Record-setting performances come in all shapes and sizes. Though the record books might be fuzzy for fastpitch softball in the area, one pitcher had a performance for the ages last week.
Katelyn Strauss struck out 21 in a complete-game no-hitter and Ferris edged visiting Lewis and Clark 5-4 in a GSL 4A/3A game on Tuesday.
“I was feeling really good,” Strauss said. “I was pitching hard and I was pitching accurately. It was probably one of the best games I’ve pitched.”
“It was definitely a cool experience,” Ferris coach Linda Bushinski said. “Not in my 40-something years of playing, coaching or participating in softball have I been involved in this sort of thing.”
It wasn’t perfect. Strauss allowed four runs – two earned – and issued a walk with three hit batters and four wild pitches. Strauss helped herself out with two defensive plays in the circle after runners reached base due to passed balls on third strikes.
“I really trust the catchers I’m working with,” Strauss said. “I know they’re hard workers and they’re going to be able to catch and read the ball, figure out what I’m throwing. They’ll be able to see the movement and be able to catch it.”
LC got within a run in the seventh on an error, two stolen bases and a passed ball, but Strauss recovered to strike out the next two to preserve the win.
“She has grown so much since she started pitching,” Bushinski said. “She finds her composure and comes right back.”
“It’s crazy that I’ve come so far since I started pitching,” Strauss said. “Instead of walking 21 batters in a game I’m striking out 21 batters.”
Strauss is the third of four sisters making their way through the Ferris program. Older sisters Michelle and Jailyn starred for previous teams for Bushinski, and younger sister Donelle is just starting in the program.
Michelle Strauss was an all-league pitcher for the Saxons.
“I’ve always looked up to (Michelle) as a pitcher,” Katelyn said. “She’s one of my main inspirations for wanting to become a pitcher. Being able to see myself up there at her level as a pitcher is a really proud moment for me.”
Katelyn pitched to Jailyn her first couple of seasons with Ferris.
“(Jailyn) was always able to read me and know when I was struggling,” she said. “She was able to come out and talk to me and help be get back into a groove. She was one of my biggest supporters when I started pitching.”
North Idaho Sports Banquet awards
Gunner Giulio of Coeur d’Alene and Katy Ryan of Lakeland were named the 5A/4A male and female high school athletes of the year at the 58th North Idaho Sports Banquet on April 17 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.
Giulio shared the big school wrestler award with teammate Drew Roberts, and was nominated for football. Ryan, who is headed to Washington State for volleyball, also won for big school volleyball and was nominated for basketball.
Timberlake’s Brooke Jessen was named 3A/2A/1A female athlete and was co-winner with teammate Taryn Soumas for the basketball award. Eli Gibson, who won 3A/2A/1A football and basketball player of the year, was named small school male athlete.
St. Maries, which won the school’s first boys state basketball championship since 1960, won boys team of the year. Bryan Chase, who led the Lumberjacks to a 23-1 record, shared boys coach of the year.
Girls coach of the year was Stacy Smith, who guided Coeur d’Alene Charter soccer to the State 3A title. Girls team of the year was 3A state champion Timberlake basketball, which went 23-2.
Football: Jack Prka (CdA) and Jonah Ellis (Moscow). Girls basketball: Skylar Burke (CdA). Boys basketball: Caden McLean (Post Falls). Cross country: Sammie Wood (Post Falls), Mikolai Braedt (Sandpoint). Boys soccer: (Zander Moore) Sandpoint, Aiden O’Halloran (Post Falls). Girls soccer: Sarah Hines (CdAC). Wrestling: Dylan Sotin (St. Maries).
A full list of winners and nominees can be found at the North Idaho Hall of Fame website (nihof.org).
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