Softball Team Preview Capsules
CLASS 4A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE
Coach: Bob Dean.
Players to watch: Sondara Cardin, so., ss; Ashley Crouse, sr., 2b; Pam Earl, sr., 1b; Alyssa Henry, jr., of-2b; Sarah Miller, so., p-of.
Team outlook: Evergreen is looking at a rebuilding year as it returns only five varsity players. New of its pitchers this year will be new to varsity. But the Plainsmen do have a lot of team speed and plays solid defense, which will keep Evergreen competitive this season.
Coach: Angie Michaelis.
Players to watch: Brooke Sorenson, sr.; Veronica Ellis, sr.; Leila Stutesman, so.; Emily Kutzera, jr.
Team outlook: The Timberwolves made a late-season push to finish second in the 4A GSHL, win the district tournament and place second at the state tournament. Now Kelso, which finished ahead of Heritage in league and at state, has gone to the 3A GSHL. Heritage returns four all-league players from last year’s team.
Coach: Alex Perry.
Players to watch: Brittney Dawson, sr.; Courtney Dawson, sr.; McKenna Spieth, sr.; Katie Hartenstein, sr.
Team outlook: The Titans lost all-league pitcher Mariah Dawson to graduation, but return seven starters from last year’s team, including three all-league players.
Battle Ground and Skyview did not submit reports
CLASS 3A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE
Coach: Ken Nidick.
Players to watch: Erin Carson, sr.; Mikaela Searight, jr.; Erin Tauscher, so.; Mariah Jimenez, sr.; Sarah Nidick, jr.
Team outlook: The Papermakers reached the state tournament for the first time in eight years last season. This year, Camas returns eight varsity players and have some good new additions. The Papermakers look to be in the mix in what figures to be a tough 3A GSHL with the addition of Kelso and Mountain View.
Coach: Ben Jatos.
Players to watch: Sara Erager, sr., c; Mason Smith, so., cf; Skyla Reyes, sr., ss; April Kluthe, jr. p.
Team outlook: The Trappers opened the season by snapping a 57-game losing streak last week. Fort Vancouver had 13 players in the program two years ago. Last year, the number went up to 38, and this season Fort has 46 players on varsity, JV and C team. So things are looking up at Fort.
Coach: Tony Christensen.
Players to watch: Ashley Sfetku, sr.; Olivia Mackey, sr; Ariel McKinnley, sr.; Dusti Blair, jr.
Team outlook: The Eagles were just one or two clutch hits away from reaching the postseason last year. Injuries played a key role in Bay’s fifth-place finish in league. But this season, the Eagles are healthy and hoping to finish in the top 4 in league. Sfetku has signed to play for Oregon Tech next season.
Coach: Bob Van Horn.
Players to watch: Kyle Gaspar, sr., cf; Sammi Rhea, sr. ss; Sabrina Kragness, sr. rf; Abby Henry, sr. c; Taylor Hale, so., 2b.
Team outlook: The Thunder have a young roster with only four seniors and two juniors. But Gaspar, Kragness and Hale were all-league players in the 4A GSHL. Two freshmen, Lauren Warner and Baylee Gaspar, could make an impact on varsity.
Coach: Dawn Rowe.
Players to watch: Grace Middelstadt, sr., of; Chantal Paradis, sr., 3b; Chelsea Creech, jr., p-of; Alyssa Nance, jr., ss; Jessica McDonald, jr. 1b; Taylor Bussey, so., 2b.
Team outlook: The Falcons have loaded up its non-league schedule with tests (Union, Rogers-Puyallup, Kentridge) to get ready for a tough battle in league. Middelstadt and Creech were first-team all-league performers last season.
Columbia River and Kelso did not submit reports
CLASS 2A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE
Coach: Scott Hemberry.
Players to watch: Raimee Sluder, so., ss; Majerle Reeves, so., c; Jessica Johnston, sr., of; Kelee Lambert, jr., of.
Team outlook: Return just four starters from a team that finished second in league last season, but they all play key positions. The team has just one senior, but some very talented sophomores on the roster.
Hockinson, R.A. Long, Washougal, Woodland did not submit reports
CLASS 1A TRICO LEAGUE
Coach: Randy Martinez.
Players to watch: Kiley Monson, sr., p; Sebrina Mills, sr., c; Kaylee Hammack, jr., inf.
Team outlook: League offensive MVP Monson leads the way for the Wildcats, who expected to battle Toledo, Ridgefield, Stevenson and Kalama for playoff berths behind league favorite Castle Rock.
Castle Rock, Ilwaco, Kalama, Ridgefield, Stevenson, White Salmon, Toledo did not submit reports