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Alexander: Ten 2017 stories that mattered

By in Press Enterprise on December 30, 2017

By Jim Alexander

Yes, 2017 was a turbulent year in many ways. And I’m sure there are widely divergent feelings about whether to say “goodbye” or “good riddance” to this calendar year. But there were sports moments that resonated, especially with those of us who live in Inland Southern California.

Here, then, is This Space’s 15th annual list of 10 stories that mattered:


As her Twitter handle suggested, Taylor Dockins was money inside the softball pitching circle: 33-1 as a senior for Norco High, and a CIF Southern Section record 108 career wins. Even the only loss of 2017, in the CIF championship game against Los Alamitos, didn’t dim a season that earned her multiple national player of the year awards and an invitation to the ESPYs.

We wish that were all that there was to the story. Dockins had seemed to have defeated a rare liver cancer, having a 5-inch tumor removed surgically in 2016, but at the end of June she learned the cancer had returned.

The latest news, in a Facebook post by Rick Dockins, her dad, Nov. 30 indicated that “all tumors are non viable which is just amazing news for our family,” and that she has moved up on the list for a liver transplant. And yes, she is on Cal State Fullerton’s 2018 softball roster.

Jennie Finch surprises Taylor Dockins with coffee and the @Gatorade Player of the Year award

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 7, 2017


Austin Barnes and Jake Marisnick were teammates for two seasons at Riverside Poly: 2007 and ’08, a pair of .400 hitters with Barnes a year ahead of Marisnick in school. And yeah, that was a sign of things to come.

Their reunion last October was bittersweet. Marisnick, still recovering from a thumb injury, wasn’t on the Astros’ […]    

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