Sunday, May 19, 2019

Tritons title hopes still alive after 6-3 loss

SPOKANE -- Edmonds softball was unable to best defending NWAC champion North Idaho College on Sunday night, losing the NWAC Tournament winner's bracket game 6-3. But the Tritons are not headed home yet. After the Cardinals scored two runs in the second inning, and one in the third, Rhilmina Sagapolutele launched a line drive solo shot in the fourth inning to get the Tritons on the board. The Cardinals touched Tritons' starter Cecilia Robbins for two more runs in the fifth to extend their lead to 5-1.

Rhilmina Sagapolutele
Photo by Dan Acosta
The Tritons didn't go down without a fight. Kayla Hensley and Sagapolutele hit back-to-back round trippers in the top of the seventh to make it interesting. Hensley and Sagapolutele, both freshmen, have combined for five dingers this weekend. North Idaho box score >>

Edmonds' three home runs were the most Madi Mott has given up in a game this year. The North Idaho pitcher was named the 2019 NWAC Softball Player of the Year and is a two-time NFCA All-American with the best pitching numbers in the league. The Tritons should be confident if they get another opportunity to face the top hurler, but will need to put the ball in play -- Edmonds fanned 11 times against the righty on Sunday.

Next up is another rematch with Douglas College. The two North Region adversaries meet for the sixth time this year at 11 a.m. on Monday. Edmonds has won the previous five meetings, including a 3-0 win in their first game Sunday. The winner will move on to face North Idaho in the NWAC Championship at 1:30 p.m. Edmonds would need to beat North Idaho twice to win the title if it can get past Douglas. The last time Triton softball played for an NWAC title was in 1998. Last year's team finished 3rd overall at the tournament. The only NWAC championship in program history was in 1980.

Livestream for Douglas >> | Bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter

Robbins shines as Tritons blank Douglas

Cecilia Robbins
Photo by Dan Acosta
SPOKANE -- After three innings of scoreless softball, the Tritons broke through with two runs in the bottom of the 4th inning and that's all Cecilia Robbins needed to blank Douglas College 3-0 on Sunday afternoon in Spokane. It was Kayla Hensely's two-run shot in the 4th -- her second home run of the tournament -- that put Edmonds ahead for good. Robbins tossed a complete game, scattering 3 hits to notch her third win of the tournament.

Rhilmina Sagapolutele plated Hensely in the 6th on a double that was lined into the left-center gap, giving the Tritons a 3-run cushion into the 7th. Sagapolutele fouled off 7 pitches in the at bat before delivering. Chantelle Shimabukuro was 2-for-3 in the game and had one double. Shimabukuro turned a nice unassisted double play in the 2nd, and center fielder Shanelle Lum made a great grab in center field to end the Royals' threat in the 4th.

Edmonds (40-8) wins their 14th in a row and gets defending NWAC champion North Idaho (36-9) next in a battle of the two unbeaten teams left. The Cardinals have a 15-game winning streak of their own headed into the showdown. They beat Walla Walla 4-0 to advance. The winner of tonight's 6 p.m. game will assure themselves a spot in the NWAC Championship Game on Monday.

Livestream for Edmonds vs. North Idaho >>

Douglas box score >> | Bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Tritons mount comeback to advance in winner's bracket

SPOKANE -- It wasn't easy, but it usually isn't at the NWAC Championship Tournament. Edmonds CC softball earned its second one-run victory on Saturday, edging Olympic 5-4. The Rangers scored one run in the first; the Tritons answered with a run of their own on Kayla Hensley's RBI single up the middle. Olympic added a run in the 3rd, and two in the 4th to take a 4-1 lead. Cecilia Robbins entered the circle in the 4th with 2 outs and a runner on third base and fanned Shanya Nisbet, a 1st-team North Region selection, to end the threat.

Kalei Cacho-Kekahuna
Edmonds was down 4-1 heading to the bottom half of the 5th, and that's when the momentum shifted. Kalei Cacho-Kekahuna slapped her second hit of the game into right field with 1 out, and Taylor Shigeta bunted her over to second for the second out. Shanelle Lum promptly doubled over the right fielders head scoring Cacho-Kehahuna. Ciena Kauhi followed with an RBI single to the right-center gap, driving in Lum and pulling the Tritons within one run. Kauhi stole second base and moved up to third on a passed ball. Chantelle Shimabukuro kept the two-out rally rolling with a double to the left-center gap to plate Kauhi and tie the game at 4.

The Tritons pushed across the winning run in the sixth with a two-out rally. Staisa Micky walked, and Liliola Vehikite, a pinch-runner, stole second and scored when Cacho-Kekahuna's drive to the right-center gap was mishandled.

Ciena Kauhi
Photo by Dan Acosta
Robbins held the Rangers' offense at bay for 3 1/3 innings, allowing no runs, 1 hit, and no walks to tally her second win of the day. Cacho-Kekahuna and Kauhi were both 2-for-3 in the game.

The Tritons extended their winning streak to 13 games. Five of their last 10 wins have been one-run triumphs (all of them in May). Edmonds (39-8) faces another familiar opponent in Douglas College (35-10) tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Douglas, the No. 7 seed, knocked off upstart Spokane 4-3 in their second tilt on Saturday. With a win Edmonds would become one of two unbeaten teams left in the winner's bracket.

Olympic box score >> | Softball Championship website | Bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter

Hensley's pinch-hit homer lifts Tritons past Hawks

SPOKANE -- The Edmonds CC softball team erased an early deficit to defeat Columbia Basin College 7-6 in their first game at the NWAC Championship Tournament on Saturday.

Rhilmina Sagapolutele & Chantelle Shimabukuro
Photo by Dan Acosta
The Hawks used a leadoff walk and bunt base hit to jump start their offense in the top of the 1st. After Tritons' catcher Prestyne Kaimi-Montira back-picked a Hawks runner at second base to record the first out of the inning, the Hawks cleanup hitter Kylie Koszykowski cashed in two runs with a double down the left field line. Edmonds got on the board in the bottom of the 2nd when Shanelle Lum lined one into left field scoring Rhilmina Sagapolutele. Sagapolutele started the inning with a 10-pitch at bat that resulted in a walk. Kalei Cacho-Kekahuna moved her up to second on a sac bunt.

Sagapolutele got the offense going again in the 4th when she ripped a leadoff double. Cacho-Kekahuna reached on an error, and Mckenzie Beavin plated Sagapolutele on a fielders choice to tie the game at 2-2. Edmonds pressed on, scoring 4 more runs in the frame. Ciena Kauhi had an RBI single and Chantelle Shimabukuro's single up the middle scored 2 more. Kauhi swiped 2 bags in the game.

Kayla Hensley
The Hawks responded with 2 runs in the fifth to cut the lead to 6-4. In the bottom of the 6th, Kayla Hensley launched a pinch-hit solo home run that would end up being the difference. Columbia Basin mounted a comeback in the top of the 7th, and had the tying run on second base with 2 outs, but Tritons' bump Cecilia Robbins turned the Hawks away. Robbins went the distance and notched her 19th complete game of the season.

The No. 3-seed Tritons (38-8) now move on to face Olympic College (21-21) in their next game at 6 p.m. Olympic upset No. 6-seed Big Bend 7-0 in their first game. The North Region foes met four times this year. Edmonds won three of those and took the last two at home on April 23.

In the first round of games, No. 7-seed Douglas survived against Wenatchee Valley, scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th to secure the win. Spokane, the No. 15 seed, shocked No. 2 Mount Hood 11-7. For the second straight year, rain forced a one-day delay to the start of the tournament.

Columbia Basin box score >>Softball Championship website | Bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Edmonds CC tabs Nick Amrine as women's basketball coach

LYNNWOOD – Nick Amrine has been hired as the new women’s basketball coach at Edmonds Community College, effective May 2, 2019. Amrine’s most recent coaching stop was as the Stanwood High School girls coach this past season where he led the Spartans to districts in his first year. Amrine has a great deal of college coaching experience, most notably 10 years as the assistant women’s hoops coach at Everett CC from 2005-2013, and again from 2016-2018.

Nick Amrine
Amrine got his start as an assistant at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., and spent three years as an assistant at the University of the Cumberlands, a four-year NAIA school in Kentucky. He also had stops as a coach with Reno High School and led the Nevada Basketball Academy as Director of Operations as well as instructing in Reno, Nev. from 2003-2005. He is a native of Fernley, Nev.

During Amrine’s 10 years at Everett, the Trojans won a North title in 2007-08 and were NWAC Championship Tournament qualifiers seven times. Everett lost in the quarterfinals in 2017-18, Amrine’s last year on the bench. “Nick is familiar with the NWAC, is connected to the local high school basketball scene because of his experience, and has a vision larger than just winning basketball games,” said Edmonds athletic director Spencer Stark. “It was apparent to the hiring committee that Nick was the right fit for the position. He gets what this is all about, especially recruiting -- of the student-athletes coming in, and then moving them on with their degrees to play after Edmonds.”

“Thank you to Spencer Stark and his interview panel for having the belief and trust in me to become the new women’s basketball coach,” said Amrine. “I will pour my heart and soul into this program and strive to achieve success on and off the court. I’m excited to begin my college head coaching career.”

The Tritons went 10-12 overall last year, the first time the program has reached double-digit wins since the 2010-11 season. Amrine will look to build off that step forward as he returns the freshmen core of last year’s team. Edmonds has already signed three players for next year, which includes Briarra Nakihei from Castle High School in Kaneohe, Hawaii, and Stephanie Cannon from Honolulu’s Kaiser High School. Nakihei helped lead Castle to the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) DII state championship this year. Amrine will begin recruiting immediately and plans to announce his coaching staff in the coming days.

“I can’t wait to become entrenched in the culture of Edmonds Community College and add my enthusiasm and energy to a fantastic athletic program,” Amrine said.