The 2019 high school softball season is in full swing. Here are a few teams and athletes to keep an eye on this spring.
Bonney Lake: The Panthers won the 2018 Class 3A state title, beating Snohomish in the championship game. Bonney Lake has started 9-2 overall and gone 5-0 in the 3A PCL. The Panthers are led by UW signee Brooke Nelson, The News Tribune’s 2018 All-Area player of the year.
Yelm: The Tornados took a hit with the loss of pitcher Drea Schwaier to graduation, who guided the squad to the Class 3A state tournament in 2018. But Yelm returns senior pitcher Tayelyn Cutler, who posted a 0.80 ERA while hitting .441 in 2018. Yelm earned a 5-4 win over Gig Harbor on April 10 to move to 5-0 in the SSC.
Puyallup: Vikings advanced to the Class 4A state tournament quarterfinals in 2018, and have posted a 9-0 overall record and a 6-0 mark in the 4A SPSL. Puyallup returns senior pitcher Sidney Booth, a Northwest Nazarene commit who posted a 13-3 record and a 1.89 ERA a season ago, and junior outfielder Olivia Ellison, who hit .535.
Rogers: The Rams advanced to the Class 4A state tournament a season ago and are currently in second place in the 4A SPSL behind Puyallup. Rams return junior UW commit Raigan Barrett.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brooke Nelson, Bonney Lake: The News Tribune’s 2018 All-Area player of the year led the Panthers to the Class 3A state title a season ago, hitting .756 and posting a 0.79 ERA with 306 strikeouts. She is a three-time league MVP.
Raigan Barrett, Rogers: The junior UW commit posted a .522 batting average and 1.144 slugging percentage for the Rams a season ago, hitting 11 home runs, 15 doubles and four triples.
Sidney Booth, Puyallup: The senior pitcher struck out 139 batters in 100 innings with a 13-3 record and 1.89 ERA in 2018. Also hit .521 with six home runs and 39 RBI.
McKenna Braegelmann, Stadium: The junior struck out 226 batters and compiled a 0.50 ERA a season ago, guiding the Tigers to the Class 3A state tournament.
Brynn Nelson, Bonney Lake: She might be a bit overshadowed by older sister, Brooke, but the younger Nelson made a name for herself as a freshman last season, hitting .581 with 34 RBI and 33 runs scored.