Adna vying for back-to-back state titles


The Adna Pirates are no strangers to 2B softball’s biggest stage.

Since 2008, the Pirates have made the state title game nine times, and they’ve won five of those titles.

They’ve accomplished nearly all there is to do in the last 15 years, except for one thing — they haven’t won back-to-back state championships since 1994 and 1995.

That is the goal of this year’s team, which heads into the state tournament off last year’s title run and a District 4 Championship this spring. Adna coach Bruce Pocklington noted after the title game that while winning a district title is great, it doesn’t guarantee success in Yakima.

“It’s satisfying,” Pocklington said. ““But at the same time, whoever wins district hasn’t won state in a while.”

The last District 4 champion to go on to win state was Pe Ell-Willapa Valley, which did it in 2017. Adna last did it in 2015, when it defeated Napavine in the state title game.

The Pirates certainly have the ability to go back-to-back.

Ava Simms sat out the district title game with a sore knee, but she is expected to be ready to go on Friday in Yakima.

The junior has struck out 173 batters in just under 100 innings, posting a 1.57 ERA while also adding a .516 average, eight home runs, and 43 RBIs at the plate.

She’s one of six Pirates with 20 or more hits, and one of nine Pirates with 10 or more RBIs.

The depth of the Adna lineup has been key throughout the season, as Pocklington commended the bottom half of his lineup often in the district tournament.

“Again, we got through our bottom half to get to our top half,” Pocklington said after the district title game.

Among area teams trying to spoil Adna’s repeat attempt is Pe Ell-Willapa Valley, which earned the No. 8 seed and will face Northwest Christian (Colbert) in the first round. The winner of that will face Adna in the quarterfinals.

The Titans were lifted to the state tournament thanks to two key home runs in the district tournament. 

Karli Phelps provided the first, giving PWV a sixth-inning lead in a loser-out game against Raymond-South Bend, and Addison Merkel kickstarted a sixth-inning rally in a winner to state game against Toledo.

Toledo will also be in Yakima as the No. 10 seed, and they’ll face Ocosta in the first round. The winner of that game will get No. 2 Okanogan.

It’s a rematch of a district quarterfinal that Toledo won 1-0 in nine innings. 

Freshman Peyton Holter has been stellar in the circle all season long, posting a 16-4 record with 134 strikeouts in 117 innings.

Mossyrock will be the area’s 1B representative in Yakima, as the Vikings earned the No. 5 seed in the eight-team bracket. They’ll face Colton in the first round.

The Vikings cruised to a district title by rolling over Wishkah Valley and Naselle in the district tournament.