High school spring sports have obviously gotten off to a slow start, what with the snow — even the melting snow hasn’t gone away fast enough.
But it looks like we’re almost to start things up full speed.
Some of the area’s baseball teams have traveled to Western Washington and played some no league games, and the Mid-Columbia Conference boys soccer teams have been able to play some non-league matches, mostly at snow-cleared Kennison Field in Hermiston.
But by the middle of this week, temperatures should reach 60 degrees and all of the snow should be gone.
Schedules have been reconfigured for everything. Here’s a look at each sport in the MCC:
- Baseball – Every team should get their 20 games in, and MCC play is set to begin March 22.
- Boys golf – Most of the MCC teams will play at a reschedule Kennewick Invite, set for March 22 at Zintel Creek.
- Girls golf – The first MCC pod is set for March 27 at Canyon Lakes.
- Boys soccer – Athletic directors revamped the schedule from a double round-robin format to just eight MCC matches per team. Most teams got in some non-league matches last Saturday, and some this past week, at Hermiston. But the MCC schedule begins April 2.
- Softball – Almost all games this past weekend, all non-league, were postponed and rescheduled for this coming weekend. But MCC play begins in earnest on March 28 and 29.
- Tennis – Schools are just now getting tennis courts cleared, so a lot of preseason events were postponed or canceled. MCC play kicks off March 21.
- Track and field – The Richland jamboree was postponed this past Saturday, and MCC meets begin March 28. The Pasco Invitational will be April 13 at Edgar Brown Stadium.
NWAC spring sports
Snow has hampered NWAC spring sports too.
Columbia Basin College’s baseball team usually begins play the first weekend of March, but the Hawks had those first games canceled, and then moved their contests the past two weekend over to the west side.
The Hawks’ baseball team is off to a 2-6 start, and it begins NWAC East play on March 27.
Meanwhile, the CBC softball team had some cancellations too and is just 3-1 at the mid-point of March. And in fact, the Hawks open NWAC East play this week on Friday, March 22.
The UC Davis women’s basketball team beat Hawaii 58-50 on March 16 to win the Big West Conference tournament and earn an NCAA tournament berth.
The Aggies, 25-6, have junior Cierra Jo McKeown (Touchet/Walla Walla CC) on the team.
She’s played in 29 games this season, all off the bench, and averages 4.3 points a game.
▪ Mikayla Ferenz (Walla Walla) just completed a strong regular season for the University of Idaho. The senior averaged 22.3 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Vandals women’s basketball team, which won the Big Sky Conference regular-season title. However, Idaho (20-11) lost in the Big Sky Conference tournament semifinals last week, falling to Portland State 75-59. Idaho should get a spot in the Women’s NIT. And it doesn’t cast a pall on Ferenz’s career. She was named the Big Sky Conference MVP and a first-team all-conference player for the third consecutive year.
▪ Richland High grad Leon Rice finished this season as Boise State’s men’s basketball coach with a 13-20 record. Rice has also been mentioned as a possible candidate to head up WSU’s men’s basketball program, which severed ties with Ernie Kent this past week.
▪ Mitch Lesmeister (Walla Walla) went 5 for 6 with a home run and two RBIs to help Central Washington’s baseball team to a split with Western Oregon. The Wildcats dropped the opener 8-3 before bouncing back with a 4-3 win in the nightcap.
Now that the Western Hockey League regular season has been completed, it’s time for the playoffs.
And the Tri-City Americans will open those next Friday, March 22, at Everett against the Silvertips (Game 1 puck drop at 7:35 p.m.). Game 2 will be in Everett, March 23, at 7:05.
Games 3 and 4 are in the Toyota Center on March 27 and 28 (7:05 p.m., starts), while Game 5, if necessary, will be in Everett (7:05 p.m.).
A Game 6 will be back in Kennewick on Sunday, March 31, with a 5:05 p.m. start. Finally, a possible Game 7 would be back in Everett on April 2.