A year after running through District 4 with little trouble, before falling in the state championship to rival Pe Ell-Willapa Valley by run-rule, the Adna softball team should be set up nicely to make a return to that game and find a different result in Yakima this season.
The Pirates entire infield returns, including a pair of pitchers that would be aces by themselves on just about any other team in the state in Karlee VonMoos and Ava Simms.
VonMoos, the Central 2B League MVP a year ago, also returns as the Pirates’ most powerful bat, with a devastating lineup that was challenged just a few times in 2022. Brooklyn Loose is back behind the plate, Danika Hallom returns at leadoff, and Kendall Humphrey should feature heavily at shortstop. Along with Brooklyn Loose and Karlee VonMoos, Natalie Loose will also be a factor, as all three are signed to play at Lower Columbia College next fall.
Outside the Pirates, the outlook is much less clear.
The reigning state champion Titans lost quite a bit of talent from a year ago, but should face little trouble in the 2B Pacific League outside of Forks. Gone is Olivia Matlock, the league MVP and all-state level pitcher that’s now starting for Saint Martin’s up in Lacey.
In her place, Lauren Emery has taken on most of PWV’s pitching duties, and has been steady through her first few starts in 2023. Sophia Milanowski and Grace Huber will also feature heavily for a new-look Titans lineup.
Rainier and Toledo, fresh off state appearances last year, also return a good amount of depth. The Riverhawks have an ace with plenty of experience in the circle in Bethany Bowen, and Abbie Marcil should continue to mash home runs over the fence.
Though the Mountaineers lost do-it-all player Bailey Elwell, if Ryleigh Cruse can hold things down in the circle, an experienced batting order featuring Olivia Earsley, Brooklynn Swenson, and Madison Mounts could make a push to make state again.
Onalaska graduated most of its senior-heavy lineup from a year ago, and will rely on the arm of Lisa Liddell in the circle and some newcomers like Randi Haight to produce at the plate.
Napavine, which has had a strong girls year in volleyball and basketball already this school year, could also make a push with just about every returnee back this year. Look out for Dani Tupuola at the plate and Cailyn Milton in the circle.
Coach: Bruce Pocklington (sixth)
2022 record: 20-3 (second at state)
Player(s) to watch: Karlee VonMoos, Brooklyn Loose, Danika Hallom
Coach: Josh Fay (fourth)
2022 record: 12-7 (districts)
Player(s) to watch: Dani Tupuola, Hannah Fay, Cailyn Milton
Coach: Jeff Davis (second)
2022 record: 18-11 (state)
Player(s) to watch: Bethany Bowen, Abbie Marcil, Mialeigh Jurica
Coach: Rich Teitzel (fifth)
2022 record: 13-5 (districts)
Player(s) to watch: Lisa Liddell, Randi Haight
Coach: Lauren Dumoulin (third)
2022 record: 6-9
Player(s) to watch: Kindyl Kelly
Coach: Derek Bowen (third)
2022 record: 3-15
Player(s) to watch: Natalia Armstrong, Emarey Hampton, Keegan Ingalsbe
Coach: Katie Qualls (first)
2022 record: 18-7 (state)
Player(s) to watch: Madison Mounts, Ryleigh Cruse, Olivia Earsley
Coach: Eric Hopfer (first)
2022 record: 20-4 (state champions)
Player(s) to watch: Sophia Milanowski, Lauren Emery, Grace Huber