HS softball: Notes and top players from Clark County squads

Camas likely favorite in 4A GSHL, while 2A GSHL should be crazy competitive

There was a spring break. Then there was the break after spring break for area high school softball teams.

Oh, some teams got a game in last week. Maybe two. But for the most part, weather won the week.

It is supposed to rain early this week, too.

But don’t worry softball fans. Still four weeks to go to get league play completed. So once the weather does clear, look for a lot of softball.

In preparation, here are notes on most of the softball teams from Clark County.


Class 4A Greater St. Helens League

Camas (6-3, 1-0 GSHL)

“A tremendous amount of hard work by the girls were were trying to make the varsity team this year, coming up from the JV. Just a tremendous work ethic,” Camas coach Dale Lunde said, referring to what he has learned about his team this season. “These girls put in extra time. We’re working on all kinds of things.”

Not just the up-and-coming players, too.

“A lot of the kids have hitting coaches or pitching coaches. I understand that. But the girls are buying in to what (assistant coach) Brandy (Reed) and I are trying to work on,” Lunde said.

With Kennedy Ferguson in the pitching circle, it often is the case that Camas just needs a few runs here and there to secure a victory. Lunde said the Papermakers are working on hitting to the opposite field, manufacturing runs.

“Their hard work is starting to pay off,” the coach said. “I see good things happening this year.”

Top players:
Kennedy Ferguson: Has 95 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched with a 1.24 ERA. Also has team-highs with three home runs and a .526 batting average.

Kyli Obermiller: Batting .500 with six extra-base hits. Scored 10 runs in her eight games.

Payton Bates: A team-high 18 RBI to go with .500 average.

Katie Hancock: Team-high 11 runs scored.


Skyview Storm (2-4, 1-0 GSHL)

“Our pitchers are doing a good job of keeping us close in the games. We will need run support, and we will need to play great defense to win,” Skyview coach Kim Anthony said. “The team is a bit more quiet than years past, but I see them as (steady) team that should play pretty consistently.”

Top players:
Nicole Christensen: Hitting .500 with 3 HRs.
Sierra Kilmer: Hitting .600 with 1 HR.
Mikelle Anthony: Hitting .473 with 1 HR.
Abby Fischer: Hitting .380 with 1 HR.


Battle Ground (2-5, 1-1 GSHL)

“I have learned that this team is resilient. We have played some tough teams this preseason and even though we haven’t gotten the wins that we wanted, we have put up some tough fights,” Battle Ground coach Arielle Wiser said. “I think having a competitive preseason has better prepared us for our league games.

“We definitely have some things to continue to work on and sharpen up, but I’m confident it will come together.”

Top players:
Grace Stillman: Hitting .500 with a .577 on-base percentage. Catcher has not allowed a passed ball.

Morgan Stradley: Hitting .409 and also has a .924 fielding percentage at shortstop.

Hannah Starnes: Hitting .350 with a .455 on-base percentage.


Union Titans (1-4, 0-0)

“Union is getting better every day, and we are looking to grab a playoff spot at the end of the season,” Union coach Patty Turner said.

Top players:
Kaelani Gamble: Hitting .650 with an OPS of 1.832.
Maleya Burns: Hitting .550 with an OPS of 1.741.


Heritage Timberwolves (5-4, 0-2 GSHL)

“We have a great group of seniors who have worked hard since their freshman year to get to where they are,” Heritage coach Angela Michaelis said. “Defense will be important for us to be successful this season.”

Top players:
Lori Villa: Hitting .500 with 4 HRs and 22 RBI.
Anna Chaika: Hitting .571 with 15 RBI.
Ashlyn Fleek: Hitting .346 with 1 HR and 9 RBI.
Shelley Gracey: Has an on-base percentage of .893.
Gracie Northrup: Hitting .500 with 4 RBI.


Class 3A Greater St. Helens League

Mountain View (3-3, 1-0 GSHL)

“As we head into the stretch run of the season, I have learned that our focus on team bonding and chemistry has improved our team culture,” Mountain View coach Mandy Busby said. “Our team is confident and everyone is contributing and young players are stepping up. You can’t count us out until the last out. We have come from behind in most of our wins.”

Top players:
Serena Fogg. Hitting .533 and is perfect on defense in center field.
Sydney Brown: Sophomore at third base is hitting .318.
Saydee Christenson: Junior lead-off hitter is hitting .667.
Maelynn Ocampo: Hitting. 429.


Prairie Falcons (4-4, 1-0 GSHL)

“I have learned that it is important to allow the girls to be themselves on the field. Embracing their unique personalities and allowing them to be themselves has really made the team atmosphere great,” Prairie coach Mariah Dawson said. “Keeping our practices both fun and serious is something that is very important. We oftentimes take 30 minutes at the end of practices in the gym to play dodgeball for team bonding. The girls really enjoy it.”

Top Players:
Kylee Snider: Hitting .429 with 2 HRs, 6 RBI.
Ashley Shelton: Hitting .429 with 4 RBI.
Carley Wentworth: Hitting .389 with 4 RBI.
Hailey St. Peter: Did not play early in the season but is hitting .667 since her return.
Olivia Myers: Did not play early in the season but pitcher had 11 strikeouts in her first game.


Evergreen Plainsmen (1-9, 0-1)

“I have learned that a tough offense is the key to success for us this season. We have a very talented group of young ladies, but we are not where we want to be yet,” Evergreen coach Kadi Henderson said. “We have been practicing hard, and hopefully by the end of the season we will reach our goals that we have made.”

Top players:
Katelynn Sagendorf
Hailey Dehaven
Alexis Henderson


Fort Vancouver Trappers (0-6, 0-1 GSHL)

“It’s been a unique situation,” Fort Vancouver coach Erick Johnson said. “We have five seniors, six freshmen, and only two in between, so big age difference. Leaders are beginning to emerge and lead by example. Kids are beginning to hold themselves accountable. Showed signs of great play but have been very inconsistent.”

Johnson added that there is one huge positive about this group.

“We’ve turned a corner where kids want to practice instead of have to practice,” he said. “I expect a much better second half of the season.”

Top players:
Camryn Jurich: Hitting .500 with a 1.373 OPS.
Mikki Sanchez: Hitting .455.
Aliyah Schlegel: Hitting .333.
Abigail Ayala-Cordova: Pitcher has 11 strikeouts.


Hudson’s Bay Eagles (1-8, 0-2)

The Eagles have had their struggles but have also been in some exciting game. They won a one-run game when they scored 15 runs, and they have lost a one-run game after scoring 14 runs.


2A Greater St. Helens League

Woodland Beavers (6-0, 0-0)

“I think we are good enough to compete with anybody, but I know there are a lot of solid teams in our league. I am excited to see how we stack up against them,” Woodland coach Tom Christensen said.

“I am happy about where our hitting, defense, and pitching are right now, but know we need to continue to improve all aspects of our game as the season goes on.”

Top players:
Olivia Grey: Now with 78 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched and has not given up an earned run.
Maddi Bunger: Hitting .600 with 4 RBI.
Payten Foster: Hitting .500 with 9 RBI.
Kelly Sweyer: Hitting .474 with 7 RBI.


Columbia River (5-2, 0-0)

“We are in one of the most talented leagues at any level. The league is deep in pitching, including our own staff,” coach Carrie Kosderka said, noting she has three who can start at any time.

“The River team will compete until the last league game to bring home another league title. Our girls are committed to developing in their skill as a team every day. I am amazed at their level of commitment and their openness to a new coaching staff.

“We do have several starting freshmen, but they are all talented and wanting to step up in any way possible. We have depth and great spirit.”

Top players:
Andrea Hoey
Gabby Collins
Cassie Baldion
Mekenah Jackson
Lillian Franke


Hockinson Hawks (5-0, 0-0)

“Hockinson softball has a strong team this year. They work well together. It’s not about the seniors or about the freshmen, but about the 12 players who are there for each other,” Hockinson coach Mike Steuben said.

Top players:
Abby Runyon: Has 68 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched with a 0.91 ERA. She is hitting .389.
Amber Griffith: Power hitter is batting .500.

Ellie Skinner: Batting .474.
Jenna Remenar: Batting .429 with 9 RBI.


Ridgefield Spudders (5-1, 0-0)

“This year’s team is playing with a bit more confidence than they did last year,” Ridgefield coach Dusty Anchors said. “Their goals are set high after being to to state last year and getting a taste.”

It will not be easy, though, to return.
“We know that the league is likely one of the top 2A leagues in the state and all seven teams are batting for one of the four playoff spots,” the coach said.

Top players:

Kaia Oliver: The 2017 2A GSHL MVP is back in the pitching circle.
Calli Martin
Sarah Jenkins
Emma Jenkins
Lily Mittman
Kekai Schultz


Washougal Panthers (2-2, 0-0)

“The girls are courageous,” Washougal coach John Carver said. “When the varsity and JV teams lost what would have been the starting pitcher at each level due to injuries … other girls have stepped up to take on the challenge of completing the pitching duties. Players are showing coaches their cooperation and the desire to put team ahead of self.

“We must keep working hard, play together, and stay supportive as we head to the end of the season,” the coach added.

Top players:

Dana Martin
Ryenn Soule, RBI leader
Josalyn Godwin
Keanna Macrae-Smith
Maggie Hungerford

 


Trico League

La Center Wildcats (0-4, 0-0 Trico)

“This year is very different from the last few years at La Center. We have a very young and inexperienced team that is working hard to improve,” La Center coach Randy Martinez said.

“I am impressed with how well our few experienced players have taken to mentoring and helping the young players. Our goal is to be playing our best at the end of the season, heading into districts.”

Top players:

Ceanna Johnston: Hitting .333.
Coral Clark: Hitting .273.
Macy Randolph: Hitting .364.
Sydney Mairose: Leads the team with 5 RBI.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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