Around the water cooler…..

It’s been an awful long time since we brought out our water cooler segment, but we have an opportunity to do that once again, and we’re going to revisit a topic we discussed around the cooler four years ago.

As we mentioned for you this morning, yesterday was the first day of games at major national youth softball tournaments in the Denver, CO, area, which have brought several thousand players, coaches and their families to the Mile High City and surrounding communities in for a week of games against teams from around the country. Among the many who have traveled there are several girls from the Valley, their families and teams from the Eastside.

Last night, many of the softball visitors from around the country who were watching the late news on KDVR-TV, the Fox station in Denver (and a sister station to KCPQ here in Seattle), in their hotel rooms down there saw the TV folks run a story about a mom from the north Denver suburb of Lakewood, CO, who is now pushing to mandate the use of face masks or other similar safety gear for softball players in the wake of witnessing her teenage daughter survive a head injury that resulted from a line drive that hit her in the face thanks to the player’s use of such a mask. The incident in question happened last week during a game in Lakewood, at the 13-U level.

So we ask you, take a look at the story, linked here, and tell us what you think about this parent’s call for mandatory face masks for softball players, particularly the pitchers and infielders. Also, let us know whether your daughters wear such equipment, and what are the rules for your organization or travel team on this subject? Email us at with all that information, plus your name and contact information. We may have a comment or two on this subject as well down the road.

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Wednesday news and notes….

Good Wednesday morning. We start with a look at softball and a summer staple of yours truly, the Denver tournament circuit. Several squads from the region with Valley players are competing in one of four different tournaments this week being held in and around the Mile High City. Here’s day one scores from all of the games.

Issaquah Flame Hume 5, Fever Fastpitch (Greeley, CO) 3: At the Colorado Sparkler Juniors event in Windsor, north of Denver, the first go-round for the Flame and their players in the Denver tournament rodeo was successful, and North Bend’s Hope Bostick played a small part in it. Bostick, an incoming Mount Si High School freshman, was 0-3 but reached base on a fielder’s choice and also scored a run for the Flame in their victory over the team from nearby Greeley.

NorCal Patriots 9, Washington Acers 18U Gold Wilson 7: Eight runs in the fourth propelled the California team to the victory over the Auburn-based Acers at the opener in the Sparkler high school event being held in another north Denver suburb, Westminster. Mount Si High School senior-to-be Claire Lis was 1-2 with a double and a run scored for the Acers in the game.

Absolute Blast 18U Hagen 3, Tulsa Elite 3: The opener for the Woodinville-based Blast at the Fireworks tournament in Aurora finished in a draw, with the help of MSHS grad Rose Vogt. She went 2-3 with an RBI lifting AbB, who continues play this morning.

Northwest Batbusters 18U Wilson 5, California Cruisers 3: At the Boulder tournament, the Portland-based Batbusters held off the California team. MSHS’ Heather Hinton had one plate appearance, resulting in a walk, for NWB.

Issaquah Flame Hume 9, Oregon Thunder 5: Flame finished the day 2-0 with a win over a suburban Portland team that was headlined by a six-run fourth inning. Bostick was 0-1 for the Flame in the contest.

Washington Acers 18U Gold Wilson 5, Arizona Outlaws 3: Lis allowed three runs, one earned, on four hits in three innings pacing the Acers to the win; she also was 0-1 at the plate as the Auburn team finished the opening day 1-1.

Fresno Force 4, Northwest Batbusters 18U Wilson 1: The Fresno team took care of NWB, dropping the Oregon squad to 1-1 in Boulder. Hinton was 1-2, while Forest Ridge School’s Colleen Campbell, from Snoqualmie, pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing a walk and two hits, with no decision, for the Batbusters.

The rest of last night’s action:

Pro Baseball: MSHS grads in action last night, tonight
It was a tough night for North Bend’s Max Brown and his Missoula Osprey, as the team continues to struggle to start the Pioneer League season.

Brown, batting leadoff, went 0-4 for the Arizona Diamondbacks-affiliated Osprey as they fell on the road to the Helena Brewers, affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-2 in Helena, MT, last night. Missoula, with the loss, dropped to 3-9 on the season in the Pioneer, an advanced “Rookie”-level league in Minor League Baseball.

Brown was drafted by Arizona in last year’s Major League Baseball draft, and is a 2011 Mount Si High School grad.

Also, tonight is another chance for local fans to catch 2010 MSHS alum Josh Kimborowicz in action online. His team, the independent Southern Illinois Miners, hosts Schaumburg tonight at 5:00 and you can see a live webstream of the game here. “Kimbo” is 5-0 on the season and will look to continue what has been a strong start to the season for the pitcher, in his first season with Southern Illinois after three seasons with the MLB Tampa Bay Rays organization.

The Miners are 27-12 and hold the best overall record thus far in the Frontier League, and are in first place in the league’s West Division. Schaumburg, from suburban Chicago, is 21-19 and locked in a battle for top spot in the league’s East Division, just two games back of first-place Joliet. The “Boomers”, as Schaumburg’s team is called, made news yesterday with the announcement that starting shortstop Nick King had his contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, enabling him to join that MLB club’s minor league system.

King is one of two Frontier League players in the past 48 hours who have found homes in affiliated minor league baseball, and considering Kimborowicz’s solid start this season and his past minor league experience, his chances of returning to affiliated ball look good if he can continue to have success with the Miners. The former Wildcat will look to further establish himself in that direction tonight in this contest.

Youth Baseball
Boys of Summer 18U Blue 9, Rock Creek Premier 2 (game one, doubleheader): BoS traveled to Ravensdale last night and won the first of two with host RC, backed by a 2-3 effort with a run scored from Mount Si’s Mason Marenco. Fellow Wildcat Gavin Gorrell was 1-4 for Bellevue-based Boys as well in the contest.

Chaffey Baseball 18U 15, Lakeside Recovery 3: The Edmonds team’s return to local play after a successful tournament stretch with tourney wins both in Yakima and Reno, NV, was a successful one last night, as they posted a mercy-rule win over the Issaquah-based LR at Newport High School in Bellevue. MSHS’ Jimmy Boyce was 0-2 with a run scored and two RBI’s pacing Chaffey.

Northwest Naturals 15U Navy 10, PBC Zips 4: In Issaquah, the Sammamish-based Naturals rolled to an 8-0 lead early and cruised to the win over the Pierce County team. MSHS’ Trevor Aman was 1-2 and his fellow Wildcat Blake Meister went 0-3, both for NWN.

Washington A’s 19U 6, Laces 1: At Eastlake High School in Sammamish, two Mount Si High School grads delivered for the Sammamish-based A’s in their win over the Snohomish County team. Collin Anderson allowed one unearned run on just three hits, striking out six and walking one, in seven strong innings to get the win on the hill for the A’s, and fellow Class of 2016’er Reid Lutz added a triple and run scored to the winning cause for the home side. They have won two straight and are now 14-10 this summer.

Rock Creek Premier 6, Boys of Summer 18U Blue 2 (game two, doubleheader): RC took the nightcap to split the pair with BoS; Gorrell was 0-2 for Boys in the contest.

Golf: Valley youngsters earn trips to WJGA district tourney
Four Valley youth golfers earned berths to the upcoming Washington Junior Golf Association District 2 tournament with strong efforts yesterday in the district’s season-opening qualifying tournament in Seattle.

The Maralack’s from Snoqualmie delivered in strong fashion on the girls’ side, with both Caitlin (16-17 age group) and Kasey (8-11) pocketing wins; Caitlin, a Mount Si High School grad, finished in a tie for first with a score of 75 on the 18-hole layout at Jefferson Park Golf Course, while Kasey fired a 40 over nine holes and won her age group outright.

Qualifying on the boys’ side from our area were Snoqualmie’s Jake Brady (16-17 age group) and Cooper Neil (12-13); Brady carded a 73 to tie for eighth while Neil fired an 81 for seventh overall in his age division.

The next WJGA District 2 event is Friday in Fall City, as the tour makes its lone Valley stop of the season at Twin Rivers Golf Course.

Volleyball: Nationals play wraps up for 15U teams, local players, in Indy
Play wrapped up yesterday for three local teams at the USA Volleyball national tournament in Indianapolis.

In the 15U USA division, Bellevue’s Sudden Impact Typhoon finished the tournament losing to a California team yesterday; SI finished in a tie for 35th overall out of 36 teams in the division and the squad, with MSHS’ Harper Click, finished 2-6 on the tournament.

Meanwhile, in the 15U Patriot division, the Mercer Island-based Island Thunder finished the tournament on a strong note yesterday, winning both of their matches to take 29th overall out of 54 teams in the field. ITVC, with Snoqualmie’s Berkeley Danysh (Holy Names)and Bellah Gogan (MSHS), finished the tournament 6-5 overall. And the Sudden Impact Lightning took 41st overall in that division after splitting two yesterday; the Bellevue team, with MSHS’ Sara Kaitlyn Mitchell, split against a pair of teams from California and finished the tournament 3-8.

More teams will start play today, so keep it here for the latest.

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Tuesday notes….

Light Tuesday, so here’s this morning’s news nuggets from the SVSJ.

North Bend college football athlete recognized for academic success
A Valley resident, and recently graduated college football player, was recognized yesterday for his success in the classroom.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference named Illinois State University fifth-year senior Joe Farmer, from North Bend and a 2011 Mount Si High School graduate, to its football academic Honor Roll for the 2015-16 school year. To earn recognition to that list, announced yesterday by the conference and ISU, student athletes such as Farmer needed to earn a 3.0 grade point average or better during a minimum of 12 credit hours of classes in the fall term of the year (last fall) and be on the team’s roster. Farmer was one of nearly 500 conference student-athletes to earn this recognition.

Our congratulations to Farmer on this recognition.

Volleyball action winding down for local teams
Playoff action takes place today for three local 15U girls’ club volleyball teams at the USA Volleyball Nationals in Indianapolis.

First, in the 15’s “USA” division, Bellevue-based Sudden Impact Typhoon moves into the “Flight 4” playoff today after splitting two matches yesterday; Typhoon, with MSHS’ Harper Click, beat a Florida team but fell to one from California and will be meeting another California team in their playoff opener today. In the 15’s “Patriot” Division, the Sudden Impact Lightning, with MSHS’ Sara Mitchell, plays in the “Flight 5” playoff today after a 2-1 record yesterday against teams from Wisconsin and Illinois.

The two wins yesterday were their first on the tournament. Also, in that division, Mercer Island’s Island Thunder Black, with Holy Names’ Berkeley Danysh, from Snoqualmie, and MSHS’ Bellah Gogan, suffered three close losses yesterday and is now in the midst of a five-match losing string there after starting the weekend 4-0. The losses yesterday came to teams from California, Arizona and Indiana, and ITVC will be looking to get back into the win column today.

Meanwhile, play has wrapped up at the Volleyball Festival in Phoenix for Northwest Juniors 15’s Blue; the Bellevue-based team, with Mount Si players Annaliese Jensen, Hayley West and Kamryn Smith, and Cedarcrest HS’ Taeler Gerde on their roster, and Snoqualmie resident Shannon Smith (Kamryn’s mom) among their coaches, finished 37th in the 15U division out of 80 teams in the field. NWJ closed out play yesterday with two wins, beating teams from Arizona and Illinois to finish with a 7-4 overall record in the event.

Sammamish youth baseball team, with help of Mount Si athlete, wins at Arizona tournament
Light day on the diamond, with just one youth game of note, and it was in Phoenix where the Sammamish-based WW Sweets recorded another win at their tournament there in the desert. Sweets rolled to an 8-2 win over the Pacific Baseball Academy from Los Angeles. Mount Si’s Jesiah Irish was 1-1 for Sweets, who is 4-0 in the 15U event and now 26-10 overall on the season. They meet CBA Bruins, from California, tomorrow.

Local teen helps win title at Spokane hoops event
A Snoqualmie teen and his teammates took home a title at this past weekend’s Spokane Hoopfest.

Carlos Danysh, a student at St. Joseph School in Snoqualmie, and three teammates won their age division title at Hoopfest, going undefeated to take it all in one of the largest three-on-three outdoor basketball tournaments in the country. Tens of thousands of players from all over the Northwest, including we’re guessing quite a few others from the Valley, converged on Spokane for the activities, which were played on the streets in downtown Spokane. Danysh’s team was called “Clamp Gods”.

A congrats to him and his team on their trophy.

Proudfoot struggles in minor league baseball team loss
North Bend’s Tim Proudfoot is having a rough go of it with his minor league baseball team, the Vermont Lake Monsters of the short-season “A” New York-Penn League. The 2011 Mount Si High School grad was 0-3, with three strikeouts, for the Oakland A’s-affiliated Lake Monsters, as they fell in 11 innings last night to the Staten Island Yankees, a New York Yankees affiliate which also has on its roster 2012 MSHS alum Trevor Lane, 3-2, at home in Burlington, VT.

Proudfoot has had six strikeouts in his last eight at-bats over three games dating back to June 22, and has seen his average drop to .100 with the recent struggles.

Lane did not pitch last night for SI, and as we told you the other day, he reportedly is working through some injuries which have delayed his pro debut. He was drafted earlier this month in the MLB draft by New York, while his ex-Wildcat teammate Proudfoot was drafted last year by the A’s.

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Monday diamond cuts…..

Time now to talk baseball, and we have some news from the minor leagues as we always do for you leading off our diamond coverage this morning.

None of the Valleyites playing “on the farm” played last night, but one did on Saturday, and it was a night that he will want to forget.

North Bend’s Reece Karalus struggled for his team, the Bowling Green Hot Rods, as the Tampa Bay Rays-affiliated team fell on Saturday night at home to Fort Wayne (IN) 9-2 in Kentucky. Karalus pitched three innings, allowing five runs on five hits, with three walks and a strikeout. He received no decision as his earned run average came up to 3.63 as a result of the outing.

Four of the five runs he allowed to the TinCaps, a San Diego Padres affiliate, came as the result of three home runs he allowed to Fort Wayne hitters in the Midwest “A” League contest.

Karalus, a 2012 Mount Si High School grad, was drafted in the eighth round of last year’s Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, one of three former Wildcats drafted in last year’s selection proceedings. The other two, Max Brown (Missoula Osprey, “Rookie” Pioneer League) and Tm Proudfoot (Vermont Lake Monsters, “A” New York-Penn League), picked by Arizona and Oakland, respectively, did not play in their teams’ games this weekend.

A fourth ex-Wildcat, Trevor Lane, a 2012 grad also from North Bend, drafted earlier this month by the New York Yankees, has not yet pitched for his team, the Staten Island Yankees of the short-season New York-Penn “A” League, and it is reported by the YES Network’s Pinstriped Prospects blog that he is currently working through rehabilitation of what is believed to be a shoulder injury. He is on the SI roster, however, so he may get a chance to pitch at some point before the season is out.

PP did an interview recently with Lane and you can see that here.

Now to the youth action from yesterday.

Chaffey Baseball 18U 1, Yakima Pepsi Pak 0: Edmonds-based Chaffey took the title at their tournament in Reno behind a two-hitter from MSHS’ Jimmy Boyce, who struck out four in an 82-pitch complete game effort.

Boys of Summer 18U Blue 8, Taylor Baseball 3: Mount Si High’s Mason Marenco was 1-2 with a walk and two runs scored to pace Bellevue-based BoS to the win over the Redmond-based opposition in Edmonds. Fellow Wildcat Gavin Gorrell was 0-3 for Boys in the contest.

Boys of Summer 15U 3, Mountain View Thunder 2: MSHS’ Trace Halvorson was 1-3 with a run scored for BoS as they beat the southwest Washington squad at the Buffalo Wild Wings tournament in Renton.

Boys of Summer 16U 2, Seattle Bombers 1: BoS needed eight innings to win over their Seattle foes in walk-off fashion in Kent; Mount Si’s Max Rovegno was 0-1 for Boys in the contest.

Rock Creek 3, Northwest Naturals 15U Navy 2 (game one, doubleheader): The first of two at Eastlake High School in Sammamish went nine innings, with the Ravensdale-based RC posting the win; MSHS’ Trevor Aman pitched eight solid innings for NWN, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits, walking three and striking out five. Fellow Wildcat Trevor Clem recorded a walk for RC in the contest.

Seattle Select 15U Black 16, FCA 4: SS rolled to the win in Seattle; Mount Si’s Will Caro walked twice and scored a run for Select in the contest.

WW Sweets 10, Trombly (CA) 4: In Tucson at a tournament there, Sweets brought out the lumber and earned praise from the opposing California team’s coach. On their official Twitter page, coach Steve Trombly wrote: “They are a talented team that can really hit,” and the Sammamish squad did just that – to the tune of 16 of them in the contest. One of those hits belonged to Mount Si’s Jesiah Irish, who also scored a pair of runs for Sweets in the win.

Field of Champions 15U Bears 6, Legends 1 (game two, doubleheader): At Issaquah High School, Preston-based FoC got a 2-4 effort from Mount Si’s Tank Brewster, who scored two runs, to take the nightcap of two; the score and stats from the first game were not reported.

Boys of Summer 18U Blue 8, Showtime 0: Gorrell pitched five innings of two-hit ball, walking two and striking out one, to aid BoS to the win. Marenco did not play in this contest for Boys.

Boys of Summer 15U 6, Moundtime 3: Also at the Buffalo Wild Wings events, Halvorson doubled, walked and scored a run for Bellevue-based Boys as they won their nightcap last night.

Northwest Naturals 15U Navy 2, Rock Creek 1 (game two, doubleheader): Mount Si’s Blake Meister was 1-3 for NWN as they took the nightcap and split the pair with their southeast King County foes. Clem went 0-2 for RC in the contest.

Boys of Summer 16U 9, Spokane Crew 7: Rovegno was 1-4 with a walk, two runs scored and two RBI’s for BoS as they won a slugfest in Kent with their Spokane-based opposition.

WW Sweets 8, Orange County Hustle 3: Sweets wrapped up proceedings last night in Tucson with another win over a California team, recording 12 hits in this one; Irish went 2-3 with a run scored to pace the Sammamish-based victors.

TC Saints 6, Washington A’s 16U 2: In Ravensdale, the Sammamish-based A’s fell and were knocked out of their weekend tournament. MSHS’ Jake Ayers was 0-2 for the A’s in the contest.

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Starting a new week with news from the ladies……

Good Monday morning. A lot of girls’ sports action this morning to start off the week, so let’s get to it.

Soccer: Local squad with MSHS connections headed back to nationals after winning regionals
The Preston-based Eastside FC ’98 Red girls’ U-17 soccer team is headed back to the US Youth Soccer national championships after winning their age group at the US Youth Soccer Farwest Regionals in Boise yesterday.

Two second-half goals were the difference for EFC as they beat Celtic Premier from Utah 2-0 to take the crown. Eastside, coached by ex-Mount Si High School boys’ soccer coach Tom Bialek and has defender Natalie Weidenbach, a MSHS senior-to-be, on their roster, beat another Utah team, defending regional champ La Roca from Salt Lake City, on Saturday to make it to the title game yesterday. Eastside previously was at nationals two years ago in the U-15 division.

The win advances EFC to the national tournament, which will be held in Frisco, TX, just outside of Dallas, at the end of next month.

The SVSJ congratulates Eastside on this accomplishment.

Basketball: CHS team holds own against big school opposition in summer tourney
Cedarcrest High School’s girls’ basketball team went 3-2 at the summer tournament being hosted by Kings’ Schools in Seattle which wrapped up yesterday.

The Red Wolves finished up play with a 32-18 win over Jackson, after beating Everett and Ferndale Friday before falling yesterday to Lake Stevens and Lynnwood.

The team got things done despite being a bit short-handed, with only nine players suiting up – those included senior Mieke Van Ess and her sister, incoming freshman Helena, junior Haley Hill and her sister, another incoming freshman, Hannah, along with senior Meredith Burke, juniors Sydney Turner and Maya Catherman and sophomores Katelynn Smith and Cassidy Sweeney. Varsity returners Kennedy Howell, Briana Deveraux, Madi Weir and Elaine Townley, along with likely varsity full-time newcomer Quinn Bellamy, did not play the tournament, either due to injuries or being out of town on vacation.

CHS will practice for the next couple of weeks before going to Western Washington University’s team camp later next month.

Volleyball: Local players in action at national tourneys
It’s been a mixed bag on the postseason front for four area 15U girls’ teams in action at tournaments around the country, three of them at the USA Volleyball Nationals in Indianapolis.

Bellevue-based Sudden Impact 15U Typhoon will move into play today at the national tournament coming off their first win last night, over a team from the St. Louis area. They opened play with four straight losses to teams from Texas, Oklahoma and Florida. Typhoon, with Mount Si’s Harper Click, plays a California team today. SI’s fellow 15U counterparts, the Lightning, are still looking for their first win; they are 0-6 in the event coming into today’s play. They fell both Saturday and yesterday to teams from California, Hawaii, Texas and Iowa. Lightning features MSHS’ Sara Kaitlyn Mitchell.

Things have gone a bit better, though, to start the tournament for the Mercer Island-based Island Thunder 15 Black. The squad, with MSHS’ Bellah Gogan and Holy Names’ Berkeley Danysh, from Snoqualmie, are 4-2, having won their first four straight before falling twice to close play last night. They’ve beaten teams from California, Colorado and Illinois. That team will also continue play today.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Juniors 15U Black continues play at the Volleyball Festival tournament in Phoenix today after winning two of three matches yesterday over Arizona and southern California foes. Bellevue-based NWJ, which features several Valley players and one locally-based coach, Snoqualmie resident Shannon Smith, went 0-3 on Saturday after starting play last Friday with a 3-0 mark.

We’ll keep you apprised on what happens today.

Softball: Sunday scores
Two local teams with Valley players made tournament championship games yesterday. Scores and highlights:

Washington Acers 18U Culver 12, Freedom Fastpitch 0: Auburn-based Acers won the first of four loser-out games they’d play in the final day of the ASA regional tournament yesterday in Kent; MSHS’ Lauren Wilbourne was 1-2 for the Acers in their win.

Northwest Lady Bandits 14U 5, Washington Rush 1: At the NSA state tournament in the Tri-Cities, the Kirkland-based Bandits got a 1-3 effort from Tolt Middle School’s Jessi Polacek in their win.

Batbusters KG 1, Absolute Blast 18U Hagen 0: Woodinville-based AbB was knocked out of the PGF regional qualifier in Portland with this loss yesterday; MSHS grad Rose Vogt was 0-1 for Blast, who is traveling to Denver today for the start of the big Colorado Sparkler/Fireworks tournament.

Washington Acers 18U Culver 10, Kaos Fastpitch 0: Wilbourne was 0-1 with a run as the Acers took another one in blowout fashion to move on in the tournament.

Northwest Lady Bandits 14U 6, Tri-City Thunder 1: The Bandits advanced to the title game of the NSA tournament with this win; Polacek was 0-3 for the Bandits in the contest.

Washington Acers 18U Culver 6, Cascade Crush 5: Acers moved out of the loser-out bracket and into the tournament title game with the win; Wilbourne was 1-3 with a run for the Auburn team.

Northwest Lady Bandits 14U 14, Snohomish SWAT ’02 6 (NSA 14U “B” title game): The Bandits won the National Softball Association’s Washington 14U “B” state title, beating the Snohomish team applying consistent offensive pressure throughout the game. Polacek was 0-1, but walked twice and drove in a run to pace NWLB.

North Idaho Xtreme 5, Washington Acers 18U Culver 4 (ASA “18A” Seattle championship game): The Idaho team won on a walk-off in the bottom of the ninth inning to take the national qualifier tournament in dramatic fashion and end what had been in itself a dramatic run to the title game for the Acers; Wilbourne was 0-1 with a run for the Acers in the losing efforts.

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