NAIA World Series will have a Mid-Columbia flavor. Area athletes continue to shine

April 3, 2016 - Columbia Basin College pitcher Tanner Simpson throws to first to get the runner.
April 3, 2016 - Columbia Basin College pitcher Tanner Simpson throws to first to get the runner. Tri-City Herald

The field is set for this year’s NAIA World Series baseball tournament, which runs from May 24-31 in Lewiston, Idaho.

As the host, Lewis-Clark State College plays in the tournament. But the Warriors will be the 10th-seeded team among the 10-team field.

Still, you can never count out LCSC, and it has three pitchers on its roster who should see some time on the mound: Matt Driver, a junior from Kennewick; Gerald Hein, also a junior from Kennewick; and senior Tanner Simpson, who played at CBC. Both Driver and Hein helped lead Yakima Valley College to the NWAC title last year.

SHS at RHS BB001
Southridge High School’s Jashaun Simon dives for a ball in the outfield during a game against Richland High School in this file photo. Sarah Gordon Tri-City Herald

But wait. There are a few other familiar faces in this tournament. Indiana Tech comes in with two Tri-City guys – shortstop Kyle Harvey, a junior from Southridge; and outfielder Jashaun Simon, also a junior from Southridge. They also helped YVC win an NWAC title last year.

• Former CBC standout Griffey Halle, playing for Western Oregon, was named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference recently as an outfielder.

A number of area athletes made the GNAC’s second team.

They include junior outfielder Tyler Detloff (Kennewick) for Montana State University-Billings, sophomore utility player Mitch Lesmeister (Walla Walla) of Central Washington University, senior pitcher Jarrod Molnaa (Kennewick) of MSU-Billings, senior outfielder Colton Peha (Walla Walla CC) of St. Martin’s, and senior pitcher Clark Streby (WWCC) of St. Martin’s.

MSU-Billings is playing this weekend in the NCAA Division II West Regionals for the first time in school history.

NCAA softball

Two teams with Mid-Columbia athletes on the roster qualified for the NCAA softball tournament.

Seattle University is 39-15 and is playing in the Seattle Regional this weekend at the University of Washington. SU was playing Mississippi State on Friday night.

UW and Fordham are the other two teams in the regional.

The Redhawks have junior Stephanie Merwin (Richland) on their roster. Merwin has been a role player off the bench.

Meanwhile, Weber State won the Big Sky Conference tournament last week to qualify for the NCAA tourney.

Richland High School’s Abby Perryman (12) takes a swing at bat Friday during a game against Kamiakin at Lawrence Scott Park in Kennewick. Richland took the Mid-Columbia Conference title with a 16-4 victory. Tri-City Herald

The Wildcats are playing in the Los Angeles regional this weekend, and were to take on UCLA on Friday night.

Missouri and Cal State Fullerton are the other two teams in the regional.

Two freshmen from Walla Walla are on Weber State’s roster, Faith and Lauren Hoe.

They helped the Wildcats to a 26-19 record.

Faith Hoe was named co-Freshman Player of the Year for Weber State, and she was a second-team All-Big Sky Conference second baseman.

She hit .363 and had three home runs and 25 RBIs.

Lauren Hoe was an honorable mention catcher, batting .352 with a homer and 16 RBIs.

• Pitcher Camryn Coleman (Walla Walla) completed her freshman season at Central Arkansas. Coleman went 3-6 with a 3.66 earned run average over 49.2 innings for the 26-28 team.

• Senior Abby Perryman (Richland) was one of six players from Campbell University to make the Big South All-Conference team. Perryman was a first-team DP. But Perryman also headed up the Big South All-Academic softball team. She carries a 3.75 grade point average while being part of the honors biology program.

Rogers’ Taylor Murchison (left) battles Chiawana’s Germain Barnes in the 4A boys 110-meter high hurdles in this 2018 file photo. Tony Overman

College track

Chiawana grad Germain Barnes, a true freshman at Colorado State, won the men’s 400-meter hurdles last weekend at the Mountain West Conference Championships. He covered the race in 52.30 seconds. Barnes was also part of the second-place 4x400 men’s relay team.

Fellow Chiawana grad Roman Ruiz, competing for Utah State, placed fourth in the men’s decathlon.

• Earlier this week I mentioned some of this region’s standouts after the first day of the Big Sky Conference track and field championships.

Here are a few more after the final day:

Larry Still (Richland) won the men’s pole vault for Eastern Washington University, clearing 16 feet, 5.5 inches;

Austin Beyer (Southridge), competing for the University of Idaho, tossed the men’s javelin 206 feet, 4 inches to place third;

Madison Doepker (Walla Walla), who on Day 1 won the women’s javelin for EWU, placed third in the women’s hammer event with a throw of 193-2;

And EWU sprinter Joe Gauthier (Hanford) finished third in the men’s 100 meters in a time of 10.54 seconds.

Prep recap

Southridge held off Hermiston 4-2 on Wednesday to earn the District 8 top seed to the Class 3A state softball tournament next week.

• Grandview’s boys soccer team saw its season end Wednesday when the Greyhounds fell 2-0 on the road to Fife in the first round of the 2A state soccer tournament.

NWAC sports

Rain wiped out Friday’s first day of the NWAC softball championships in Spokane.

The tournament is now scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday.

CBC will play Edmonds at noon, while Walla Walla CC takes on Lower Columbia at 2:30 p.m.

• CBC’s baseball team is playing at the Mt. Hood regional tournament this weekend, and was scheduled to play Centralia on Friday night.

Mt. Hood, of course, is the host of this three-team tournament. The winner earns a berth in the NWAC Championship tournament, set for next weekend in Longview.

Jeff Morrow is a former sports editor for the Herald.