Columns & Blogs

Another Bratton stars in the pool

Think Richland’s Lisa Bratton — bound for Texas A&M on a swim scholarship this fall — is the only swimming star in her family?

Think again.

Her sister, Amanda Bratton, just came back from New Jersey a few weeks ago with two gold medals and two silver medals from the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games.

Amanda, 22, swam prelims in three different events that week on a Monday and Tuesday.

But as her mother, Cristy, told the Herald, Amanda’s team got to go to Olympic Town after Tuesday’s prelims.

While there, Amanda fell off a rock wall and sprained her left knee.

“She was given immediate medical attention along with many prayers from family and friends and was ok’d to swim on Wednesday,” said Cristy.

And she swam well, winning the 100 free final and a gold medal.

The next day, she won a gold in the 200 IM, and her Washington state 4x50 relay team won silver. Two days after her accident, Amanda finished second in the 100 breaststroke and did it with a new personal best time.

CBC talent heads onward

While Cheryl Holden may have retired last month as the women’s head basketball coach at Columbia Basin College, she did a fine job of sending her players on to the four-year level.

Freshman Courtney Nelson, who was the NWAACC tournament MVP after leading the Hawks to the title in March, is leaving CBC after one season.

She’ll be playing at Cal Baptist.

Shannon Bland will be playing at Cal State East Bay, while Hannah Depew is headed to Linfield. Sierra Higheagle will play next season at University of Montana-Western.

And Alicia Jones and Kellie Ross are both headed to the College of Idaho.

College rodeo finals

Hermiston’s Callahan Crossley, competing for Blue Mountain Community College, finished second overall in barrel racing at the College National Finals Rodeo last month in Casper, Wyo.

Crossley finished third in the finals with a run of 13.82 second, and was second overall, going four rounds for a total 56.03 seconds.

Summer college baseball

The West Coast League for college summer baseball got going last month, and the Mid-Columbia has a number of athletes on the rosters — most of them playing for the Walla Walla Sweets.

Outfielder Kenton Brunson, who graduated from Richland High and played for Columbia Basin College this past spring, is with the Bend Elks. Pitcher David Marshall, who graduated from Kamiakin and heads to Seattle University this fall, will play for the Kitsap Blue Jackets.

Lewis-Clark State’s Ty Jackson (Southridge) is playing with the Wenatchee AppleSox. He’s hitting .311, with 13 RBIs.

Finally, the Sweets are loaded with local talent: C Jake Browne (Hanford and Walla Walla CC); P Jake Campeau (Wa-Hi) of MSU-Billings; 1B Jared Gonzales (Kennewick/WWCC); OF Moe Handcox (Walla Walla HS/WWCC); P Jesse Houser (Kamiakin/WWCC); OF Andrew Mendenhall (Southridge) of LCSC; P Conner O’Neil (Southridge) from Central Arizona CC; OF Zach Rapacz (Richland) from George Fox University; and C JJ Robinson (WWCC).

Mendenhall is hitting .340 for the Sweets, with a home run and 14 RBIs.

Gonzales is hitting .278, with two homers and 11 RBIs. But he’s also got 28 walks. O’Neil is 3-2 with 31 strikeouts in 27.2 innings pitched. Houser is 3-3 with 29 strikeouts in 22.2 innings.

Independent baseball

A couple of check-ups show that Moses Lake High School grad Curran Redal, an outfielder, is spending the summer in the independent professional Frontier League playing for the River City Rascals in O’Fallon, Mo.

Through 41 games, Redal is hitting .258.

Meanwhile Maxx Garrett, who played at Kamiakin, then CBC before finishing at Gonzaga, is catching for the Washington Wild Things in the same league.

In 31 games, Garrett is hitting .253 with three homers and nine RBIs.

Coming up this week

While the Little League district tournament are almost completed, there is still a lot of youth baseball going on this week.

The Kennewick American and Kennewick National Cal Ripken all-star teams head to western Washington for the Southern Washington State Tournaments. The 12-year-olds — in both 70-feet competition and 60-feet competition — play at Black Hills in Olympia.

The 11-year-olds and 10-year-olds will be in Kelso. All tournaments run from Thursday through Saturday.

Back to Little League. The Richland National 12-year-olds, who won the District 12 title last week in Yakima, begin play at the state tournament in Seattle on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Richland National also has the pleasure of hosting the entire state in the 10-year-olds tournament. It’s a 13-team tournament, played at the Badger Mountain Complex, and it all begins Saturday at 1 p.m. It will run through next weekend.