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Locally: Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame awards and induction ceremony this Saturday

Aug. 16, 2021 Updated Sun., Aug. 22, 2021 at 7:49 p.m.

Marv Richardson and Patti Blancher-Doyle find their names on the Indland Empire Softball Hall of Fame kiosk at Merkle Field when they were inducted in 2013.  (Dan Pelle /SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Marv Richardson and Patti Blancher-Doyle find their names on the Indland Empire Softball Hall of Fame kiosk at Merkle Field when they were inducted in 2013. (Dan Pelle /SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Staff and news services

Abby Boden, an All-Greater Spokane League infielder in slowpitch softball and a member of the University High School Honor Roll, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame’s Doug “Pops” Bender Award.

“Her credentials are quite impressive,” said Kirk Madison, chairman of the Bender Award committee.

He noted, for instance, that Boden earned eight varsity letters at U-Hi – four in fastpitch softball, three in slowpitch and one in cheer – along with her scholastic honors.

The 18th recipient of the Bender Award, and the first from University HS, receives a $1,000 scholarship to help with college expenses. Madison said Boden plans to attend Washington State University and study nursing.

There was no award in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the banquet.

Honoring Boden will be a highlight of the IESHF induction banquet Saturday at the Northside Eagles Lodge, 6410 N. Lidgerwood. A no-host social will start at 4:30 p.m. with dinner at 5:30 and the awards ceremony at 6. Tickets are $25 and will be available at the door.

Inductees include players Jack Martin (modified and coed; he continues, in his 80s, playing men’s senior slowpitch), Hector Fiorillo (men’s modified) and Christine Lynch (women’s slowpitch), and umpire John Isles.

The Spokane Lilacs women’s fastpitch team will be inducted as the Team of the Decade for the 1970s and the late Shirley Brown, longtime former secretary for the defunct Spokane Metro Softball Association, will be honored with the Hank Coplen Spotlite Award for her contribution to the sport behind the scenes.


Jodie Berry, a former longtime women’s assistant coach at Gonzaga University, has been promoted to associate head women’s coach at the University of Oregon by her boss and former longtime GU head coach Kelly Graves.

Berry has worked with Graves the past 16 seasons, including 11 at Gonzaga, where she moved from director of women’s basketball operations to assistant coach prior to the 2005-06 season. She spent her final six seasons with the Bulldogs, 2008-14, as Graves’ top assistant. At Oregon, Berry is the Ducks’ post coach and assists in opponent scouting and recruiting.

College scene

Michaela Bayerlova, a fifth-year senior at Washington State, captured her fifth professional tennis title, but the first since 2019, when she won the International Tennis Federation Frederiksberg tournament in Frederiksberg, Denmark, on Aug. 8.

Bayerlova, from Krumbach, Germany, the No. 5 seed, cruised through the tournament without dropping a set. Two days after defeating top-seeded and No. 407-ranked Sohyun Park from Korea in the quarterfinals, Bayerlova defeated Israel’s Nicole Khirin 6-1, 6-1 for the championship. The outcome improved Bayerlova’s world ranking from 555 to 552.

• Preseason Big Sky Conference MVPs Eric Barriere, the Eastern Washington quarterback, and linebacker Tre Walker of Idaho continue to pick up accolades. The seniors were named to the 2021 HERO Sports FCS Preseason All-America first team. EWU sophomore kicker Seth Harrison (Coeur d’Alene HS) was named to third team.

• Walker is among five Big Sky players named to the Stats Perform 2021 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List. The award goes annually to the player judged to be the most outstanding defensive player in the Division I FCS.

• Eastern again is among the Big Sky teams ranked in preseason FCS polls. The Eagles come in at No. 11 in the Stats Perform Top 25. Weber State is No. 6, Montana No. 9, Montana State No. 12 and UC Davis No. 23. Sacramento State is among those receiving votes.

• With one of its deepest women’s soccer rosters in recent memory, that includes five fifth-year seniors returning from the pandemic-shortened spring campaign, Washington State was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 Conference coaches’ preseason poll.

WSU returns 2020 leading scorer Elyse Bennett and 2019 all-region honoree Brianna Alger, who is back from an injury. They’re joined by a trio of transfers, including Sydney Studer, an All-Pac-12 and all-region honoree from Oregon State, as the Cougars hope to challenge reigning champion ULCA, USC, Stanford and Washington, who were picked ahead of them.

• Senior Jordan Thompson, a staple on the Gonzaga defense who has started all 61 games in which she has played and been a four-year captain, has been named to the Preseason All-West Coast Conference women’s soccer team by the league’s coaches, who tabbed the Bulldogs to finish fourth in their preseason poll. Defending NCAA champion Santa Clara was picked first.

• Idaho was tabbed for fourth and Eastern Washington, with a new coach, tied for sixth in the Big Sky Conference soccer coaches’ preseason poll. Northern Arizona edged reigning champion Montana by a point after both won division titles in 2020.

Scout Cai, the Seattle Pacific senior from Colfax, earned another honor for her academic and athletic accomplishments. She was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America’s Division II Academic All-America third team in track & field/cross country.

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s two-time pole vault champion, who set the event record at 13 feet, 3 inches this spring, has a 3.72 GPA.

Stephanie Cho, a recent Washington State graduate, was named to the third team of the Division I CoSIDA Academic All-America Women’s Track & Field Team with a 4.0 GPA.

Riley Sine, a Northwest University (Kirkland, Washington) grad student from Central Valley, added to his honors when he was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-America NAIA Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country second team with a 3.82 GPA.

Michaela Jones, a redshirt junior women’s basketball player, is the president of the Washington State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the 2021-22 academic year and Jacob Englar, a junior men’s track and field athlete, is the vice president.

The SAAC is made up of student-athletes who provide insight on their experiences and offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives.

Max Sekulic of Washington State and Matthew Ruel of Gonzaga both missed the cut at the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship during the weekend in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

Sekulic, a redshirt junior from Rycroft, Alberta, shot a 1-over-par 71 on his second round, but coupled with a 77 in the first round left him at 8-over 148. The cut line was 142. Ruel, a redshirt senior from Oldsmar, Florida, shot 79-78 for 17-over 157.

• Washington State incoming freshmen Fiona and Hannah Elliott, twins from Sarnia, Ontario, were members of the Canadian boat that finished fourth in the women’s quadruple sculls in the B Final at the 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships Saturday in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.


Billy Bomar of Prairie Falls Golf Club in Post Falls shot even-par 71 and finished in a six-way tie for sixth in a PGA Champions Tour pre-qualifier on Friday at High Cedars Golf Club in Orting, Washington. The low five advance to the Boeing Classic Champions Tour qualifier Tuesday at High Cedars.


David Filippone, who has been working for the Clayton Public School District in New Jersey as its head athletic trainer, has been hired by the Spokane Chiefs as their new athletic trainer and conditioning coach.

A graduate of Rowan (New Jersey) University with a degree in athletic training, Filippone replaces Joseph Hurley, who was with the Chiefs since 2017 before accepting a job in the American Hockey League.

Letters of intent

Idaho women’s track & field/cross country: Sarah Pecha, distances, Central Valley; second-team All-GSL 4A/3A cross country as a senior, two-time State cross country qualifier.

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