Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tritons blank Big Bend, face Yakima Friday

LONGVIEW -- The Edmonds CC baseball team won its first game at the NWAC Championships on Thursday, blanking Big Bend 2-0. Yugo Hamakawa's one out single to center field in the third inning is all the Tritons would need. Elijah Santiago started the frame with a single, Guthrie Morrison followed with a knock, and Nic Sokol's sacrifice fly to deep left field moved Santiago up to third base. Edmonds added another run in the fifth inning when Sokol scored all the way from second base on Hamakawa's fly ball to right field. The Vikings' right fielder made the snag as he went over the wall in right field.

Freshman Will Smith
Will Smith hurled seven innings of shutout ball, fanning five and scattering five hits in seven innings of work. The tall righty escaped jams in the third and seventh to keep the Vikings scoreless. The punch out of pinch-hitter Jayke Chavez in the seventh thwarted Big Bend's best chance for runs, and ended Smith's day. He handed it off to Lucas Ford, who worked the eighth and ninth for his NWAC-leading 14th save.

The Tritons (39-7) stay in the winners' bracket and matchup with Yakima Valley, the No. 1 ranked team and East Region champion, on Friday. The Yaks (42-9) topped Lane 6-4 in their opener, and feature four of the NWAC's top hitters in Zach Inskeep (.410), John Sage (.399), Cole Mckenzie (.364), and Tyler Detloff (.350). Yakima led the conference in nearly every team offensive category. If Edmonds wins Friday it will play at 5:35 p.m. Saturday against the other unbeaten team. A loss would drop them into a losers' bracket tilt at 11:05 a.m. or 2:05 p.m.

If you were unable to catch today's game online, the archives of all tournament games can be found on the NWAC Sports Network YouTube channel.

Big Bend box score | NWAC Championship website | Link to NWAC Sports Network YouTube Channel | Updated bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter |  NWAC All-Region and Glove Teams

Monday, May 21, 2018

NWAC Softball Title Decided Today

Tritons Must Win Three to Win Championship

SPOKANE -- Edmonds' softball comeback fell short against No. 1 ranked North Idaho and if the Tritons are going to win the school's first NWAC championship since 1980, they are going to have to do it the hard way. A 7-5 setback against North Idaho in the late game Sunday dropped the Tritons into the losers' bracket. Edmonds needs to win three straight on Monday, starting with an 11 a.m. game against Lower Columbia (41-13). The Tritons beat LCC 17-10 earlier in the tournament. The winner advances to the championship round and must beat North Idaho (49-3) twice to secure the title.

Seli Aholelei leaves the yard against NIC
photo courtesy Dan Acosta
The three teams left are all region champions -- Edmonds from the North, NIC the East and LCC the South. Edmonds fell behind 5-0 against North Idaho after four innings, but closed to within two on a Seli Aholelei home run, her third of the tournament. NIC added two in the sixth and the Tritons came back with two to stay within reach going into the seventh, but Cardinals reliever Audrey Seipert retired three straight to secure the win.

Nicole Manuel continues to swing a hot bat; she went 2-for-3 with a double.

Edmonds lost designated player Kalei Cacho-Kekahuna when she slid back into first after an out and cut her lower leg, which required several stitches. Edmonds (42-7) will place in the top-three regardless of how they fare today.

Watch Edmonds and Lower Columbia live >>

North Idaho box score | Updated Bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Manuel's heroics lift Tritons to winners' bracket final

Nicole Manuel
SPOKANE -- For 6 1/2 innings it looked as though the Edmonds CC softball team would drop down into the losers' bracket at the NWAC championships, but some late inning heroics sparked a dramatic comeback and propelled the Tritons to the winners' bracket final. With two outs in the bottom of the 6th Seli Aholelei launched a solo homer that cut the Everett lead to 2-1. She went on to hold the Trojans at bay in the circle with a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. In the bottom half, Edmonds worked a walk and reached base via error, which set the stage for Nicole Manuel. With Brooke Keli'iho'omalu on first base, the sophomore outfielder laced a double into the left field corner. Keli'iho'omalu trucked all the way from first base to score the tying run. Two pitches later, with Chantelle Shimabukuro up to bat, Manuel broke from third base scoring on a wild pitch to lift the Tritons past Everett 3-2.

Edmonds moves on to face the top seed, and top-ranked North Idaho in the winners' bracket final at 5 p.m. Sunday. The contest will likely start later due to the elimination games being played ahead of them. Those games feature No. 4 Walla Walla, who is battling No. 6 Lower Columbia, and No. 2 Douglas who is matched up with No. 10 Everett. Of the eight teams still alive at the tournament Sunday morning, four were from the North Region. The Tritons have assured themselves at least a top-three finish, and will play on championship Monday.

Watch Edmonds and North Idaho live >>

Everett box score | Updated Bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter

Tritons slug their way past Highline, Lower Columbia

SPOKANE -- The Edmonds CC softball team had to wait a day to start the NWAC championships, but that didn't seem to affect the team's hitters. In two games on Saturday, the Tritons plated 33 runs on 35 hits to slug their way past Highline College 16-8, and Lower Columbia 17-10. Edmonds is one of four teams to remain in the winners’ bracket heading into Sunday. They'll face another familiar opponent in Everett at noon Sunday at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex in Spokane.

EdCC Softball, 2018 NWAC North Region Champions
Sophomore two-way stud Seli Aholelei pitched all innings from the circle, collecting both wins. She helped her own cause at the plate too going 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBI in the Highline win, and 5-for-6 with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI in Edmonds triumph over Lower Columbia. Both wins Saturday were characteristic of what the Tritons have done offensively all year -- they never go away, and capitalize on big innings.

EdCC scored 6 runs in the 3rd and another 6 in the 4th to pull away from Highline, ending the game after the 5th inning. After falling behind to Lower Columbia 1-0, Edmonds responded with a 9-spot in the the top of the 2nd to jump ahead. Their 4-run 7th inning sealed their win over the NWAC south region champs. Offensive stars for Edmonds on Saturday (two games) were:

  • Chantelle Shimabukuro: 6-for-8, 5 runs scored, 8 RBI, HR
  • Chasity Stalcup: 5-for-8, 6 runs scored, 5 RBI, 2 HR
  • Tamia Hirano: 6-for-9, 6 RBI, 2B
  • Kalei Cacho-Kekahuna, Kamalei Labasan, Nicole Manuel, and Taylor Shigeta also recorded multiple hits in at least one game. 

Edmonds (41-6) took all four games from Everett (30-16) this year, but the final scores did not reflect the tight contests that were played in each game. On April 10 at Everett, the Tritons prevailed with 7-2 and 6-2 victories. On May 12, both teams closed out the regular season at Edmonds with the Tritons topping the Trojans 7-1 and 3-2 in 9 innings. Watch the game live on the NWAC Sports Network.

With a win the Tritons would advance to the winners’ bracket final at 5 p.m. against the winner of (1) North Idaho vs. (4) Walla Walla. If the Tritons lose, they'll get the winner of (2) Douglas vs. (5) Bellevue at 2:30 p.m. and would need to win again at 5 p.m. to advance to Monday.

Highline box score | Lower Columbia box score | Link to Live Stats

NWAC Softball Championship website | Updated bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Women's Soccer Adds 12 to fold

LYNNWOOD -- New Edmonds CC women's soccer coach Adam Fenster and his coaching staff have hit the ground running, signing 12 new freshmen for next fall. There is a strong base of decorated local players with a mix of out of state flavor. "We are very excited about bringing in a new class of freshmen that should compete from the get go," said Fenster. "We have a lot of local talent, and a few from out of the area that should add to our team dynamic."

Women's Soccer Signing Class

Oshinaye Taylor - Marysville Getchell HS - MF/F - 1st Team Wesco 4A Forward
Kailee Carrizosa - Waianae HS (HI) - DF
Paige Peterson - Hillcrest HS (UT) - DF
KC Gonzalez - Sultan HS - DF
Lexia Ramirez - Lake Stevens HS - DF - 1st Team 4A Wesco Defender
Katy Ewoniuk - Hillcrest HS (UT) - MF - Honorable Mention 6A All-State 
Jocelyne Lopez - Hillcrest HS (UT) - DF - Honorable Mention 6A All-State
Jazmin Nunez - Edmonds Woodway HS - MF - 2nd Team 3A Wesco Midfielder
Julia Hart - Mountlake Terrace HS - F - 1st Team 4A Wesco Forward
Kailin Wiley - Kamiak HS - F - 1st Team 4A Wesco Forward
Mariah Davis - Meadowdale HS - F 
Sammy Miller-Foy - Holy Names HS - GK - transfer from Austin Peay State University

Erikah Ledesma
The team will return six players from last year, including keeper Erikah Ledesma (Yakima, Wash.) and midfielder Alex Modica (Shoreline, Wash.). Ledesma was one of the main goal keeper's last year and understands the league. Modica was the starting center midfielder. Fenster added, "It's always nice to have that base player." Midfielders Karla Olsan (Spanaway, Wash.) and Nataliya Datskiv (Lynnwood, Wash.), and defenders Victoria Hunter (Edmonds, Wash.) and Audriawna Andrade (Lynnwood, Wash.) round out the sophomores. "I'm really pleased about the sophomores who are coming back. They will continue to rebuild the culture of our program."

Fenster has finalized his coaching staff -- veteran Val Seid and keeper coach Aaron Johnson, who assisted the past two years, will help in the development of the women's soccer program. "Seid has a real connection to the local soccer community. He's been a coach in club soccer for many years, and has four-year coaching experience," said Fenster. "Aaron Johnson will take over as our keeper coach." Fall sports begins official practices on August 1. The first chance to see the Tritons will be a scrimmage at Northwest University on August 21.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Baseball, Softball Remain No. 1 and No. 2 in NWAC Coaches Polls

LYNNWOOD -- The third round of spring NWAC coaches polls were released on April 25 and Triton baseball and softball held on to their respective spots. Edmonds CC baseball remains the top-ranked team for the third consecutive poll dating back to March 28. Triton softball is still the No. 2 ranked team in NWAC softball, as they were the previous poll on April 11.

Infielders Yugo Hamakawa and Nic Sokol
Baseball, who has opened up a five game cushion in the North Region standings, has now passed the 30-win plateau with a 6-4 victory at Olympic College on Wednesday. They have three series (12 games) left to complete the regular season schedule. Region champions are awarded an automatic bid to the 8-team NWAC championship tournament in Longview, May 24-28. Second place finishers from each region host Super Regionals with third and fourth place teams from each region. Edmonds last claimed the North title in 2015.

Yakima Valley College (33-6) is the No. 2-ranked baseball team, followed by the other region leaders, Linn-Benton CC (28-2) and Lower Columbia College (20-6). Everett CC (22-11, 6-6 North) is the only other North team to crack the top 8. The Tritons host the Trojans in the annual T-cup series on May 4 and 5. 

Chasity Stalcup
Edmonds softball continues to move towards shattering the school record for wins, which they tied last season. The Tritons are 31-4, and with five league series remaining (10 games total) it seems inevitable that they will surpass the record 35 wins before the postseason hits. Edmonds (21-1 North) is currently atop the North standings with a two game lead over Douglas College (19-3 North). Softball has another matchup with third-ranked Douglas in Canada on May 8. That twinbill will likely determine the North Region title. The Tritons and Royals split games in Lynnwood on April 6.

North Idaho (33-3) is the top ranked team in the NWAC and received all nine first place votes. Bellevue landed at No. 6 in the poll. Triton softball swept the season series 4-0 against the Bulldogs. The NWAC softball championship tournament is seeded by the ranking percentage index (RPI). Douglas leads the RPI at No. 1; Edmonds is No. 3 and Bellevue is No. 5.

Baseball hosts Douglas College of Canada for a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Friday; softball welcomes Highline College to Triton Field for a noon doubleheader on Saturday.

The next NWAC polls are released on May 9.

April 25 NWAC Polls: Baseball | Softball

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Triton Men's Hoops Readies for NWAC Championships

LYNNWOOD -- Edmonds CC opens the NWAC men’s basketball tournament in Everett on Saturday at noon inside the Walt Price Fitness Center at Everett CC. The Tritons (20-9, 8-6 North) earned the No. 3 seed from the North Region and face the No. 2 seed from the South, the Linn-Benton CC Roadrunners (20-9, 10-6 South).

Edmonds raced to a 9-1 record, then endured a tough stretch at the start of North Region play. Through six regional contests, the Tritons found themselves 2-4, with back-to-back losses on their home floor. But the Tritons fought through the adversity, notching grind-it-out wins to get back in the postseason.

Sixth-year head coach Kyle Gray reflected on the tough early start.

“We stuck together,” Gray said. “When things didn’t go our way these guys used their mental training. We had a great outlook even in the tough times. No one felt like we couldn’t get it done.”

And get it done they did – Edmonds was 6-2 over its last eight games, including four straight road triumphs.

Zach Walton
Much of the team’s success falls on the shoulders of soft-spoken, lead-by-example sophomore Zach Walton. After a redshirt season last year due to injury, Walton has come back to full strength.
Walton, the North freshman of the year in 2016, earned NWAC Player of the Week honors twice this year, and is one of the top scorers (20.7 ppg, seventh overall) and rebounders (9.3 rpg, sixth overall) in the conference. Although he has a humble nature, he plays with an inner fire that resonates throughout the entire group.
Walton and a strong supporting cast of sophomores has been the difference in lifting the Tritons to the postseason for the fifth time in the past six years.
“Some guys really stepped up,” Gray said. “Rotash (Mattu) has been big for us on the defensive end. His consistency has really helped us dial in the game plan.”
Point guard Raven Frazier has filled the role of vocal leader and floor general.
“I think he’s the most underrated player in the North. He brings it every day, every practice,” Gray said. “He’s everything we’ve asked and more.”
Frazier’s improved perimeter game has kept defenses honest and he’s also the Tritons distributor, dishing out 4.6 assists per game.
Loren LaCasse
Looking inside the first-round matchup, Edmonds is third in the NWAC in scoring, averaging 91 points per game, and is connecting on 46 percent of its shots. The Tritons are balanced offensively with Loren LaCasse (11.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg), and Jake Higgins (14.8 ppg) also averaging double digits. Higgins is a three-point specialist who is tough to stop when he’s hot. Tyler Morris provides a spark off the bench is and averaging 10 points per game.
In talking about Higgins and Morris, Coach Gray said, “Their shooting has been great, but they’ve learned to play with each other. Tyler has found his role and he has flourished.”
Another key cog for Edmonds is Devin Price who has battled injury but has contributed 7.6 ppg, and 5.1 rpg.
Linn-Benton is scoring nearly 87 points per game, and shoots 44 percent from the field this year. The Roadrunners are also balanced with Bailey Evans (13.8 ppg), Cooper Getsfrid (13.1 ppg), and Taylor Jensen (12.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg) leading the attack. The seventh-ranked Roadrunners have the seventh-most free-throw attempts in the NWAC and are third overall in free-throw percentage. Trent Van Cleave averages four assists per contest.
“They are a sound team and we need to be ready for a physical game,” Gray said. “We must take care of the basketball and play honest defense. We’ve got to share the basketball and spread it around.”
Edmonds sophomores Raven Frazier (Spanaway, Wash.) and Zach Walton (Morton, Wash.) received all-region recognition. Frazier was selected to the North All-Defensive Team and Walton collected his second North first-team award.
The Tritons have nine sophomores on the roster and they’ve all helped make it a special season.
“This team has been a pleasure to be around every day. They are just a fun group,” Gray said. “It has really been the difference for us. They’re very close.”
Triton men’s basketball won its only NWAC championship in 1985 under NWAC Hall of Fame coach Keith Kingsbury. In the Coach Gray era the Tritons have two North Region titles (2013, 2015) and have placed at the NWAC Championships three times. In 2013 and 2015 they lost in the championship game; in 2014 they placed sixth.
The format of the 16-team NWAC Championship Tournament is single elimination. The winner of Edmonds and Linn-Benton will play the Walla Walla-Centralia winner at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The final four will take place next weekend at Everett CC on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18. Single day general admission tickets are $17 for adults, $10 for students/seniors, $8 for ages 7-12, and free for kids under six years old. If you can’t make it in person, watch all NWAC Tournament games on the NWAC Sports Network.