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Bear River softball stole the show this spring

Looking back on 2008-09: Bear River
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Everyone knew the Bear River High softball team had talent, but there were also question marks at the beginning of the spring. Who would pitch? Who would provide the leadership? And how could the Bruins put everything together for a run at a third straight section championship? Coach Duane Zauner and Bear River came up with all the answers. The Bruins made their third straight section crown look easy, though it was not. The championship game was a struggle as Bear River out-hit Oakdale by a 9-2 count, but was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Star junior Courtney Ceo provided the big hit, crushing a double to score her freshman sister Stephanie with the winning run. She called timeout just before the clutch hit. ?She said, ?I need a little more time to breathe, coach?? Zauner said. ?I said, ?Good ? take some time to breathe.? Then she stepped up to the plate and she delivered.? The Bruins suffered a 4-2 loss at Lincoln early in the PVL campaign. They rebounded with 10 straight wins to claim the league championship. Senior Kenzie Billings pitched beautifully all season while freshman Erin Nichol provided Zauner with a reliable reliever. Kathryn Rabak was an RBI machine. She finished the year with 47 runs knocked in and a .402 batting average. Junior Katie Mathis teamed up with Ceo to terrorize opposing pitchers at the top of the Bear River lineup. Look for the Bruins to contend for a fourth straight section title next year as Zauner says goodbye to just four seniors. Daniel Crossen took over on the baseball diamond at Bear River and the young Bruins had a solid 9-11 campaign. While they missed the playoffs, the Bruins posted a pair of wins over rival Colfax and beat playoff-bound Whitney to highlight their spring. Senior Brandon Johnson carried the Bear River offense, batting .467 with 13 RBIs and three home runs. Junior Morgan Juric had a strong campaign on the mound, posting a 4-3 record with a 2.86 ERA. The Bear River boys volleyball team took advantage of the first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, booking an invitation with a third place finish in the tough Sierra Foothill League-North. Senior Trevor Parker was the team?s go-to player, as the Bruins knocked off Laguna Creek in the first round of the playoffs. Bear River nearly took out West Campus in the second round before falling in five games. On the track, freshman Kendal Nielsen made noise. She was the PVL champion in the 200 meters in 26.33 seconds. Sophomore Breann Mitchell was also a PVL champion, winning the 3200.