Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 5:42 PM on Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mariner Highlights


Mick Wells watches his hit as it travels deep into left field at Saturday's game against Houston.

Mariners score wins against Houston, Kenai

The Mariner baseball team finished the week of conference games with two wins and a loss.

Last week Homer met with Kenai for a six-inning game pitched by Willie Deaver. Homer held the lead in the game until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Mariners let five Kardinals through home plate. The Mariners were able to get it back in the next inning, ending the game with a win 7-6.

In Friday's game against Soldotna, the Mariners kept the Stars at bay for the first four innings. The Stars were able to score six points in the last two innings, leaving Homer in the dust. The final score was 8-4 in Soldotna's favor

The Mariners had more luck during Saturday's game against Houston. At the last regular game of the season, Homer took 16 home plate touches compared to the Hawks' 7.

Deaver kept the Mariners in the game by pitching the third through sixth innings. He struck out five and also drove in three runs to tie up the game during that time. Brian Rowe pitched a scoreless seventh for Homer.

This weekend the team plays in the Regions Tournament.

Lady Mariners hold 12-5 record for the season

The girls softball team finished the week of conference games with three wins and two losses, giving them a record of 12-5 for the season.

Wednesday's game against Soldotna met the Lady Mariners with a loss 4-6.

"It was a painful loss. Our top six hitters didn't get any hits and there was a lot of confusion. It won't happen again," said Head Coach Bill Bell.

The following day, the team played Kenai for a 11-3 win. Pitcher Hannah LaRue had nine strike-outs in the six-inning game.

The big competition for the week was against Juneau last Friday where the girls lost 16-6 in a challenging game.

"Juneau is the toughest team we will play all season. I am proud of the girls for hanging in there and keeping the spirit up," Bell said. "We simply got out-hit in that game, we did not have many errors."

Saturday, the Lady Mariners played Houston for two games, winning both 17-2 in the first, and 23-2 in the second.

This is the Hawks' first year playing varsity softball. Bell said he tried to keep the scoring fairly even by having his team practice newly learned plays and techniques.

"I had the girls work on what they have been doing in practice this week such as aggressive base running and hitting the ball in a specific direction," Bell said. "Houston is still building their program. I didn't want to run up the score on them."

The school year's graduation doesn't mean the end of Homer softball quite yet. The team heads to Kodiak this weekend for two games with State Championships the following weekend in Anchorage.

Cabana, Smith make it to finals in State meet

The Mariner's track and field team came home from state competition in Fairbanks with a medal and podium stand. Tayla Cabana and Travis Smith both made it to the finals in the long jump taking forth and eighth, respectively.

Cabana's 14-foot, 8.5-inch jump landed her a place on the podium to receive a medal.

"As a team, to have a couple of athletes final, I couldn't have asked for more," said Head Coach Bill Steyer.

Cassidy Soistman and Mark McGregor also traveled to state to compete in the triple jump and 100M hurdles, respectively. They were unable to make it into the finals.

"The competition was stiff. They didn't have their best performances. They had better numbers at regions," said Steyer.

Competing at the 4A level made it difficult for Homer to take home as many wins as they could have.

"We have good athletes, but it is hard to bring them to state when we are competing against schools with 1,500 students," said Steyer.

Next year Homer High School will compete at the 3A level, against schools with 400 student populations and less.

With even competition and a new track, Steyer hopes to bring more athletes to State next year.

"We are a young team. Whenever you bring athletes to state, they get to see the commitment and hard work of their peers," said Steyer. "It is my job as a coach to transfer that to the other teammates so we can progress as a team."