East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, July 05, 2019, Page B1, Image 9

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Friday, July 5, 2019
Mac-Hi coach
Nicole Christian
returns to EOU
Christian led the Pioneers
to two state titles
East Oregonian
Staff photo by Ben Lonergan
Kenzie Hansell will rejoin Weston-McEwen as head football coach after stepping down six years ago.
Local farmer previously
coached the TigerScots
from 2008-13
East Oregonian
aTHENa — Six years ago,
Kenzie Hansell stepped down as
head coach of the Weston-McE-
wen football team to spend more
time with his young family.
Now, his family is encouraging
him to return to the sidelines.
“i’m back,” Hansell said with
enthusiasm. “When the job came
open, my wife (Emily) told me
i needed to go for it. She said i
enjoyed it and i needed to do it. i
talked to our three kids about it,
and my brothers (luke and TJ,
they farm together). We are going
to make this work.”
Hansell, 38, replaces Travis
Glover, who posted an 8-15 mark
over the past three seasons.
“i am thrilled to be back,”
Hansell said. “it’s an honor to
be the head football coach at
Weston-McEwen. Being a coach
in athena is special on Friday
nights — that’s what you do, you
go watch the TigerScots. We are
fortunate to be able to give back to
our community.”
Hansell had coached the Tiger-
Scots for six seasons before step-
ping down after the 2013 season
when he and his wife were expect-
ing their third daughter, Cora.
With his family, school and foot-
See Coach, Page B2
la GraNdE — Nicole Christian may
be leaving Mac-Hi’s softball team, but
she’s returning to familiar
For the past 10 years,
Christian has coached some
of the best Mac-Hi soft-
ball teams in recent mem-
ory, but next spring, she’ll
don Mountaineer gear once
again to helm Eastern Ore-
gon university’s softball program.
Christian, a Class of 2000 EOu graduate,
was a shortstop for all four years of her col-
legiate softball career. She was a part of two
teams that qualified for the National Asso-
ciation of Intercollegiate Athletics finals in
1999 and 2000. Her 1999 team placed fourth
in the nation to cap off a season of 41 wins
— a program record.
Christian was also named an all-ameri-
can player both years, and still holds all-time
records for career hits (200), rBis (137), and
walks (83). Her legacy at EOu is so rich, in
fact, that she was inducted into the school’s
athletic Hall of Fame in 2013. Her team was
inducted two years prior.
She graduated EOu with degrees in
physical education and health.
“i’m so excited. i think i’m still taking
it all in,” Christian said. “i’ll be moving
back to a place i’ve always called my sec-
ond home. (la Grande) reminds me of Mil-
ton-Freewater when it comes to community
support. i love being back there. i forgot
how beautiful and it exciting it is. it’s been
an easy transition so far.”
Christian will take the reins from Erin
dickhausen, who coached the Mountaineers
for two seasons. under dickhausen, EOu
went 26-24 and reached the Naia National
Championships last year. However, they fin-
ished this season at 13-32 — its lowest win
record since 2012.
Christian led Mac-Hi to two champion-
ships in 2014 and 2015 — the program’s
only title game appearances thus far. The
Pioneers finished 2019 with a 17-9 record
and 8-4 in the Greater Oregon league. They
claimed the No. 2 spot in the conference
standings, just below the la Grande Tigers,
and made another run at the 4a state title,
falling to Banks in the quarterfinals, 6-5.
“it was amazing,” Christian said of
her time at Mac-Hi. “i met a lot of amaz-
ing young women. Most of them still have
a huge impact on my life. i’m very grateful
for having those 10 years.”
after graduation, Christian stayed in
la Grande and coached the Tigers’ softball
team for three seasons. The team went to
state three times under her guidance.
However, when her grandfather suf-
fered an injury, Christian returned to
“i never knew that i was going to come
back home,” she said, “but i’ve been there
ever since. When i moved back, i wasn’t sure
if i would be able to coach again. Things just
fell into place. We had a ton of community
support, and i’ve had a great administration
See Softball, Page B2
Another big hit from Edman lifts Cardinals past Mariners 5-4
Associated Press
SEaTTlE — Tommy Edman
barely missed a go-ahead home
run for the second straight game.
a two-run single to score what
proved to be the winning run was
good enough this time.
Matt Wieters and dexter
Fowler homered, Edman came
through with another key hit, and
the St. louis Cardinals rallied for a
5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners
on Thursday.
Edman put the Cardinals in
front for the second straight day
with a two-run single in the sev-
enth. Edman connected for a
pinch-hit three-run homer during
St. Louis’ five-run ninth in a 5-2
win Wednesday night. He nearly
went deep again, watching his
drive down the right field line for
a potential grand slam on Thurs-
day hook foul at the last moment.
rather than be bothered by the
long strike, Edman worked a nine-
pitch at-bat and capitalized with a
single to put the Cardinals in front.
“He sees the ball well, which
is awesome. you know he’s going
to give you a professional at-bat,”
Fowler said about Edman.
Wieters hit a solo shot in the
third inning and Fowler added a
two-run drive in the fourth. daniel
Ponce de Leon got his first major
league win, and Carlos Martinez
worked the ninth for his third save.
The Cardinals took two of three in
the rare interleague series.
St. louis starter Michael
Wacha was charged with four runs
and six hits in 3⅓ innings, but the
Cardinals bullpen was solid for the
second straight game. Ponce de
leon (1-0) allowed one baserun-
ner in 2⅔ innings. Andrew Miller
worked out of a jam in the eighth
before Martinez finished.
Ponce de leon said he didn’t
have a good feel for his breaking
pitches in the bullpen, but his fast-
ball was sharp.
“The main thing is to get the
fastball going. if i can get the fast-
ball going i can survive out there,”
he said.
J.P. Crawford and Tim Beck-
ham homered for the Mariners,
who have dropped six of seven.
all-Star daniel Vogelbach added a
run-scoring single.
Seattle wasted a chance to tie
the game in the eighth. The inning
started with Mallex Smith hit-
ting a liner that deflected off John
Gant’s leg for a base hit. Miller
then replaced Gant, and a single by
See Baseball, Page B2
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Seattle Mariners’ Omar Narvaez strands a pair of runners as he strikes
out swinging next to St. Louis Cardinals catcher Matt Wieters, ending the
eighth inning of a baseball game Thursday in Seattle.