LOWER COLUMBIA - Local softball and baseball squads continue to find success on the diamonds of Long Beach, Naselle and Astoria.
The softball team is playing at a .500 clip, consistently winning half of their contests. Lady Fishermen on the team include Lanie Kary, Courtney Gilgore, Ashley Hurlburt, Nicole Smith, Felicia Faggard, Dawnielle Childers, Alexis Couch, Leea Lehman, Jasmine Schaefer, Brandi Wirkkala and Tabitha Kruse.
Coaches Rick Bishop and Randy Bloom have been especially pleased with the Ilwaco defense. The team is sponsored by Dr. Roof.
The baseball team has won all of their games but one, and their opponents in the loss were made up of three Ilwaco varsity players. Does that make their record 13.33 wins and 0.67 losses because only two-thirds of the victors were not IHS players? Since the Fishermen do not keep a score book during the summer season, it doesn't seem to matter as long the players are having fun and learning the game.
Naselle standouts participating with Ilwaco are Doug Wise, Colby Engelson, Matt Blair, Aoy Marion, Matt Chavez, Richard Smith and Caleb Holland.
Ilwaco players include Quinn Padgett, Nick Leonard, Mooch Smith, Jarod Schaak, Travis Ostgaard, Mike Huitt, and Bobby Crislip. Anthony Wirkkala, Paul Blaylock, and Alex Martin have also been playing for the Astoria area all-star team that defeated the Fishermen last Wednesday.
Other Fishermen summer baseball players include Jason Hall, Cody and Colten Chalker, C.J. Hawkinson, Casey Heagy, Mike Crislip, Jordan DeSimone, Casey Marsh and Jake Nesbitt. Coaches Pete Donlon, Dave Cook, Butch Smith and Kevin Heimbigner have seen marked improvement by the 26 players involved.
The 37 softball and baseball players end their summer seasons by mid-July in what have been the inaugural campaigns for both teams outside the high school schedule.