Athlete of the Week award for a second time this season, leads the NCAA Division III school in Cleveland with 27 wins (27-12 record), including a team-high eight pins and two technical falls.

Hoover and twin brother Alec received UAA All-Academic recognition with GPAs of 3.30 or better. Alec compiled an overall 18-13 record at 125 and 133 pounds with seven pins and one technical fall.

—- Eric Ansett, a Lipscomb University senior from Spokane, finished runner-up at the competitive Sea Best Invitational golf tournament at LakePoint, Georgia, last weekend to earn his first ASUN Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week honor.

Against a field that featured seven top-45 teams and 13 top-100-ranked individuals, The Oaks Academy graduate, who played his golf at Ferris, shot rounds of 67-68-69 to finish at 6-under 204 to tie for the top spot on the leaderboard. He wound up tied for second after losing in a playoff.

Ansett finished the event with 16 birdies, three better than anybody else in the field, collecting at least four in each of the three rounds. He was 9-under in the three rounds on the front nine.

—- Idaho’s Sophie Hausmann started off the spring the same way she finished the fall play, with a Big Sky Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week honor.

The junior from Nottuln, Germany, won her second Gold Rush championship in Long Beach, California, coming from three strokes down to win by three strokes with a 4-under-par 212 off rounds of 75-69-68. Her closing 68 was the lowest round of the tournament.

—- Jaya Allen, a freshman at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona, from Shadle Park, was named the Arizona Community College Athletic Association Softball Pitcher of the Week after she struck out 24 batters in just over 10 innings in two victories and improving her record to 6-1.

In an 8-3 win, the former three-time Greater Spokane League MVP struck out 15 while allowing six hits and three walks.

In games through Feb. 13, Allen struck out 72 in 48 innings, an average of 10.5 per seven innings, with a 2.48 earned-run-average. In a recent run-rule game in which she pitched just 3 1/3 innings, she recorded nine of the 10 outs on strikeouts.

—- For a second time this indoor season, Eastern Washington sophomore Keshun McGee was named Big Sky Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week.

At the Husky Classic on Feb. 9-10, he placed first in the long jump at 24 feet, 2½ inches and second in the triple jump with a personal record of 51-9¾, which is second on the school’s all-time list and ranks 18th nationally.

—- Tyler Blakeley, a Lewis-Clark State junior from Oakesdale, is the Frontier Conference Indoor Field Athlete of the Week after he finished first out of 17 entrants in the high jump at the Boise State Challenge.

His winning jump of 6 feet, 8 ¾ inches is the third highest in the NAIA this season. Blakeley also ran a leg on the 4x400 relay that was edged for third by .02 seconds.

—- Gonzaga sophomore Sam Feit, with straight-set victories against Idaho and UC Davis to help the Bulldogs improve to 6-0, was named the West Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Singles Player of the Week. Feit has a 15-4 season record, 5-0 in singles.

—- Josh Brown, a College of Idaho junior from Colfax, collected a second Cascade Collegiate Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week award of the indoor season after winning the weight throw and setting a person best in the shot put with the second best throw in school history at the BSU Team challenge.

—- Kayla Leland from track & field and Kyle Roach from men’s basketball have been selected the Whitworth Student-Athletes of the Month for their performances in January.

Leland, a senior from Gonzaga Prep, set school indoor records in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs and won four individual events. Her 5,000 mark of 17 minutes, 1.65 seconds blew away the old record by more than 40 seconds. She ran 10:14.25 in the 3,000.

Roach, a junior from Marinwood, California, averaged 22.1 points a game in January, including games in which he scored 39 points against Lewis & Clark and then 45 against Whitman three days later. He shot 37 percent on 3-pointers and 48 percent overall from the field.

—- Led by Leland, the Whitworth women surpassed four school records at the UW Husky Open last weekend. Leland ran 9:49.99 in the 3,000 to break her weeks-old mark by 25 seconds and 3:00.74 to topple a 20-year-old record in the 1,000.

Sarah Martinez broke a nine-year-old school record in the 400-meter dash, clocking 57.78, and joined Kameha Medallada, Isabel Clark and Sarah Cool to set a school record in the 4x100 relay at 4:02.13.

—- Lindsay Lee, a Seattle Pacific senior from Lewis and Clark, was named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Academic team in women’s basketball for a third straight year with a 3.50 grade-point-average to lead seven area athletes honored by the Division II conference, including two repeaters.

St. Martin’s juniors Emma Kennedy from University (3.72) and Mallory Kessler from Ritzville (3.38) were honored for a second straight year.

First-time recipients are Tayler Drynan, a Simon Fraser sophomore from Gonzaga Prep (3.29); Erin Higbie, a Concordia junior from West Valley (3.37); Taylor Cunningham, a Montana State Billings sophomore from Lewis and Clark (3.39); and McKenna Walker, a Northwest Nazarene junior from Moses Lake (3.32).

—- The Whitworth women’s and men’s tennis teams, with one senior back each, were predicted for middle-of-the-pack finishes in the Northwest Conference preseason coaches’ polls.

A young women’s team, with Jennifer Adams returning, was tabbed for fourth behind Linfield and Whitman, predicted for a close 1-2 finish. Ian Fisher is back for the Pirates men, picked for sixth. Whitman was predicted to finish first.


Ray Serrano, a former U12-U14 member of the Spokane Shadow, has signed a professional contract with the Seattle Sounders 2 team, making him the youngest player to sign with the club’s first or second team.

Serrano, 15, from Moses Lake, is the sixth player to sign directly from the Sounders Academy to the club’s professional reserve team that plays in United Soccer League, the nation’s second tier.

Serrano has 17 goals and six assists in 17 games for the Academy’s U17 team that leads the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s Northwest Division. In league play, he’s in the top 10 in scoring nationally, top five in the Western Region.

—- Kavita Battan, who completed her women’s soccer career with Idaho in 2016, has become the first former Vandal to turn professional, signing with Skovde KIK in the Swedish Football League Women’s Division I.

Battan was a member of Idaho’s historical 2015 team that set numerous school and conference records in winning the program’s first Big Sky regular-season championship and earning first-team all-league honors. She finished with the fourth most goals, eighth most shots and ninth most assists in team history.


Rich Hobson and Chuck Stewart, two former Spokane umpires in chief, were inducted into the USA Softball of Idaho Hall of Fame last weekend at the association’s state meeting in Spokane.

Hobson, who started umpiring in 1980, was Spokane UIC for five years (1989-93) before joining the Amateur Softball Association national staff in 1994, where he served for 10 years. He is a USA Softball Elite umpire in fastpitch, has worked multiple national championship tournaments and served as UIC at 19 of them.

His honors include being in the Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame and receiving the Washington Officials Association Meritorious Service Award.

Stewart, who started umpiring in 1984, followed Hobson as Spokane UIC and served for 16 years, retiring in 2009 as the longest-servicing UIC in the Northwest at the time. He was UIC at seven ASA National Championship tournaments and 51 state and regional tournaments.

His honors include receiving the ASA Region 15 Award of Excellence, the WOA Meritorious Service Award, and spots in the Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame and USA Softball Region 9 Hall of Fame.

Also at the Idaho state meeting, two other local umpires and longtime former Commissioner Fuzzy Buckenberger were honored.

Jeff Camp, an umpire for 12 years who has worked seven USA Softball national championship tournaments, including three at the elite youth gold level, received the Larry Musgrove Award, given annually to an umpire who best represents the ideals of umpiring the late former Idaho UIC embodied.

Nic McIndoe, a 14-year-old first-year umpire who attends St. George’s, was given the Bob Martin Award in memory of the late former Idaho UIC that goes to an up-and-coming umpire. McIndoe was a Spokane association Rookie of the Year recipient in 2017.

Buckenberger, who retired in 2017 after 22 years as Spokane commissioner, received the Red Halpern Lifetime Achievement Award in memory of the late former longtime Idaho commissioner from Coeur d’Alene.

Spokane has been a district under the Idaho umbrella since 2015 when the then-ASA did some nationwide reorganizing. The ASA has since also been rebranded and is now USA Softball.


Stevi Robinson, an assistant at The Citadel for one season, has been hired as an assistant coach at Gonzaga University, Bulldogs head coach Diane Nelson announced.

Robinson, a California native and former Pepperdine standout, is a former member of the USA Women’s Indoor National Volleyball Team and prior to coaching was the starting libero for Allianz MTV Stuttgart, a German professional team.

She played both indoor and sand volleyball at Pepperdine, where she was a two-time West Coast Conference Libero of the Year, and helped the Waves capture the AVCA Sand Team National Championship.

After graduating, she pursued her Master’s at the Southern California and wrapped up her athletic eligibility by competing on the Trojans’ sand volleyball team, where she was a 2013 AVCA Pairs Sand National Champion and AVCA All-American.

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