The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association schedules most of the spring sports state championships on the same day. So every year, we reporters at The Columbian get sent to various locations.
I don’t know if it’s my good, clean livin’ or not, but I get my choice. Every year, I pick the 4A and 3A state softball tournaments in Tacoma.
And every year, a friend of mine asks why. Why softball?
One, it’s a great sport. Two, it also might have the most parity among girls team varsity sports. There aren’t one or two teams that might win in all at state. There usually are eight or nine teams with a chance.
Makes for great theater.
The other reason: I know I will stay busy.
Southwest Washington has to be the capital of high school softball in the state. Kelso won the Class 4A state title last year. Union and Prairie played in the 3A third-place game. Woodland finished third in the 2A tourney. And Montesano and Castle Rock played for the 1A title.
Sticking close to home, the teams in The Columbian’s readership area are constantly fighting for state trophies.
And that’s after they’ve been fighting themselves just to get to state. Last year, Union, Prairie, and Columbia River all made it to 3A state last year. This year, all three have their starting pitchers back. That’s going to make for one amazing district tournament this season.
Anyway, here is a look back on recent history for Clark County softball teams, the skinny since 2000:
- 2009: Mountain View makes the quarterfinals in the 4A tourney. … Union beats Prairie for third place in 3A tourney, with Prairie settling for fourth. Union, Prairie, and Columbia River all won first-round games and reached the championship quarterfinals. (By the way, unlike basketball and volleyball with eight places, the softball tournament only awards four places.) … Woodland finished third at the 2A tourney.
- 2008: A rare off year for the big schools. Mountain View made it to 4A state. … La Center, though, finished third in the 1A tourney.
- 2007: Mountain View goes on a magical run to the 4A championship game, finishing second. Evergreen reached the quarterfinals … La Center made it to 1A state.
- 2006: The Prairie Falcons, a year after finishing second, get the job done in the 4A title game for their state championship. This was the Falcons’ fourth consecutive trophy. Skyview also made it to the tourney. … Ridgefield advanced to 2A state.
- 2005: Prairie and Skyview each make it to the 4A semifinals. Prairie would go on to finish second. … Prairie’s title game took place at the same time as Columbia River’s 3A title game, just a field away at the SERA complex in Tacoma. Columbia River also had to settle for second place. … La Center reached the 2A quarterfinals.
- 2004: Three teams make it to 4A state. Prairie finishes fourth. Evergreen and Skyview also made it. … Ridgefield, after finishing second in two of the past three seasons, claims the 2A state championship.
- 2003: Skyview and Prairie make it to the 4A championship semifinals. Prairie would end up second at state. … Washougal advanced to the 3A quarterfinals. … Ridgefield finished second in the 2A tourney.
- 2002: Skyview takes fourth place in its first year as a 4A program. Heritage reached the quarterfinals. … The Camas Papermakers won the 3A state title, the second year in a row a team from Clark County would win this event. … Ridgefield reached the 2A quarterfinals.
- 2001: Prairie advanced to 4A state. … Skyview, in its final year as a 3A program, wins the state championship. Camas made it to the quarterfinals. … Ridgefield finished second at the 2A tourney, while Washougal took third place.
- 2000: The Prairie Falcons open the ’00s with a 4A state championship. Mountain View reached the semifinals. … Camas finished third in the 3A tourney. … Ridgefield made it to the 2A tourney.
You might have read the feature on pitcher Emily Holt of Woodland. She is a junior, but has already accepted a scholarship offer from Nebraska. She will have to wait until November to sign.
In the first week of February, she visited Nebraska as well as Tulsa. Her first choice was Tulsa, but after touring Cornhusker country, she changed her mind.
“I just felt really comfortable there,” she said.
Holt wants to study either nursing or forensic science.
Interestingly, Holt would become the second Southwest Washington athlete to sign with Nebraska in two school years.
Amy Swearer, a soccer standout, signed with the Cornhuskers in February. Swearer attends King’s Way High School and played for Skyview her senior year because King’s Way does not have a girls soccer team.
Swearer lived in Nebraska her first three years of high school.