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Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame - 2021

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10 reasons to Play USA Softball

 
 
 
 
WELCOME TO USA SOFTBALL OF IDAHO DISTRICT 8 (formerly Spokane ASA)

Jamie Stewart, District 8 Commissioner
usaidahodistrict8@gmail.com

509.869.5707

 
SPOKANE METRO SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME WILL GROW BY 20 ON OCT. 2 WITH '20 AND '21 INDUCTIONS

The Spokane Metro Softball Hall of Fame will grow by 20 people in a combined 2020 and 2021 induction ceremony on Oct. 2 at the Spokane Eagles Lodge, 6410 N. Lidgerwood, honoring "individuals who have played a major role in the growth and development of ASA adult softball in Spokane."

Five will come from the Class of 2021 - Randy Olson, who played men's slowpitch, senior slowpitch and men's modified fastpitch; Debbie Hjortedal, women's fastpitch, women's slowpitch and women's modified fastpitch; Les Hancock and Steven Shaw, both MMFP; and player/coach Mark Reilly, MFP, MMFP, MSP, coed SP and senior SP.

The other 15 are in the Class of 2020, which was named last year but whose induction was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, Harvey Schuyler was selected to receive the Denny Waltermire Distinguished Service Award "for his longtime outstanding support and dedication

The Spokane Metro Softball Hall of Fame board, left to right: Tom Crouch, Lonnie Wharf, Don Love, Kristi Kuntz, Ron Martin.

to softball in the Spokane Metro area," board member Don Love said.

 
INLAND EMPIRE SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTS CLASS OF '21; U-HI'S BODEN RECEIVES BENDER AWARD

Abby Boden, an All-Greater Spokane League infielder in slowpitch softball and a member of the University High School Honor Roll, received the 2021 Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame Doug "Pops" Bender Award.

"Her credentials are quite impressive," said Kirk Madison, chair of the Bender Award committee.

He noted, for instance, Boden earned eight varsity letters - four in fastpitch softball, three in slowpitch and one in cheer - along with her scholastic honors.

The 18th recipient of the Bender Award, and the first from University HS, receives a $1,000 scholarship to help with college expenses. Madison said Boden plans to attend Washington State University and study nursing.

There was no award in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the banquet.

Honoring Boden was a highlight of the IESHF induction banquet August 21.

Inductees include players Jack Martin (modified and coed; he continues, in his 80s, playing men's senior slowpitch); Hector Fiorillo (men's modified); and Christine Lynch (women's slowpitch); and

umpire John Isles (pictured above).

The Spokane Lilacs Travelers women's fastpitch team was inducted as the Team of the Decade for the 1970s.

The late Shirley Brown, longtime former secretary for the defunct Spokane Metro Softball Association, was honored with the Hank Coplen Spotlite Award for her contribution to the sport behind the scenes.

 
10U SPOKANE EPIC CAPTURES 2021 USA SOFTBALL WEST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!

Epic broadened its horizon and improved its standing.

Two week after finishing second in the USA Softball of Idaho State Tournament, the Spokane team traveled to North Mankato, MN, took on the Western United States and returned home with the USA Softball West 10U National Championship!

It was a small field to cap a tournament-heavy summer season, just seven teams, but that's four more than they faced at the state tournament in Spokane.

The 11 Epic players showed resilience and tenacity in surviving humid, 80-plus degree heat over three days, as they played 11 games - three more than any other team - and won nine. On the final day, they went unbeaten in winning five games in 11 hours - from 9 am-8 pm.

Their only breaks came between games when the field needed to be maintained.

"They worked so hard and kept their spirits up all day," said assistant coach and team manager Dawnice Dobbs, noting the grueling schedule was necessary as the players "worked their way back out of the losers' bracket."

After going 3-1 in pool play, Epic won its first game in bracket play, but lost its second, forcing it into the losers' bracket. Both losses, incidentally, were to the Chicago-based Sparks. Epic would get its revenge, defeating Sparks twice at the end of the long, hot Saturday, 8-7 and 8-5, to win the championship.

Dobbs said Cadence Buscher and Kensi Boyce formed a "pitching dream team," sharing duties in the circle in both final games.

The championship game included what Dobbs called "a killer play" by shortstop Mya Martinez. "She made a backhand dive and threw from her knees" and first baseman Ali Malsom "laid out on a stretch to make the play."

Other Epic tournament highlights reported by the assistant coach/team manager:

  • Aivan Dobbs hit her first home run, a two-run shot!
  • Bailey Tampien caught a majority of the 11 games, making some amazing plays and throws.
  • Kendall Perez and Reagan Davis used their speed and skills running the bases.
  • Sophia Wickholm, Annie Beito and Mykaela Koeller made some amazing plays in the outfield "and led the team in cheers."

The team: Aivan Dobbs (Northwood MS), second base/pitcher; Cadence Buscher (Mountainside MS), pitcher/third base; Bailey Tampien (Mountainside), catcher; Ali Malsom (Highland MS), first base; Kendall Perez (Highland), right field; Mykaela Koeller (Mountainside), third base/outfield; Reagan Davis (Stem Charter Academy, Rathdrum), outfield; Annie Beito (Sunset Elementary, Cheney), center field; Sophia Wickholm (McDonald Elementary), outfield; Kensi Boyce (Enterprise MS, Richland), utility/pitcher; Mya Martinez (Frontier MS, Moses Lake), shortstop. Head coach: Chris Buscher.

 
SPOKANE DIAMONDS PLACE 4TH IN USA SOFTBALL 16U B WESTERN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Spokane Diamonds went 6-2 in finishing fourth in the 18-team USA Softball 16U B Western National Championship in Medford, Oregon, both losses in close games to the team that finished second.

Diamonds won their first bracket game after going 2-0 in pool play before losing 4-1 to the Basin Bandits of Lakeview, Ore. The Spokane team then won three in a row in the losers' bracket before again running into the Bandits and falling 4-3.

The tournament capped a 29-9 season for the Diamonds, that included a fourth-place finish in the

USA Softball of Idaho State Tournament.

The Diamonds also won the Gold Division in the Emeralds Smash in Kalispell, Mont., going 5-0 and defeating the Montana State champions and State runners-up along the way; and were second in the 21-team Demarini Classic in Portland.

Five of the nine losses were by one run.

The players: Abbie Amend, P, 1B, OF, Freeman HS;

Kate Banks, P, 1B, Lewiston HS; Brooklyn Dryden, SS, C, Deer Park HS; Avery Erickson, 3B, OF, Mt. Spokane HS; Layne Lathrop, OF, Deer Park HS; Dixie Sefton, 2B, OF, Freeman HS; Alyssa Sosky, CF, Reardan HS; Bree Waldron, C, OF, Riverside HS; Morgan Williams, OF, Lewiston HS; Natalie Singer, OF, INF, University HS; Kynlea Toner, OF, INF, Riverside HS; Allison Lapano, OF, Riverside HS. Tom Sefton, head coach; Andy Waldron, assistant coach.

 
CROSSFIRE TEAMS WIN IDAHO STATE 16U (BURKE, top left) AND 10U (GARRETT, bottom left) CHAMPIONSHIPS
 
ORDERS OF FINISH FOR 2021 IDAHO 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U AND 18U STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS JULY 9-11

Second-place 16U Lake City Thunder is on top right. Second-place 10U Spokane Epic is on bottom right in pictures above.

16U and 10U orders of finish

12U, 14U and 18U orders of finish

 
CARL DURR APPOINTED NEW UMPIE IN CHIEF FOR USA SOFTBALL OF IDAHO DISTRICT 8 (SPOKANE)

Carl Durr, who has been involved in softball umpiring for nearly three decades, has been named the 16th umpire in chief in Spokane.

USA Softball of Idaho District 8 (Spokane) Commissioner Jamie Stewart appointed Durr to fill the position left vacant when Dennis Keys unexpectedly died on January 8, 2021, after three years in the role.

Durr, who has been the umpire in charge in the Spokane Valley Girls Softball Association since 1992, was a USA Softball of Idaho

District 8 Deputy Umpire in Chief since October 2017, serving under Keys and Ken Mathia and two interim UICs.

"The biggest priority," said Durr, "is to recruit new umpires. The COVID pandemic kinda took a toll on our numbers and impacted recruiting. We need to get some new people involved."

Through the years, Durr said, the Valley Girls umpire program has been a good training ground for Spokane Softball Umpires Association umpires.

"I hope we can continue that," he said. "That's been a good stepping stone for some of our Valley Girls umpires."

Durr first got involved in the Valley Girls program as a coach in 1986 and started umpiring soon after.

He joined SSUA in 1994 and has served on its board of directors and umpired in four ASA and/or USA Softball national championship tournaments, one regional tournament and one state tournament.

In an effort to strengthen his umpiring skills and teaching techniques, Durr has attended six USA Softball biannual umpire training clinics in Oklahoma City.

"The best place to learn is from the best in USA Softball," said Durr.

 
SSUA WANTS YOU! ... YES, YOU ... (AND YOUR FRIEND!) ... TO JOIN US AND BECOME A SOFTBALL UMPIRE!

There's always a need for umpires and SSUA will train you for free!

Questions?

Contact:

SSUA President Steve Quaid, 638-7050 Assigner Bob Francis, (509) 230-5045 Spokane UIC Carl Durr, 995-0890

USA Softball of Idaho District 8 (Spokane) and the Spokane Softball Umpires Association have abided by government restrictions designed to slow and stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

With pandemic restrictions being eased and softball games and tournaments resuming, WE NEED UMPIRES! CAPITALIZED AND BOLD-FACED! The shortage is critical!

And most importantly to you, have we mentioned? we'll train you for free!

See contact information above.

 
PLAY, COACH, SPONSOR: HAVE FUN IN USA SOFTBALL! ... WOMEN, MEN TRY YOUR HAND AT UMPIRING!

Did you have fun playing? You can be back on the field and get paid for it!

See umpire information above or through link on upper left!

 
FORMER SPOKANE USA SOFTBALL UMPIRE IN CHIEF RICH HOBSON NAMED TO REGION 9 HALL OF FAME

Rich Hobson of Spokane, who has spent more than one-third of his 40-year softball umpiring career in leadership positions, has been voted into the USA Softball Northwest Mountain Region 9 Hall of Fame.

A member of the Class of 2022, he has umpired and instructed at the highest amateur levels. He will be inducted in January.

"Rich has all the qualities a hall-of-famer should have," said longtime friend and colleague Malcolm Boyles of Bothell, a former Amateur Softball

Association Western Deputy Director of Umpires. He has "the ability to demonstrate excellence on the field and leadership abilities that are known and respected nationally."

See the whole story.

Above: Rich Hobson (left) with Mike Sepe of Seattle (center) and Malcolm Boyles of Bothell before a men's fastpitch game in Yakima in 2012. "It was the last time we worked together as a crew," Rich said. "Another great memory."

 
SPOKANE UMPIRE IN CHIEF DENNIS KEYS PASSES AWAY ON JAN. 8 AT AGE 67

Dennis Keys, the USA Softball of Idaho District 8 (Spokane) Umpire in Chief the last three years, died on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2021, after a battle with leukemia.

He was 67.

Keys was appointed to fill the vacant UIC position in January 2018 by Commissioner Jamie Stewart.

"Dennis will be missed by so many," said Stewart. "He brought smiles to the faces of players, coaches and his fellow umpires."

That reflected his credo. He said softball

was a game, and games should be fun. He'd arrive at a ball park with a smile on his face and generally left with one. If the teams didn't have fun, it wasn't Dennis' fault.

"He loved life and he brought that energy to everything he did," Stewart said.

A 19-year veteran, Keys was equally comfortable doing girls fastpitch and adult modified and slowpitch. He twice received Umpire of the Year awards from the Spokane Softball Umpires Association, in 2017 for his work umpiring youth games and in 2014 for adults.

He umpired in five ASA or USA Softball Girls Fastpitch National Tournaments, including in 2017 the 12U B Western National in Portland, the 2015 18U/16U B Western in Spokane and in 2014 the 14U A Western in Pasco.

He also had an armload of ASA/USASoftball girls regional and Idaho State tournaments to his credit.

Dennis was one of the Spokane Softball Umpires Association's most popular school umpires, mainly because of his relaxed, fun-loving approach. Coaches and players knew they'd get a high-energy effort and fair game. He worked the 2016 State 2A Tournament in Selah and countless league, district and regional tournaments through the years.

He received the Washington Officials Association's 15-year service pin in 2016.

A past member of the SSUA Board of Directors, he was an eager trainer of umpires, making him a perfect fit for the UIC position.

The 2021 season hasn't even started and he's already missed. Rest in peace Dennis.

 
CONGRATULATIONS GERALD HOWARD ON BEING NAMED WOA 2020 SLOWPITCH UMPIRE OF THE YEAR

Gerald Howard, a member of the Spokane Softball Umpires Association, was named the Washington Officials Association Slowpitch Umpire of the Year for 2020.

Howard, who has umpired 35 years, 20 of them in Spokane, is a slowpitch-only umpire who has risen to be recognized as one of the best in that phase of

the game in the country. In 2013 he was named a USA Softball Elite Slowpitch Umpire and has worked seven USA Softball national tournaments.

He is just the second Spokane umpire to receive a yearly WOA state-wide award. Kathleen Burns was honored in 1997 when fastpitch was the only phase of softball recognized in Washington.

 
2020 SPOKANE GIRLS FASTPITCH SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION CLINIC - 10U & 12U PLAYERS

110 softball players! Wow! The Spokane Girls Fastpitch Softball Association would like to thank the girls, their parents and families for their participation and support.

Hope to see you back in 2021!

A special thanks to our clinicians, former University of Washington players Taylor Van Zee and Courtney Gano, and Whitworth University coach Bob Castle.

You all helped make it a huge success!

 
2020 SPOKANE GIRLS FASTPITCH SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION CLINIC - 14U, 16U & 18U PLAYERS
 
HONORED: NATIONAL AND STATE AWARDS FOR USA SOFTBALL OF IDAHO DISTRICT 8 (SPOKANE)

USA Softball of Idaho District 8 (Spokane) Commissioner, wife collect hardware

Jamie Stewart, USA Softball of Idaho District 8 (Spokane) Commissioner, and Renee Stewart, president of the Spokane Girls Fastpitch Softball Assocition, received special awards.at the 2020 USA Softball of Idaho state meeting in Boise.

Jamie, whose District 8 association put on USA Softball 14U A and 16U A girls fastpitch Western National Championship Tournaments in 2019, received the James Farrell Award of Excellence from the national office for staging two national tournaments that received overall evaluations of 95% or better from the USA Softball representative, Umpire in Chief and the national office.

Renee, who has been involved as a player, coach, tournament director and administrator for more than 30 years, said "softball is a big part of our family; what an honor that we both received awards for doing what we love," after accepting the Red Halpern Lifetime Achievement Award from USA Softball of Idaho Commissioner Bill Parks in memory of the late former longtime Idaho state commissioner and Coeur d'Alene parks department director.

 
WHAT'S NEW IN 2021? SAFESPORT AND BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR ALL ADULTS IN USA SOFTBALL!

The "Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017" and signed into law by President Trump in February of 2018

requires that anyone 18 and older - players, coaches and umpires - who are involved (in softball's case) on the field with athletes under the age of 18 are required to take the Safesport training and pass a background check.

The Federal law says in part that youth-serving national sports organizations - in our case, USA Softball - "offer and provide consistent training to all adult members who are in regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors ... (and) allow a complainant to report easily an incident of child abuse to appropriate persons."

You can read USA Softball's letter to members regarding Safesport and visit Register USA Softball/ACE Coaching to find information and a place for coaches, players and umpires to log in, register, and gain access to background checks.

 

Don't go batty on bat issues ...

USA Softball Certified Equipment

USA Softball non-approved bats list in pictures (last updated March 22, 2017)

USA Softball bat testing and certificagtion progam

2020 ...

USA Softball Rules, Code and Procedural Manual Changes

2020 USA Softball Playing Rules changes with comments

2022 USA Softball Code changes with comments

2020 USA Softball Procedural Manual changes with comments

USA Softball code, procedural manual and by-laws

USA Softball Umpire Exam

2020 USA Softball Umpire Exam & Answer Sheet

Girls fastpitch programs ...

Spokane Girls Fastpitch Softball Association

Spokane Valley Girls Fastpitch Softball Association

Spokane Youth Sports Association (Spokane Indians Youth Baseball & Softball)

Adult programs ...

Check websites for league and tournament information

Spokane City

Christian Athletic Association

◊◊

Thank you teams, players, coaches and fans for supporting USA Softball in Spokane!

For information or with questions regarding USA Softball girls fastpitch, contact USA Softball of Idaho District 8 (Spokane) Junior Olympic Commissioner Gary Blake at garyblake@comcast.net or (509) 328-1921 (home) or (509) 939-6295 (cell).

• For information or with questions about adult programs, contact USA Softball of Idaho District 8 (Spokane) Commissioner Jamie Stewart at usaidahodistrict8@gmail.com or (509) 869-5707

Spokane and USA Softball

In 2015, Spokane, formerly the Spokane ASA, became District 8 under the umbrella of USA Softball of Idaho, which is one of 74 local associations in the United States serving teams, players, coaches and umpires in the sport of softball. USA Softball's predecessor, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA), was formed in 1933 and has remained the official rules writer and interpreter for the sport. USA Softball, rebranded in November 2016, is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of softball, and conducts youth and adult softball programs in every state and virtually every city in the United States through a network of state and metro local associations. More than 120,000 teams and more than 2 million players register and play USA Softball each year. The USA Softball youth program, also known as the Junior Olympic (JO) program, is among the nation's largest youth sports organizations. USA Softball registers more than 25,000 certified umpires each year and is known for having one of the best officials' training and officiating programs of any sport in the U.S.

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