Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Prep spring sports start finding their stride

Big innings lift WRHS softball over Jerome 10-8, 17-8

Friday was a beautiful spring evening at Jerome's Forsythe Park, a nice April Fools' surprise for the Wood River High School and Jerome High School varsity softball teams after several weeks of cold and wet spring weather.

But Wood River's quiet early-season bats were still silent for most of the first game of the season-opening Great Basin Conference league doubleheader. It wasn't a good sign for the senior-laden squad with its five seniors, one junior, four sophomores and two freshmen.

Two big innings, however, turned the tide for Wood River (2-3, 2-0 league). The Wolverines rallied from 8-2 and 8-3 deficits to sweep Jerome 10-8 and 17-8 for a share of the early GBC league leadership with Twin Falls and Canyon Ridge.

Jerome (3-2, 0-2) could have easily swept the home doubleheader, if not for the Wood River uprisings and 12 errors committed by the Tigers.

Coach Dale Martin's reigning Great Basin champion Wolverines had scored just six runs in their first 25 innings of softball this spring. They entered the seventh inning of Friday's first game trailing 8-2—held scoreless by Jerome's fine pitcher Colby Argyle for four straight frames.

That's when, with two outs, Wood River's hitting came alive helped by three errors by the Tiger defense. The Wolverines scored eight runs to pull ahead 10-8, then Hailey senior pitcher Ali Levy spotted Jerome just one hit in the bottom of the seventh and closed out her complete-game win.

Two fine defensive plays by freshman second baseman Mercedes Powell helped Levy nail down the Wood River's first victory of 2011.

Every Hailey player contributed at least one hit to the 12-hit attack during the great 10-8 come-from-behind win—led by Levy (2-for-4, 2 doubles), Mercedes Powell (2-for-5, 3 RBI), Shelby Cooper (2-for-3) and Madison Gove (double). Devan Atkinson was the catcher for Levy (5 strikeouts, 2 walks, 7 earned runs).

In the nightcap, Madison Gove carried a 3-1 lead into the third. The lefty ran into control problems (5 BB) in the third and fourth and fell behind 8-3 before Levy (2-1) came on in relief. What a job Levy (3.2 innings, 4 K, 0 BB, 0 earned runs) did in earning her second pitching win of the day!

Wood River (out-hitting Jerome 19-7) scored 10 times in the fifth and added three more runs in the sixth. The big bat belonged to senior Josie Dawson (3 hits, 2 runs, 6 RBI). Dawson's towering two-run homer in the monster fifth-inning rally cleared the left-center field fence by 30 feet.

Meanwhile, Jerome never retired sophomore Sydney Tidwell (5-for-5, double, 2 runs, 2 RBI). Freshman Shelby Cooper (4-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBI) kept slamming the ball. Mercedes Powell (2 hits, 3 runs, 3 RBI) continued to be a factor at the plate. The catcher was Kori Paradis.

Wood River's postponed home game against Jerome from last Thursday will be played Wednesday, April 27 on the Hailey diamond. Meanwhile, the Wolverine home season is due to begin Friday, April 8 with a single home game against Burley (junior varsity 3 p.m., varsity 5 p.m.) at South Valley Sports Complex.

The Wolverines finish their three-game series with Burley on Saturday, April 9 at Burley, games at 12 and 2.

In other league action: Canyon Ridge (6-1, 3-0) swept Minico (0-4, 0-3) last weekend by scores of 10-2, 19-1 and 18-3; and Twin Falls (4-3, 3-0) took care of Burley (2-3, 0-3) by scores of 17-4, 11-1 and 22-7.

Jerome nips Hailey boys in pitching duel

Righthander Jake Freeman tossed a strong four-hitter for the Wood River High School baseball team. In fact, coach Matt Nelson said it was one of Freeman's "best games ever."

But the host Jerome Tigers also got an outstanding mound effort from Jordy Garrard and nipped Wood River 2-1 in the first game of Friday's Great Basin Conference baseball doubleheader in balmy Jerome.

Nelson said, "Jake looked great. He threw 60 strikes and 35 balls in six innings, and his last six pitches were stronger than his first six. He had bite on his two-seam fastball all game, and his curve had Jerome locked up at the knees."

Freeman (9 K, 3 BB) finished with a four-hitter. His teammates had opportunities with runners on base, but couldn't put the ball in play off Garrard.

Jerome (4-2, 2-0) swept the twinbill 18-3 with a five-inning run-rule win in the nightcap.

Alex Padilla (7-for-8) led the 12-hit Wolverine attack for the league doubleheader with two triples and three doubles.

Wood River (2-7, 0-2 league) opens its Founders Field home campaign Friday, April 8 with a 3 p.m. varsity game (5:30 p.m. junior varsity) against Burley's Bobcats. The two teams play again Saturday, April 9 with a 12 noon twinbill at Burley.

Burley (3-5, 1-2) played defending Great Basin king Twin Falls (8-2, 2-1) last weekend and was run-ruled twice, 14-2 and 11-2, while also winning in eight innings 9-8. Twin Falls hosts Minico (8-2, 3-0) Friday, April 8. Canyon Ridge (4-3, 0-3), opened with 20-2, 9-0 and 30-3 losses to Minico.

WRHS tennis sweeps Jerome 12-0

Wood River High School's boys' and girls' tennis teams improved to 2-0 in Great Basin Conference league play Thursday, March 31 with a 12-0 (boys 6-0, girls 6-0) sweep of their matches at Jerome.

Hailey head coach Vicki Johnston said, "The team is looking great. Everybody is gaining confidence with each match experience.

"We are realizing you have to make adjustments in your game, and that can be a little frustrating because you don't always get to hit shots that always feel good. But you have to play high percentage tennis and be very patient. It's not always pretty, but it's better than losing a match because you have beaten yourself."

The Wolverines dropped only four games in six singles matches. They got straight-set wins from #1s Karl Wilander and Jessica Hamilton, #2s Josh Morell and Lily Richards, and #3s Cole Caminiti and Alex Feldman.

Doubles winners were #1s Raleigh Grossbaum-William Eagan 6-0, 6-1 and Margaret Reutter-Hannah Baybutt 6-1, 6-1, and #2s Lane Coulthard-Chase Hutchinson 6-2, 6-1 and Alex Taylor-Audrey Brassil 6-3, 6-3.

Hailey winners in mixed doubles were #1 Bryan Donoso-Ellen Davis 6-0, 6-0, and #2 Gardner Cord-Reyna Kelly 6-4, 6-3.

Wood River (5-2 overall, 7-0 boys, 4-2-1 girls) visited Twin Falls Tuesday, April 5 and hosts Burley and The Community School of Sun Valley Thursday, April 7 on the Hailey high school courts. Matches will start at 2 p.m. Next Tuesday, the Wolverines play Minico in Rupert.

Carey, Camas athletes among leaders in 1A track

It looks like a horserace in the small-school 1A Northside/Southside track and field ranks if last Wednesday's meet at the ISDB track in Gooding is any indication.

The Hagerman boys showed they're poised to step up to the plate in 2011 by winning the 10-school meet by a 140-93 margin over the second-place Carey Panthers. Camas County of Fairfield (92) was right there when the points were counted.

In the girls' meet, Camas County (127) took team honors led by returning state triple jump gold medalist Katelyn Peterson, now a junior. The Carey girls swept all four relays and stood in second place with 91 points.

Hagerman (7 golds, 3 relay wins) was solid across the board among the boys—amassing 36 points in sprints, 38 relays and 36 in field. Carey did much of its damage in relays (30) and field (29), while the Camas boys had 38 in the field and 28 in distances.

Long-legged Carey senior Joe Laidlaw won the 100-meter dash (11.5 seconds) and aced 300m intermediate hurdles (44.20). The Panthers won the medley over Hagerman with Lynn Mecham, Charlie Rivera, Laidlaw and anchor Glen Andrews (4:17.70). Rivera soared to first in triple jump (39-1).

For Camas, Bryan John grabbed gold in the long distance races, 1600m (5:21.10) and 3200m (11:23.60), while Andrew Simon won high jump (5-8) and Carlos Robles captured the discus throw (119-4).

Carey track coach Lee Cook has welcomed 17 boys to spring practices. Two other Panther relays placed second (4x100m and 4x400m). Rivera was second in long jump (18-5.5). Blair Peck second in discus (112-1).

For the girls, Camas earned 62 points in the field events plus 34 in sprints paced by Peterson, the 100m dash winner (13.30) plus high jump (5-4) and triple jump (35-0.5) gold medalist. Those were the only Camas golds, but the Mushers had six silvers to pile up points.

Carey junior Micaela Adamson won the 200m (27.70) over Peterson (28.20) and added gold in the long jump (14-3.25). The Panthers (6 golds, 2 silvers) ended up with 40 points in the relays and 23 in field.

Adamson anchored the winning 4x200m and medley relays. On the 4x200 (2:01.40) and medley (2:03.70) were Angelica Zarate, McKayla Mecham, Lilly Rivera and Adamson.

The first-place 4x100m team (57.00) had Daphne Kirkland, McKayla Mecham, Erika Zarate and Angelica Zarate. Winning the 4x400m (5:27.20) were Daphne Kirkland, Erika Zarate, Charmaine Kirkland and Jessica Richardson.

Lorene Andrews placed second in discus (91-4) for Carey.

"It's a good, young crew that's lots of fun to be with," said Carey girls' coach Lane Kirkland, who has welcomed 12 girls. "We're a quick team, looking to be strong in relays. We'll look to fill every event."

Carey hosts its first Northside-Southside meet of the spring Thursday, April 7 at 2 p.m. at Derrick Parke Memorial Field. Mackay, Rockland and Lighthouse Christian are due to join the other schools like Camas, Dietrich, Richfield and The Community School.

Field events produce gold for WRHS squad

Wood River High School track and field coaches brought a group of 24 athletes to Thursday's four-school Great Basin Conference meet at Burley High School. Twin Falls won the boys' meet 104-95 over Burley, and the Bruins dominated the girls' meet.

Earning gold medals for their first places in the field were Cheyenne Swanson in the shotput (32-9) and discus (98-2), and Nicole Pratt in triple jump (31-3). Fifth in 200-meter dash was Sara Hope (30.7 seconds).

And the Wolverine girls' 4x400m relay squad of Pratt, Morgan Brimstein, Hope and Taylinn Lake clocked in with a third-place time of 5:28.3. Hope ran a 78.7-second third leg.

For the Wolverine boys, sophomore Ian Keys had a good day. He placed second in the 100m dash (11.6), third in the 200m (24.6, PR) and fourth in the 400m (1:00.1). High jump placers were James Petzke third (5-6) and Josh King fifth (5-4).

Also participating were Adrian Medina, Jake Vegwert, Christian Brown, Parker Paige, Ryan Buell, Alex Blackburn, Beau Boss, John Bartoletta, Teague Ruhter, Skylar Tolman, Micah Merritt, Jason Tracy, Ashley Shardlow, Reid Selisch, Olivia Roche and Maddie Hendrix.

Wood River returns to Cassia County Friday, April 8 for a three-school meet with Twin Falls and Minico on the Rupert oval.

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