Three South Sound student-athletes signed national letters of intent Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period, to continue their athletic careers at NCAA Division II colleges.
Olympia’s Lauren Herseth and River Ridge’s Halee Hernandez will play volleyball at Central Washington University and Saint Martin’s University, respectively.
River Ridge’s Kelsey Russell signed with CWU for women’s basketball, reuniting with older sister Sophie, who is a starting guard for the Wildcats.
Herseth, The Olympian’s all-area volleyball player of the year and co-MVP of the 4A Narrows League as an outside hitter, guided the Bears to the league title, West Central District III title and a sixth-place finish at the state tournament in the fall.
Hernandez, a setter, helped the Hawks to a late-season surge in 2010, coming up one victory short of a state trophy. River Ridge placed third at the 2A District IV tournament, and advanced to state for the first time, placing sixth.
Russell, a first-team All-Evergreen Conference pick, averaged 13 points per game in leading the Hawks to the EvCo regular-season title, a district IV title, and a third-place finish at the state basketball tournament.
In addition to Herseth, Olympia honored other athletes in its signing celebration – Alex Weber-Brader, who signed with Seattle Pacific in the fall for men’s basketball, and Zach Blakeslee (men’s tennis) and Joel Anthony (football), who have committed to NCAA Division III Pacific Lutheran University.
Tumwater 7, River Ridge 6: With the score tied in the bottom of the seventh, Tumwater coach Jamie Weeks took a gamble when he waved the runner home.
Jamison Dowers scored as a throw to second sailed into the outfield, giving Tumwater a dramatic win over River Ridge.
River Ridge tied it at 6-all in the top of the seventh with a two-run rally.
“I about had a heart attack,” Weeks said. “Now, I think I need a psychiatrist. When I waved Dowers home, my eyes were huge.”
With one out and runners on first and second, River Ridge threw to second for what Weeks thought was going to be the start of a game-ending double play. But the throw was high.
Tumwater and River Ridge both committed five errors.
“Our kids were a little flustered, but it’s a little hiccup,” Weeks said. “We’ll be fine. It was just a wild high school game.”
Tumwater scored five runs on five hits and two River Ridge errors in the fourth inning for a 6-1 lead. Tumwater’s Jace Feldmeier belted a double to drive in three runs.
Dowers and Cooper Wilson both went 2-for-3 for Tumwater. Brad Wallace went 2-for-3 for River Ridge.
Tumwater (6-4 overall, 5-3 league) plays at 4:30 p.m. today at Aberdeen and at home Friday against Black Hills.
Olympia 7, Bellarmine Prep 2: Cameron Frost went 3-for-3, drove in two runs and homered for Olympia, which led 7-0 after four innings. Olympia outhit the Lions, 11-3.
North Thurston 13, Black Hills 8: North Thurston exploded for five runs in the second inning to open a 6-0 lead.
Olympia 9, Yelm 2: Mackenzie Loete scattered five hits over seven innings, struck out six and walked one, leading the Bears to a lopsided win.
Nikki Schroeder and Emma Kelly-Glasoe both went 2-for-3 for the Bears.
“Mackenzie threw a good game,” Olympia coach Matt Loes said.
Yelm scored twice in the second inning to tie the score 2-2. But Olympia scored two in the third and three more in the fifth to pull away.
Staff writer Gail Wood contributed to this report.