Hitting the 19th green….yes, the links…..along with some diamond cuts on a Thursday

Good Thursday morning. It’s kind of nice this morning for us as we get to hit the links for a change. As you all may know if you have read us at all for a long time, you know that one of our staples of the summer coverage schedule here at the Journal is youth and adult golf. Well, with the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions on large gatherings around the state of Washington, that limited the youth golf schedule significantly this year.

However, the Washington Junior Golf Association last week hosted three different district championship events which featured local players. In the event at Willows Run Golf Course in Redmond, Mount Si High School girls’ golfer Kasey Maralack punched a ticket to the state tournament next week over in Spokane, finishing fourth in the girls’ 16-18 age group firing scores of 78 for both days of play last Monday and Tuesday.

Also earning berths out of the district tournaments from the Valley were Mount Si boys’ golfer Cooper Neil and fellow Snoqualmie resident Buddy Dann. They competed at the district event down in Orting with Dann finishing in a tie for sixth in the boys’ 16-18 age group firing rounds of 74 and 76 and Neil finishing right behind in eighth with rounds of 73 and 78. It should be noted that recent Mount Si grad Drew Warford also competed, and won the thing going away, finishing with solid rounds of 68 and 69 to win it by six strokes but declined his state tournament bid.

Another Snoqualmie youngster, Shane Russell, also earned a berth, finishing fifth in the boys’ 8-11 division which competes over nine holes as opposed to 18 holes for the older age groups. Rounding it out, Snoqualmie’s Ava Jensen repped the Valley at the district event last week in Bellingham and finished second in the girls’ 8-11 age group there punching a state berth.

The WJGA this summer did not have any qualifying tournaments due to the pandemic meaning these district championship events were the only shot for kids to qualify to the state event, which as we just mentioned is next week over in Spokane. Additionally, the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, a regional golf organization, canceled its youth championships this year due to the pandemic, so this WJGA state opportunity will serve as the summer season finale for youth golf here in Washington.

Good luck to the five from our community who will be competing.

Now to adult action.

Valley pair miss out on trip to state men’s amateur championships: A pair of Valley residents gave it their best shot yesterday in qualifying for the Washington State Men’s Amateur tournament, but both missed out on their chance to be the best in the state.

Snoqualmie resident Matt Laase and North Bend resident Mark Stephenson both competed in the Washington State Golf Association-sponsored amateur championship tournament’s qualifying tournament down in Pierce County yesterday, with both missing the final cut. Laase fired a round of 76 while Stephenson carded 81 on the par-72 Home Course in DuPont, near Fort Lewis. The tournament is one of four qualifiers around the state this week; none of the others, in Bremerton, Spokane or Walla Walla, had Valley golfers participating.

Top-20 for Duvall golfer in women’s am: The WSGA recently hosted their women’s amateur championship, at Bremerton’s Gold Mountain Golf Course, and a lower Valley athlete did well.

Duvall’s Sarah Lawrence fired scores of 76, 77 and 75 to finish in a tie for 12th at 12 over par 228 on the par-72 layout in the tournament, which took place from June 30-July 2. She competes collegiately for the University of Fraser Valley up in Canada.

Lawrence is a veteran of the youth and college circuit, and has had success for much of her career, so a solid outing for her especially with not having played too much during the pandemic is good news for sure.

Good stuff from the links this morning. Now to diamond cuts.

Baseball: Western Nebraska posts win
In Expedition League college summer action last night, the Western Nebraska Pioneers posted a 4-1 win at home in Gering, NE, over the visiting Hastings Sodbusters. Mount Si alum Spencer Marenco went 0-4, but it was another member of the Kingco delegation that shined for the Pios. Liberty High alum Kai Alberghini, who plays for Seattle University, homered to key a three-run second which sparked the Pios.

Marenco, from North Bend, since his average peaked at .333 about two weeks ago, has struggled a little bit. In his past five games, the sophomore-to-be at Yakima Valley Community College has gone just 3-21 scoring only two runs. Still, though, his average sits at a solid .282 so he has time to turn things around before the season ends. And he may get a chance to do that tonight as these same two teams meet once more on the grounds at Oregon Trail Park, which is the Pioneers’ home stadium in that Scottsbluff, NE, suburb. You can catch the game live at 5:30 this evening our time using the TuneIn app on your phones or tablets, search KOZY-FM for the broadcast.

Down to the Washington Coast we go for some youth action. Scores and highlights from Gamechanger and the Gamechanger app, available on Apple IPhones and IPads in their app store.

Seattle Stars 18U 6, Washington A’s 18U Premier 3 (game one, doubleheader): The Seattle-based Stars and Sammamish-based A’s hooked up for two at the Seattle Premier League’s home away from home this summer down at Pioneer Park in Aberdeen and it was the Stars in the opener of a twinbill that featured two former MSHS players competing against one another. Recent Mount Si grad Troy Baunsgard repped the A’s and went 1-3 with a double and RBI, while former Wildcat Mason Gronewald, who played for Mount Si as a freshman then transferred to Mercer Island High School, where he is set to graduate next year, played for the Stars and too went 1-3. Gronewald’s sister is MSHS softball alum Abby, who redshirted this past spring for Fairfield University in Connecticut; we do not know if she will still have the redshirt available to her next year with the spring season this year having been canceled due to COVID-19 impacts by the NCAA.

Seattle Stars 18U 4, Washington A’s 18U Premier 3 (game two, doubleheader): The Stars took the nightcap at Pioneer Park and swept the twinbill from the A’s. Baunsgard was 0-4 for the A’s while Gronewald was 0-1 with a walk for the Stars.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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