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March 19, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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March 19, 2015
 

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Thursday, March 19, 2015 Free Press Section 2 Page 3 Y nd pitching, hitting, By JOHN McCALLUM "In 2A varsity, if you're solid Editor Cheney High School softball head coach Gary through the No. 5 position you're in Blake thought he would get about nine playerspretty good shape. We might have back from last year's squad that finished 12-11, earned a No. 4 league playoff seed and came more than that." within one win of a chance to play for a berth to Lady Blackhawks coach Gary Blake state. Instead, six returned, with two others missing the off-season; something Blake hopes pays dividends the season to recover from off-season surgeries down thestretch. and another electing to play club ball only. De- Blake feels the 2015 Lady Blackhawks should be spite that, the Lady Blackhawks are in a position "pretty solid" defensively; a team that also has some to reload for another good run at returning to the flexibility in the field. Boyd will get the majority of the post season -- and perhaps going deeper, innings on the mound; having gone 8-7 in her first full Five of the six returnees are seniors, led byseason in the rotation last year. three-year letter winner Cheyenne Wright, two- Kallsen will be her battery mate behind the plate, year winners Cheyenne Hanson, Julia Boyd and with Schliep starting at first, Wright at second, Han- Adrianna Suiter along with letter winner Cassan- son at third and Barsness in the hole at short. In the dra Schliep. Both Boyd and Suiter were All-Great outfield it will be Sneddon in left, Suiter in center and Northern League selections in 2014, as was return- Krantz in right, with Bushnell filling the utility role. ing letter winner, sophomore Rachel Barsness.Blake has some options, however, and he'll need Moving up from junior varsity this season is them as he seeks to develop Kallsen on the mound to senior Jeena Bushnell. Newcomers sophomore insert into the rotation with Boyd. When the freshman Catrina Sneddon and freshmen Madison Kallsen is pitching, Boyd can move into the outfield, with and Meghan Krantz round out the squad, although Barsness moving behind the plate and Hanson over to Blake said he has a couple of "solid" freshmen on short. Blake said he's also going to give Krantz some a large JV team he'll likely call up at some point, innings at third, which would move Hanson into the It's a team with experience, not just at the 2A high outfield where she is a strong player. school varsity level but also with softball in general. Five Offensively, Barsness will lead off, although she of the players, including both freshmen, play club ball in and 2014 senior Amy Anderson were neck and neck last season for the Lady Blackhawks batting crown. Anderson eventually won with a .513 average, with Barsness just below .500. "I'd like to have her (Barsness) in my three-slot, but she's also my fastest kid," Blake said. Wright will bat second with Suiter third. Suiter was the team's home run leader in 2014 with six and finishing with a .827 slugging percentage. Krantz will hit fourth, followed by Boyd, Hansen, Schliep and Sneddon. "Once we get going, I think we'll be pretty darn good offensively," Blake said. "In 2A varsity, if you're solid through the No. 5 position you're in pretty good shape. We might have more than that:" The Lady Blackhawks will also have some speed to go with their pop. Boyd has "exceptional" speed along with Barsness, and Blake added that Sneddon has a pretty good set of wheels too. As far as the GNL is concerned, it will be an interesting season. All five teams will get well ac- quainted with each other through four head-to-head match ups. Blake has managed to sprinkle in five n0n-league contests to keep Cheney fresh. And with. the departure of both of last year's playoff teams, Colville and Deer Park, to the North- east A League, it's "up in the air" as to who will emerge as the leader, John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress. cortl. all unnys By AL STOVER Staff Reporter The Cheney High base- ball team kicked off its sea- son March 14 in Sunnyside with wins over the Griz- zlies, 6-5, and the Prosser Mustangs, 9-5. During the game against Erosser, Chance Gleave hit a 2-RBI double to get the Blackhawks on the board in the first inning. The Mustangs answered with three runs in the l:bt- throwing a combined four- hitter. "Guys like Connor Pratt and An- In the game agaimt Sun- thony Hartman, I always see in the nyside, Cheney was down weight room. We also have a couple 4-1 at the end of the second inning after Sunnyside's of sophomores who are good enough Tim Martinez's three-run to play varsity." triple off Gleave. "It started off kind of shaky, but Chance set- tled down," second year Cheney head coach Mike Cagle said. Cagle added that Gleave's curveball was "working well" and has a CHS head coach Mike Cagle season after a successful 2014 where they finished 13-9 overall and 11-7 in the Great Northern League. They won five of the last tom of the first, lot more velocity than last Cheney jumped ahead year. 6-3 after scoring four runs in the second, including a 2-RBI single from Cam- eron Wiseman and an RBI i; oublg/Dgm Kyle Jones. ! :~eff@ ~ored ~tree runs in the top of the fifth on a 2-RBI double from Gleave and an RBI from Wiseman. The Blackhawks limited the Mustangs' comeback to only two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Jones and Connor Pratt shared pitching duties, Cheney rallied back with four runs in the third, including an RBI from Gleave. Sunnyside briefly took back the lead after scoring one run in the fourth but the Blackhawks answered with two runs in the fifth including a RBI- double from Harrison King and a sacrifice fly from Riley Jones. The umpire called the game in the sixth inning due to darkness. Cheney comes into this seven regular season games and finished second in the district playoffs, which earned them a trip to re- gionals where they lost to EUensburg. Several varsity players also competed on the SummerhawkS AA American Legion baseball team~ "Guys like Connor Pratt and Anthony Hart- man, I always see in the weight room," Cagle said. "We also have a couple of sophomores who are good enough to play varsity." what I've seen so far, we Lake March 17 in their can bevery competitive." first home game of the Cheney will run season, they travel to a short Northeast A Freeman March 20 to League gauntlet this play the Scotties. week. After the Black- AI Stover can be reached hawks play Medical at al@cheneyfreepress.com. With Co!ville and Deer Park moving down to 1A, each GNL team will play each other four limes - two single games and one dou- bleheader. The Blackhawks begin league play March 24 with a road trip to Pull- man. Cheney eliminated the Greyhounds in the first round of the GNL playoffs last season. ..... EVery team is well coached/' Cagle said. "It's going to come down to finishing in the top two or three. I wouldn't be sur- prised ff it's a four-way tie for first place." Cagle said the team is going to work on its infield to match its "pitching per- formance," as well as its short game and condition- ing to better prepare, for doubleheaders. "This is a fun group to coach," Cagle said. "From DR. JACOB RIDL FAMILY DENTISTRY NEW Patients Welcome A guide to outdoor activities in the inland northwest, reaching people in Spokane, Lincoln & Whitman counties. 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