Richland athletic director Mike Edwards is used to hosting state tournaments, but they’re usually in the spring involving baseball or fastpitch softball.
But for the second consecutive year, Edwards and Richland High are hosting the WIAA’s unofficial state slowpitch softball tournament at Columbia Playfield on Saturday.
“Last year, there were just Spokane- and Vancouver-area teams, and this was kind of the halfway point,” said Edwards.
But this year, we have a local flavor in Chiawana, which won the Mid-Columbia Conference district title.
On Saturday, eight teams will battle for the crown in a modified double-elimination format that begins at noon and should end around 4 p.m. The title game is set to start at 3 p.m.
Here are the first-round matchups, all set for noon: Game 1, Mt. Spokane vs. Lake Washington; Game 2, Central Valley vs. Moses Lake; Game 3, Chiawana vs. Camas; Game 4, R.A. Long vs. University.
Slowpitch softball for girls has made a comeback, but only in the fall. Fastpitch still reigns supreme in the spring.
“It’s another question in how do we get more girls involved in athletics,” said Edwards. “Some of the fastpitch girls play. But others who may not be able to make the fastpitch team also turn out.”
It’s just another option for high school girls to play.
Next year, Edwards said, this tournament will be an official WIAA event.
Just four MCC schools fielded slowpitch teams this fall: Chiawana, Hermiston, Pasco and Walla Walla.
But within a few years, the three Kennewick schools and the two Richland schools may add it.
▪ The MCC announced its all-conference boys and girls cross country teams this week.
On the boys side, Kennewick senior Johan Correa and Kamiakin senior Ryan Child were named Runners of the Year, while Kamiakin’s Matt Rexus is Coach of the Year.
For girls, Kennewick junior Geraldin Correa and Walla Walla soph Ella Nelson share Runner of the Year honors. Kamiakin coach Sean Suss and Kennewick coach Katie Tate are co-Coaches of the Year.
Everyone meets at Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Walla Walla on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the District 8 meet with the Greater Spokane League schools.
In the 4A meet, the top three teams and top 21 individuals in both boys and girls will advance to the state meet, set for Nov. 3 at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.
In the 3A meet, the top two teams and top 14 individuals in both boys and girls will advance to state.
Here are the MCC all-conference teams
Boys first team – Johan Correa, sr., Kennewick; Ryan Child, sr., Kamiakin; Stanford Smith, jr., Kamiakin; Riley Moore, sr., Richland; Caleb Olson, sr., Hanford; Porter Grigg, sr., Kamiakin; Cannon Angotti, jr., Walla Walla.
Girls first team – Ella Nelson, so., Walla Walla; Geraldin Correa, jr., Kennewick; McKinzi Teeples, sr., Kamiakin; Sophia Fetrow, jr., Richland; Bailee Carr, sr., Richland; Grace Arnold, sr., Hanford; Alexa Neff, sr., Chiawana; Emma Summers, so., Richland.
Boys second team – Tristan Robinson, sr., Southridge; Cooper Cortinas, jr., Walla Walla; Peyton Hill, sr., Kamiakin; Issac Teeples, fr., Kamiakin; Jax Weide, jr., Kamiakin; Cameron Gutierrez, sr., Kamiakin; Austin Bachmann, jr., Chiawana.
Girls second team – Kathryn Bushman, sr., Hanford; Hannah Paulsen, so., Kamiakin; Marisa Memmott, so., Kamiakin; Kendra Keller, jr., Hanford; Carli Jones, sr., Kamiakin; Hailey Bullis, sr., Chiawana; Brooklyn Meehan, so., Kamiakin.
Boys honorable mention – Ethan Dorow, jr., Southridge; Elias Torres, jr., Pasco; Jacoby Sherman, jr., Richland; Leonel Leon, jr., Kennewick; Ismael Tovar, jr., Kennewick; Lance Stites, sr., Southridge; Freddy Mendoza, sr., Hermiston; Gregory Anderson, jr., Hermiston.
Girls honorable mention – Lauren Thompson, fr., Kennewick; Mirina Enderlin, so., Hanford; Elizabeth McCluskey, fr., Hanford; Madeline Dawson, sr., Hanford; Sariah Hepworth, fr., Walla Walla; Macy Marquardt, fr., Kennewick; Megan Wright, sr., Hanford; Isabella Qunell, so., Kamiakin.
▪ Congratulations to the Hanford Falcons for winning the MCC girls swimming title with an 8-0 record.
Richland was right behind with a 7-1 record, while Walla Walla took third at 6-2.
The MCC girls advance to the district meet at Kelso on Nov. 2 and 3.
▪ He’s only a freshman, but Kennewick football player Myles Mayovsky has already received his first scholarship offer, this one from Lousiana Lafayette. … Chiawana’s AJ Vongphachanh received his fourth offer, this one from Utah State. He’s also had offers from Air Force, Eastern Washington and Portland State.
Chiawana grad Bailey Cartwright enters her senior season of women’s basketball at Concordia University of Portland. The 6-foot-1 standout was a unanimous choice to make the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference team. … Royal grad Kaden Jenks suffered a bad injury in Saturday’s 34-24 Weber State football win over Montana State. Jenks came in at quarterback, and on a running play, he was tackled and the foot was turned 180 degrees. It was a broken ankle. Trainers got the foot put back in, but Jenks, a redshirt freshman, is done for the season. Jenks is tough, though. Weber State coach Jay Hill said after trainers got the foot back in place, Jenks wanted to go back into the game. “I’m like, ‘Just calm down a bit.’” …
Pasco High grad Chad Bodnar got his EWU women’s soccer team qualified for the Big Sky Conference tournament next week by winning 1-0 over Northern Arizona and 2-0 over Southern Utah – both on the road. Hanford High grad Kelsee Winston, EWU’s wall of a goalie, had six saves against NAU and eight more against Southern Utah. That earned her the BSC Defensive Player of the Week award. She has seven shutouts this season. EWU plays No. 3 seed Northern Colorado on Halloween to open the tournament. … Keep your eyes on the University of Providence women’s basketball team this winter. Formerly Great Falls University in Montana, the Argos have three Mid-Columbians on the roster who will see plenty of action: freshman Kenedy Cartwright (Chiawana, and Bailey’s sister), sophomore Emilee Maldonado (Sunnyside) and freshman Alicia Oatis (Kennewick).
The Tri-City Dust Devils released their 2019 schedule this week.
The highlights include opening the season at home June 14 against the Everett AquaSox.
But there are some big changes. While the team will play the usual 76 games, they’ll play more of their in-division North opponents.
It used to be when the Dust Devils played the South Division teams of Hillsboro, Eugene, Boise and Salem-Keizer, they would play five games on the road and five at home for a total of 10.
Now, it will be a combination of four and three for seven each.
Those extra games are moved over to the North teams of Spokane, Everett and Vancouver. Last season, Tri-City played 12 each against those three teams.
In 2019, the Dust Devils will play 15 games against both Everett and Vancouver, and 18 against Spokane.