High School Sports

HS softball: Teams, players, storylines to watch in 2016-17 season

Puyallup softball players (from left): Madison Besaw, Kennedy Robillard, Sophia Bjerk, and Natalie Joyner photographed in Puyallup, Wash., on Friday, March 3, 2017.
Puyallup softball players (from left): Madison Besaw, Kennedy Robillard, Sophia Bjerk, and Natalie Joyner photographed in Puyallup, Wash., on Friday, March 3, 2017. jbessex@gateline.com

TEAM TO WATCH

Puyallup was 28-0 last season before suffering its first loss, 1-0, to eventual 4A state champion Snohomish in the semifinals. It graduated two-time league MVP Emily Ensrud, but Tony Batinovich, the 25th year coach who also coaches Puyallup’s volleyball team, has plenty of pieces left to work with. There’s reigning league pitcher of the year Kennedy Robillard, league RBI leader Sophia Bjerk (a junior committed to San Diego) and leadoff hitter/Northern Colorado committ Natalie Joyner.

TOP STORYLINES

1. NEW-LOOK TAHOMA

The Bears won the 4A state title two years ago and returned to state last year despite losing standout pitcher Carley Nance to a season-ending injury. She’s now at Seattle U, coach Tom Milligan resigned, leadoff hitter Mia Corbin went to Cal and league MVP Delaney Nelson graduated, too. But first-team all-league catcher Kinzi Sanders and second-team outfielder Kaylee Hazelwood are back and playing for first-year coach Christina Millan, who played at Auburn High before heading to Wichita State.

2. WIDE OPEN OLYMPIC

Which team from the 4A NPSL Olympic steps up? Enumclaw moved in from the 3A SPSL and has won four consecutive league titles. But how does that change without two-time TNT All-Area player of the year Quinn Breidenbach? Federal Way lost Stanford signee Tally Thomas to a season-ending injury suffered in wrestling. Beamer is reloading. Maybe Auburn Mountainview makes a run behind reigning 3A SPSL all-league selections Adrianna Lomeli-Smith, Zoe Collins and Lily Hope.

3. BONNEY LAKE BOUNCEBACK

Is this Bonney Lake’s year? Brooke Nelson caught almost everyone by surprise in last year’s freshman campaign when she earned 3A SPSL player of the year, batted .696 at the plate with five home runs and had a 0.72 ERA in 107 innings, with 169 strikeouts in the circle. Now the UW commit in the 3A Pierce County League, and there’s no surprising anybody.

LEAGUE FAVORITES

4A NPSL Cascade – Tahoma

4A NPSL Olympic – Enumclaw

4A SPSL – Puyallup

3A Pierce County League – Bonney Lake

3A South Sound Conference – Yelm

2A Evergreen – W.F. West

2A SPSL Mountain – White River

2A SPSL Sound – Orting

PLAYERS TO WATCH

P

Jordan Adams

Gig Harbor

Senior

Reigning 4A Narrows MVP struck out 171 batters in 99 1/3 innings last year, and at the plate hit seven HRs.

P

Madelyn Carlson

Enumclaw

Senior

Carlson has never lost a start, posting an 18-0 record in the circle. She’s the ace pitcher since two-time TNT All-Area POY Quinn Breidenbach graduated.

OF

Ally Choate

Yelm

Senior

Led Tornados to school’s third state appearance last year. The speedy outfielder batted .566 with 20 RBIs and had an OPS of 1.352.

P

Brooke Nelson

Bonney Lake

Sophomore

Reigning 3A SPSL player of the year batted .696 with 5 HRs at the plate and had a 0.77 ERA in the circle as a freshman. UW commit. Test her at your own risk.

P/INF

Kennedy Robillard

Puyallup

Senior

Didn’t lose a game last year, going 12-0 with a 1.93 ERA in helping lead Puyallup to 4A state semifinals. 4A SPSL South pitcher of the year also batted .462.

BEST OF THE REST

4A NPSL Cascade – INF Kiana Kingsley, Kentlake, sr.; P/3B Allyson Overall, Kentlake, jr.; C/INF Rhilmina Sagapolutele, Kentwood, jr.; OF Kaylee Hazelwood, Tahoma, jr.; C Kinzi Sanders, Tahoma, sr.

4A NPSL Olympic – P/OF Zoe Collins, Auburn Mountainview, sr.; SS Brooke Dye, Auburn Riverside, so.; P/INF Autumn Lee, Auburn Riverside, so.; .; SS Sydney Victor, Decatur, jr.; C Brittany Camp, Enumclaw, sr.; Cortney Hunt, Enumclaw, jr; C/INF Hannah Togia, Federal Way, so.; P/3B/SS Leanne Bryant, Thomas Jefferson, jr.; SS/OF Raelyn Gradel, Todd Beamer, sr.; P Alex Haven, Todd Beamer, sr.

4A SPSL – OF/P Meg Sullivan, Bellarmine Prep, sr.; P Jaedyn Shaughnessy, Curtis, sr.; INF Kasey Woodruff, Curtis, jr.; INF Morgan Britton, Graham-Kapowsin, jr.; C Maddy Besaw, Puyallup, sr.; CI Sophia Bjerk, Puyallup, jr.; INF Natalie Joyner, Puyallup, sr.; INF Tayler Dawes, Rogers, sr.; INF Lauren Hatch, Rogers, jr.; SS/OF Sophia Canton, South Kitsap, sr.; OF/3B Angel Prewitt, South Kitsap, sr.

3A Pierce County League – OF Madi Pierce, Bethel, sr.; OF Eleseana Quintanar, Bonney Lake, sr.; MI Judy Soliai, Lincoln, jr.; OF Emery Norwood, Stadium, sr.; CI Kiana Turner, Wilson, sr.

3A South Sound Conference – UTIL Peyton Uznanski, Capital, jr.; MI Marissa Adams, Central Kitsap, sr.; 3B/SS Baily Paul, Peninsula, jr.; P/OF Natalie Albaugh, Shelton, so.; P Brooklyn Taylor-Sparks, Timberline, sr.; C Taylor Gubser, Yelm, so.; P Drea Schwaier, Yelm, jr.

2A Evergreen – Kassi Ward, Black Hills, sr.; Kindra Davis, W.F. West, jr.; INF Olivia Dean, W.F. West, jr.; INF Kyndra Haller, W.F. West, sr.; Lexi Strasser, W.F. West, sr.; Ashlee Vadala, W.F. West, jr.

2A SPSL Mountain – P/3B Maggie Crist, Fife, sr.; SS Kaitlynn Gain, Fife, sr.; OF Robyn Fietz, Fife, jr.; MI Kathy Le, Foss, jr.; INF Makiya Thomas, Washington, sr.; C Ashley Long, White River, sr.; SS Megan Vandegrift, White River, jr.

2A SPSL Sound – P/SS Jadeen Rivera, Clover Park, sr.;OF/SS Kylie Koszykowski, Eatonville, jr.; P McKenzie Behnke, Orting, sr.; 1B Morgan Hand, Orting, sr.; C Grace Goetsch, River Ridge, so.; C/P Kaitlyn Flugga, Steilacoom, jr.

TJ Cotterill: tcotterill@thenewstribune.com

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