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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of May 28 - June 3, 2003


Softball team finishes strong at state

2-2 record, fourth-place winners

Express Staff Writer

Last weekend’s State 3A softball tournament in Pocatello was a real breakthrough for the Wood River High softball program.

The Wolverines won two tough games and found, in their third trip to the fast-pitch state tournament, that they could compete with the very best teams in the state of Idaho.

In fact, Wood River (23-9) earned fourth place in the eight-team tournament and won perhaps the biggest game in school history—eliminating two-time defending champion Lakeland 5-4 on Friday.

Eighth-year coach Chris Cey said, "The win over Lakeland was huge, a giant game, at the very top of games we’ve ever played at Wood River. We sent Lakeland home and ended up with the fourth-place trophy."

Wood River opened Thursday with an 8-3 victory over South Fremont of St. Anthony. Then the Wolverines played three games in Friday’s extreme heat—losing to Preston 3-0, beating Lakeland 5-4 and falling 10-1 to Marsh Valley.

The Buhl Tribe (24-3), allowing only 14 runs in their final seven games of the season, captured their first state championship with an 8-0 victory over Marsh Valley. "Buhl played very, very well," said Cey.

Buhl, of course, had beaten Wood River four times this spring—three in very close games. That fact, and Wood River’s fine performance last weekend, convinced the Wolverines that they were for real.

Leading the way were senior pitcher Aubrey Kirtley, who finished her three-year career with a school-record 23-9 mark, and senior catcher Joni Chatterton, who hit extremely well.

The outfield defense led by senior center fielder Molly Meyers was outstanding, Cey said. "Molly rose to the occasion. We did not miss a catch in the outfield the whole tournament and made some beautiful catches out there."
In Thursday’s opener, Chatterton (3 hits) attacked a 3-0 pitch and belted a two-run triple giving Wood River a 4-0 lead over South Fremont in the third inning.

Those turned out to be all the runs Kirtley (7 K, 2 BB) needed. She threw a five-hitter and stranded several Cougars on base. Kirtley added two hits and Meyers scored twice.

Against Preston Friday, Wood River played an excellent game and Kirtley pitched very well. Preston (14 hits) led 1-0 through five innings and pushed across two more runs in the sixth for the 3-0 victory.

Chatterton and senior Ashley Washburn got Wood River’s only hits. Cey said, "Preston was tough. Their leadoff batter was fast, they hit well and they played tough infield defense."

Wood River had only a one-hour break before tackling Lakeland, which had lost its opener 1-0 to Buhl and then eliminated Middleton 9-8. True, Lakeland graduated eight players from last year’s title team but the Hawks were still tough.

Cey admitted he was a little psyched out by Lakeland’s mystique, but the Wolverine girls seemed to take a businesslike attitude. "We knew what we needed to do," he said.

With Chandin Persaud on the mound, Hailey scored early and seized the initiative.

Chatterton and Koree Hawkes knocked RBI singles for a 2-0 lead in the first. The lead became 3-2 in the fourth on a Hawkes walk, a Tiffany Wheeler sacrifice bunt, a Parsons single and an RBI single by Meyers (3-for-3).

In the fifth, Wood River stretched the lead to 5-2 as Chatterton singled again and scored on a passed ball, and Kirtley delivered an RBI single.

Lakeland had one dying gasp in the seventh, scoring twice and putting runners in scoring position. But Meyers ended the game with a brilliant catch and Wood River prevailed 5-4.

"It was a hard, sinking shot and Molly ran to her right and totally stretched out, at the very end of her reach to make the catch," said Cey.

Persaud (10-3) earned the victory with an eight-hitter. The junior then started the next game Friday against Marsh Valley. The Eagles sent up 11 batters and scored seven runs in the first inning. They breezed to the 10-1 triumph.

Cey said, "It was our third game of the day and I think we were a little in La-La land after beating Lakeland. Plus, Marsh Valley’s lefthanded pitcher was very tough. She threw it sidearmed and there was a lot of talk about whether she was throwing an illegal pitch.

"I think we played extremely well and the kids played up to their potential," said Cey. "It was a great year."


WOLVERINE NOTES—Third baseman Camey Anderson injured her ankle in a freak accident the week before state and was in a walking cast at Pocatello. Lauren Parsons took her place at third—meaning Wood River had two freshmen, Parsons and shortstop Jamie Stone, on the left side of the infield….Percentagewise, Wood River’s best-ever season record was 20-7 (.741) in 1999, but Wood River set school records for most wins (23), best home record (12-0), best defensive average (4.4 runs per game) and highest finish of all three visits to the state fast-pitch tournament….Wood River’s first visit to state was in slow-pitch, also in Pocatello, back in 1995. The Wolverines went 2-2 and placed third.



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