Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WRHS spring sports underway with first games, matches, meets

WRHS baseball, softball teams get first games in

Nothing like getting out on green grass for snowbound Wood River High School baseball and softball teams. That's what the Wolverines did last week with very competitive games before Spring Break.

Senior pitcher Samantha Engel continued her strong early-season efforts as coach Dale Martin's Wolverine softball team split two back-to-back 4A games in Pocatello against Century and Blackfoot Friday.

Coach Matt Nelson took the Wood River baseball team to Kimberly Friday, where the Wolverines opened the 2009 season with a 12-5 victory over the Bulldogs. On Saturday, host Buhl nipped Wood River 6-4 and 9-8 in a non-league twinbill.

Softball team splits in Pokey

Coming off a dominating one hitter in a 7-1 triumph at Buhl last Wednesday, righthander Engel (6 hits, 14 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP) ran into resistance from Century in the late innings Friday and got hurt by unearned runs.

Wood River led 3-0 after three innings and 4-1 in the fifth, but three costly errors led to five unearned runs that put the Diamondbacks over the top 7-6. Leading Hailey's six-hit attack were Angela Coleman (2 hits, 2 RBI), Madison Gove (double, 3 runs), Engel (triple) and Taylor Gove (2 RBI).

"Samantha pitched well enough to win," said Martin.

Engel tossed her second complete game of the day Friday and beat Blackfoot 1-0 with a two-hit shutout. She whiffed 11 Broncos and walked just two. Alex Lindbloom tripled in the fourth and scored the only run. Madison Gove (2 hits), Taylor Gove (RBI) and Coleman (single) chipped in hits.

Coach Martin said, "We bounced back with a great game. Engel had 25 strikeouts on the day. I'm very pleased where we are right now although we have a lot of work to do. We have a week off to get healthy and rest sore arms."

Besides its two seniors, Engel and Coleman, Wood River's 15-player varsity has three juniors, seven sophomores and three freshmen. Juniors are catcher Lindbloom, Callen Thomas and Rachel Maier.

Sophomores are Rachel Mitchell, Ali Levy, Katherine Dwyer, Madison Gove, Josie Dawson, Taylor Gove and Sara Hope. Freshmen are Noe Garing, Haylee Thompson and Maddy McInnis. Assistant coaches are Dick Coleman and Jeff Martin.

Others on the junior varsity coached by Sarah Hopkins include Ashley Aschliman, Lauren Bryant, Anne Drier, Karina Zamora, Ashley Jackson, Britney Beaver, Ali Sowersby, Rebecca Jaramillo and Savanna Fredricks.

Baseball wins at Kimberly

Coach Nelson was pleased with Wood River's 16-hit attack and the pitching of sophomore Jake Freeman and senior reliever Bryan Bray in Friday's 12-5 triumph at Kimberly.

Senior infielder Michale Brunker (4-for-5, 3 runs), Bray (3 hits, 2 doubles, 3 RBI) and junior Juan Martinez (double, triple, 3 RBI) led the way.

Nelson said, "All the pistons were pumping today. We pushed guys home with runners on base and had only one error on defense. We still had too many strikeouts, nine, but at least they weren't with runners in scoring position."

Freeman (5 2/3 innings, 4 hits, 6 K, 2 BB) gave up only two runs, and Bray (1 BB) finished it off despite yielding three runs in the home sixth.

Wood River scored three times in the first, Brunker delivering an RBI single, Wakefield smashing an RBI double and Jimmy Hague making it 3-0 with a run-scoring single.

The Wolverines stretched their lead to 7-0 with a four-run third. Bray clouted a two-run double and Martinez drilled a two-run triple. Hailey scored three in the seventh. Martinez kept it alive with a two-out double followed by RBI hits by Brunker, Wakefield and Hague.

Unfortunately, Wood River (1-2) didn't have its bats in gear at Buhl (3-1) Saturday. Righthander Wakefield pitched a complete game and cracked a grand slam homer to account for all of his team's runs in the 6-4 loss, but the Wolverines managed only three hits against Buhl's J.D. Leckenby.

In the nightcap, Wood River rallied from an early 4-0 deficit with a seven-run third, but the Tribe rallied with five runs in the home sixth to prevail 9-8. Senior Sean Bunce started and threw into the fifth inning.

WRHS golfers get into the swing early

Practicing indoors hasn't hurt the Wood River High School boys' golf team, which won Thursday's season-opening seven-team Great Basin Conference prep meet at Burley Municipal Golf Course by 21 strokes.

Individual boys' medalist Crockett Stearns (even-par 72) led Wood River to a low four-player combined score of 326, with Century of Pocatello (347) in second place. Other Hailey boys and their 18-hole scores were Chance McCroskey 78, Jonathan Hobbs 80 and Ian Murphy 100.

Century (433) won Thursday's girls' meet at Rupert Country Club, with Wood River (546) fourth. Those shooters were Aimee Evans 124, Kelly Chapman 134, Ashley Hesteness 141 and Kylee Richmond 147.

Tennis team plays at Pocatello

Playing a little shorthanded because of the start of Spring Break, the Wood River High School tennis team nevertheless played well Saturday during a trip to Pocatello. Coaches Vicki Johnston and Marcia Grabow appreciated the commitment of the 16 students who traveled Saturday.

Wood River defeated Pocatello 7-5 and lost to Century 10-2.

Highlights of the Pocatello match were #1 boys' singles William Eagan winning 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 and freshmen #2 girls' doubles Erin Murphy/Morgan Jones taking a tiebreaker to prevail 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).

Also, #1 and #2 girls' singles Tanya Greenwood and Lauren Reutter won in straight sets; #1 boys' doubles William DeBree and Bryan Donoso came out on top 6-2, 7-5; and #1 girls' doubles Jessica Hamilton and Ellen Davis breezed 6-1, 7-5.

Wood River played shorthanded against a Century program it beat by six points for the Great Basin Conference title last May. Still, Reutter won a tough three-set match and #1 Hamilton/Davis prevailed in two.

Track athletes go the distance at Minico

Seventeen Wood River High School track and field athletes kicked off their 2009 season Thursday competing with three other schools in the Minico Quad at Rupert. The Wolverines picked up 16 podiums for placing first, second and third at the meet.

On a cool and breezy day Wood River did particularly well in the distance running events but also impressed with its 4x400-meter relay results—winning the girls' mile relay and taking third for the boys.

Chase Caulkins won the boys' 1600m and 3200m runs. Ben Stout captured the 200m dash. Freshman Tristin Bowers took the 3200m girls' run and anchored the winning 4x4 squad with Brooke Bowers, Amy Heather and Maddie Bates.

Rigby won both the boys' and girls' team meets over Minico. Here are Wood River's top placings:

1—Chase Caulkins 1600m (5:00) and 3200m (10:33); Ben Stout 800m (2:13.18); Tristin Bowers 3200m (13:34); 4x400m with Brooke Bowers, Amy Heather, Maddie Bates, Tristin Bowers (4:58).

2—James Paris 1600m (5:07); Lucy Paisley 400m (1:09.1); Brooke Bowers 800m (2:44.9); and Tristin Bowers 1600m (6:43.4).

3—Dale McLaughlin long jump (18-6) and pole vault (11-6); James Paris 3200m (11:09); John Bartoletta 200m (25.9); 4x400m with Andrew Pfeiffer, Greg LeBlanc, Bartoletta, Caulkins (4:22); Brooke Bowers 1600m (6:55.29); and Cheyanne Swanson shotput (25-10).

4—Dale McLaughlin 200m (26.1); and Tristin Bowers triple jump (29-5).

5—Cheyanne Swanson discus (75-0).

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