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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Local briefs: Grey Sox of Spokane win world championship

UPDATED: Sat., Sept. 29, 2018

Members of the Grey Sox pose after winning their championship. (Courtesy)
Members of the Grey Sox pose after winning their championship. (Courtesy)

Spokane has a world masters slowpitch softball champion.

Grey Sox returned from the Senior Softball USA World Masters Championships in Las Vegas last week with the title in the 65+ AA Division.

“It was fun; it was exciting,” said coach Ron Klawitter, noting it’s the first world masters championship for a Spokane team.

Grey Sox lost their first game (11-9) in pool play to a team from New Mexico, “then ran the table,” Klawitter said. They won the second pool-play game to get the No. 4 seed into bracket play in the 15-team division then won five more in a row, three of them by one or two runs.

Blue Chips from Chicago, their victim in that first victory, turned out to be their championship-game victim, too – 30-17.

“We were just unconscious,” Klawitter said. “As a team, we batted 40 for 46 and scored the maximum five runs an inning” in the game ended by the mercy rule in six innings.

The Grey Sox landed five players on the all-tournament team – Tim Wheatley, who led the team with an .864 batting average; Klawitter, second in batting (.840) and RBIs (16); Dan Griffith (.760 and the RBI leader with 17); Jim Hardenbrook (.682); and John Higgins (.652, and the team’s primary pitcher).

Other team members: Mark Reilly, Cam Preston, Steve Bergstrom, Grant Hodge, Mike Owen, Tom Crouch, Tom Adams, Wayne Terry and Dwayne Phinney.

College scene

One race, two awards.

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference and Northwest Athletic Conference both looked at the Ken Garland Classic at Saint Martin’s last weekend when selecting their women’s cross country runners of the week.

The GNAC tabbed Rebecca Lehman, a Western Washington freshman from University High, whose first-place finish led the Vikings to the team title. She covered the 5,000-meter course in 18 minutes, 15:19 seconds, averaging a 5:54 mile.

Runner-up Micaela Kosteca, a CC Spokane sophomore from Mt. Spokane who was 15 seconds back in what the NWAC considered its conference preview race, was the community college conference’s choice.

Western redshirt freshman Shawnee Konrad (Mead) was third in 18:37.84 and junior Tracy Melville (Lind-Ritzville-Sprague) placed seventh (18:46.17) as the Vikings put six in the top 10.

• CCS freshman Emily Farden was the NWAC women’s cross country runner of the week the previous week after she ran 16:19.4 for 4K at the Class of the Inland Northwest Invitational.

• Colorado redshirt junior John Dressel, a two-time All-American from Mt. Spokane, made his return to competitive running with a 23:35.1 clocking for 8K and an 11th-place finish at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational this weekend. Dressel missed all of last season with an injury.

• Whitworth swept the Northwest Conference men’s and women’s golfer-of-the-week honors for the week ending Sept. 23 after the Pirates won team honors in the season-opening PLU Invitational at The Home Course in DuPont, Washington.

Senior transfer Derrick Phelps, who spent last year at Division II Saint Martin’s following two years at CC Spokane, earned the men’s award after claiming medalist honors in his first tournament for the Pirates. His 4-under-par 140 included a first-round 69 that shared best round of the tournament. The Whits had a three-shot win.

Junior Maggie Peters dominated the women’s side of the tournament with an eight-stroke victory. Her second round of 70 was six strokes better than any other round in the tournament. The Pirates posted a 21-stroke team victory.

• Idaho junior Michelle Kim collected the fourth Big Sky Conference Women’s Golf Player of the Week award of her career, sharing this one with Sofie Babic of Sacramento State. Kim shot a 1-over 214 to tie for fifth in the Coeur d’Alene Collegiate, in which the Vandals placed third.

• Washington State’s 2018 signing class has been ranked No. 32 in the country, according to Collegiate Baseball’s 2018 evaluation of the NCAA Division I baseball classes.

For fourth-year head coach Marty Lees, it is the second time in three seasons the Cougars have a nationally ranked recruiting class. The 2016 class was ranked No. 28 by D1baseball.com.

The Cougars’ 2018 class includes 21 newcomers, 12 of whom earned high school all-state honors; one junior college All-American; and a pair of high school signees who were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.

The Cougars have two scrimmages planned for Bailey-Brayton Field this fall, against Central Washington next Saturday and Gonzaga on Oct. 21, both at 1 p.m. The latter will help put a cap on the annual Cougar Baseball Alumni Weekend Oct. 19-21.

Rowing

Chloe Rogers, who rowed in three NCAA Championships during a four-year career at Washington State, has been hired as an assistant to fill out the staff of Gonzaga University women’s coach Marisa Wortman.

The Gonzaga Prep graduate rowed for the nationally ranked Cougars from 2013-17.

Tennis

Cesar Vargas, who has spent the last three years as an assistant at Elon University in North Carolina, most recently as associate head coach, has been hired as an assistant coach for the men’s program at Gonzaga University, head coach Jonas Piibor announced.

A native of Mazatlán, Mexico, Vargas played at Nebraska before graduating in 2004. He is a certified teaching professional and also had assistant coaching stops at South Carolina Upstate (2014-15) and Georgia State (2012-14), where he was interim head coach in 2012.

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