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Locally: Softball standouts Katelyn Strauss, Haley Loffer earn 2022 All-American honors

June 13, 2022 Updated Mon., June 13, 2022 at 5:24 p.m.

Katelyn Strauss, pictured in 2021 while starring at Ferris High School, earned National Junior College Athletic Association Division III first-team honors at North Dakota State College of Science.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Katelyn Strauss, pictured in 2021 while starring at Ferris High School, earned National Junior College Athletic Association Division III first-team honors at North Dakota State College of Science. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
From staff and news services

Two former area high school standouts, instrumental in leading their college softball teams to national tournaments, collected 2022 All-America honors.

Katelyn Strauss, a freshman pitcher from Ferris, was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III first team after registering nation-leading figures at North Dakota State College of Science as the Wildcats placed fourth in the NJCAA D-III World Series.

Haley Loffer, College of Idaho’s senior shortstop from Lake City, who ranks as one of the top players in program history, was named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics second team after the Yotes made a third straight national appearance. She earned honorable mention in 2021. The Coyotes lost in the opening round of the 2022 NAIA World Series.

Strauss was among the top three nationally in a dozen pitching categories, including leading NJCAA Division III in ERA (1.70), strike outs (323) and strikeouts per seven innings (13.41). She tied for second in wins (21), was second in appearances (37, 21 of them starts with 14 complete games) and innings pitched (1682/3). She had a 21-7 record for the 39-12 Wildcats.

Loffler, also a CoSIDA second-team Academic All-American with a GPA of 3.2 or above, batted .475 according to NAIA, a figure that ranks 11th nationally, with 58 hits, 57 runs scored and 42 stolen bases, a top-seven national figure. She also had five triples and five home runs.

She leaves C of I with school records in runs (189), triples (14), walks (110) and stolen bases (115) and is top-four in four other categories, including second in home runs (21).

Basketball

Jeremy Harden, who has more than 10 years of college coaching experience, the last five as head men’s coach at Wenatchee Valley College, has been hired by the University of Idaho as a men’s assistant coach, head coach Zac Claus announced.

Harden led WVC to an 85-45 overall record and five consecutive winning seasons. In 2021-22, the Knights won the Northwest Athletic Conference East Region and advanced to the NWAC Final Four, led by recent Idaho signee Isaac Jones. Harden was named East Region coach of the year. The Knights had the best regional record (15-1) and were No. 1 in scoring offense (93.1 PPG).

Before Wenatchee, Harden served as an assistant for one season at Tohono O’odham Community College (Arizona) following three seasons (2013-16) at Boise State as the director of player development under head coach Leon Rice. He made his college coaching debut in 2012, serving one season as an assistant at Eastern Oregon University.

Chance Garvin, who played basketball at Idaho from 2016-21, is rejoining the Vandals’ men’s program for the 2022-23 season as a graduate manager, Claus announced.

A native of Coulee Dam, Wash., who is pursuing a master’s at Idaho, Gavin has served as an assistant coach for the Moscow High School girls team and was an ESPN+ color commentator for Idaho men’s and women’s basketball games in 2021-22.

College scene

Gonzaga’s Enzo Apodaca and Cade McGee, who were All-West Coast Conference honorable mention, were named by Collegiate Baseball newspaper to its Freshman All-America Team.

McGee was earlier named West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year. He batted .298 with a team-high 10 home runs, 62 hits, including 15 doubles, and 31 RBIs. Apodaca was one of only two players to appear in every game for GU. The center fielder batted leadoff, hitting .279 with team-highs of 45 RBIs, 67 hits and 19 doubles. He committed just one error on 118 chances.

• Gonzaga sophomore right-handed relief pitcher Owen Wild was named to the All-Blacksburg Region team following a shutdown performance that helped the Zags complete a dramatic NCAA elimination-round comeback against Wright State.

Wild, one of two pitchers named to the team, entered the game in the second inning with GU down 9-4. He pitched 6⅓ scoreless innings to put the Zags in position to win 11-9 and stay alive in the regional. It was the 11th straight game GU won with him on the mound. He struck out seven, walked six and gave up only three hits.

• Washington State’s Jack Smith and Jacob McKeon were named to 2022 Division I CoSIDA Academic All-America baseball teams. Smith, a fifth-year senior infielder, was named to the first team with a 4.0 GPA working on his master’s in business administration. McKeon, a versatile junior, was named to the second team with a 3.98 GPA.

• At No. 15, Eastern Washington is one of five Big Sky Conference schools ranked in Athlon Sports’ Preseason FCS Top 25 football poll. Montana is No. 3, Montana State No. 4, Sacramento State No. 6 and Weber State No. 13. Reigning champion North Dakota State is No. 1.

• Gonzaga received the 2021-22 West Coast Conference Men’s All-Sports Award for the second time in school history at the conference’s annual awards dinner June 6. The Zags shared it with BYU in 2014.

GU was second to BYU for the 2021-22 Commissioner’s Cup and finished fifth in the women’s all-sports competition won by BYU.

Golf

Twins Bradley and Benjamin Mulder, juniors at Mead High School, led the showing by area entries in the boys 16-18 division at the 2022 Pacific Northwest Junior PGA Championship on June 4-5 in Woodburn, Oregon, at the OGA course.

Bradley finished in a four-way tie for 25th at 148 (72-76) and Benjamin was in a seven-way tie for 29th a stroke back at 149 (75-74).

Also in the division, Mead senior Caden Martinsen was in a four-way tie for 49th at 156 (75-81), Henry Staples (Lewis and Clark) was in a two-way tie in 59th at 160 (81-79) and Ferris sophomore Ethan Miller finished 69th at 171 (87-84).

In boys 13-15, Maximus Raugust of Spokane was 28th at 188 (96-92).

Emmett Asmus, a 9-year-old from Liberty Lake, led the area entries in 12-and-under boys, in which three area golfers finished two strokes apart. Asmus shot 178 (89-89) and finished in a two-way tie for 19th; Hunter Paquin of Hayden, Idaho, was a stroke back at 179 (90-89) for 21st; and Sawyer Haggerty of Liberty Lake was in a two-way tie for 22nd at 180 (88-92). Also in 12U, Cole Paquin of Hayden shot 192 (98-94) for 27th.

There were no girls’ entries from the area.

Dan Potter, a Coeur d’Alene native who played his high school golf at Gonzaga Prep and played collegiately at the University of Washington, has resigned after eight years as men’s golf coach at Boise State.

The school release announcing his departure said Potter was stepping down to pursue other interests in the Boise community. He led the Broncos to back-to-back NCAA regional appearances in 2020-21 and 2021-22 and was the 2021 Mountain West Coach of the Year.

Hockey

Two Spokane Chiefs prospects, forward Berkly Catton and defenseman Will McIsaac, are among 100 players invited to Canada’s national under-17 development camp, July 10-16 in Calgary, Alberta.

Catton, the Chiefs’ first overall selection in the Western Hockey League Prospects Draft, made his WHL debut Feb. 11 and played in nine games, collecting four points (1G, 3A). McIsaac, Spokane’s second-round selection (28th overall), made his WHL debut Jan. 15 and played in the allotted five games with the Chiefs as an affiliate player.

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