Olivia Matlock’s brilliant run through the state tournament, after a disappointing showing in the district title against Adna, can be simplified into two stats.
In three run-rule victories over Toledo, Rainier, and Adna, Matlock allowed no runs in 15 innings, and hit at least one home run in every game.
The more stats you add, the stronger her MVP case becomes. The Pe Ell-Willapa Valley ace allowed just nine hits, walked just three, and struck out 18 batters in those 15 innings, and went 6 for 10 at the plate with four runs scored, 10 RBIs, and four home runs.
It was just more of the same for the Titans’ star from the regular season, and the rest of her long career. A state title and MVP-level performance was just the cherry on top.
“I just had to attack the batters one pitch at a time,” Matlock said of her state title performance, a shutout, five-inning 11-0 run-rule win over Adna. “Don’t worry about what's coming, just worry about the current thing.”
After one of the toughest outings of her career in the first inning against Adna in the district championship, a 14-13 loss, Matlock had a point to prove.
“She felt a responsibility after that district game,” PWV coach Ken Olson said. “She put us on her back and got us the championship, along with all her teammates. She had a point to prove, that she was worthy and could get over the hump with Adna and she certainly did it.”
Matlock batted .710 on the season with 38 runs scored, 52 RBIs, and 12 home runs. In the circle, she was equally dominant, striking out 124 batters in 80 ⅔ innings pitched with 28 walks and a 2.08 ERA.
Against the numbers and historic highs achieved from across Lewis and South Thurston counties, Matlock stood above the rest.
One of the most dominant pitchers in the region, Matlock struck out a batter and a half per inning, proving nearly unhittable at times. When she did run into trouble, she found ways to escape it.
“She’s a great practice player,” Olson said. “When she comes to practice, she’s committed to a couple hour practice to give it everything she’s got. Any player that can do that, she’s ready to go. She gets disappointed if we have too loose of a practice. She works hard. Harder than anybody I’ve coached in a long time. She’s the real deal.”
At the plate, she was equally, or maybe more dangerous. The senior’s knack for the big moment came in clutch several times throughout the season.
“Everytime she came to the plate, everybody that was around knew she could hit it out at any time,” Olson said. “When she strikes the ball, she does it with force. She doesn’t hit a weak line drive or home run.”
Headed to St. Martin’s next season to play softball at the next level, Matlock will look to keep it rolling as one of the most dominant players to come from the Chronicle’s coverage area in recent memory.
One of the strongest softball areas in the entire state, The Chronicle picked 15 girls to represent as the area’s best from the 2022 season. Read the list below.
Emily Baxter, Tenino
Yet another MVP from the Chronicle’s coverage area, Baxter struck out 205 in 128 innings with a .187 batting average against and a 2.25 ERA. The Beaver senior took home Defensive MVP honors of the 1A Evergreen League for her strong season.
Hailey Brooks, Mossyrock
Boasting the top average in the Chronicle’s coverage area, Brooks hit an absurd .722 with 22 walks drawn and 39 runs scored. The Vikings’ star had a ridiculous on base percentage of .823, helping Mossy win the 1B Columbia Valley League.
Alex Cleveland-Barrera, Onalaska
Locking down runner-up honors in the C2BL, the Loggers were led at the plate by senior Cleveland-Barrera, who hit .679 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs. Proving a strong third base, the senior also committed just six errors over 23 games played in 2022.
Kamy Dacus, W.F. West
The 2022 2A Evergreen Most Valuable Player, Dacus was again stout in her final season at Chehalis, pitching all but seven innings for the Bearcats en route to a third-place finish at state, a 2.09 ERA, 215 strikeouts with just 30 walks.
At the plate, Dacus wasn’t too shabby either, batting .435 with 13 doubles, six homers, and 35 RBIs.
Layna Demers, Rochester
Demers came on strong for the Warriors at the end of the season, proving to be a strong force in the circle and at the plate as a freshman for a Rochester squad making its first trip to state in over two decades.
She batted .364 with 32 hits, 27 RBIs, and a team-high six home runs at the plate, and added 47 ⅔ innings in the circle with 53 strikeouts and a 2.50 ERA.
Bailey Elwell, Rainier
The other co-MVP of the C2BL, Elwell pitched almost every inning for the Mountaineers, striking out 209 with 47 walks and a 4.84 ERA. Elwell’s bat was just as strong, with four home run shots, 30 RBIs, 35 runs scored on a .547 average.
Lakota Escott, Rochester
Escott was one of the Warriors’ most consistent performers this season, earning first team all league honors and batting .440 with 40 hits, 24 RBIs, and a home run in 2022. Escott also pitched the most innings for Rochester, striking out 78 in 71 ⅔ innings.
Danika Hallom, Adna
Just a freshman, Hallom was one of Adna’s most consistent hitters in the leadoff spot, batting .522 with 34 runs scored, 17 RBIs, and three home run shots. The freshman is also a heralded outfielder, with multiple league coaches commending her strong arm and stellar play in the outfield.
Savannah Hawkins, W.F. West
One of the most dangerous bats in 2A softball this season, Hawkins hit .494 with 12 home runs, 39 RBIs, and 37 runs scored as a dominant force at the plate. The junior was also one of the most disciplined batters in the state, drawing a walk 18 times, and striking out just seven times in 104 plate appearances.
Brooklyn Loose, Adna
One of the top catchers in the state, Loose also co-led the Pirates in home runs with seven, and smacked home 29 RBIs with 18 runs scored all on a .483 average.
Loose rarely committed a mistake and didn’t allow many steals, with a .982 fielding percentage behind the plate and just three errors.
Abbie Marcil, Toledo
Toledo found ways to stay alive in the postseason, coming in underseeded in most of its matchups, but playing on the final day of the season and being one win shy of the placing round. Marcil was a big part of that, as coaches around the C2BL said she was one of the top catchers in the area.
Marcil also hit eight home runs, 10 doubles, nine triples on a .609 batting average.
Ella Orr, Centralia
One of the Tigers most rock-steady hitters at the leadoff spot, Orr finished with 29 hits, 21 runs scored and a home run on a .408 average for Centralia, earning a first team all 2A EvCo honor.
Raegan Portmann, PWV
One of the defensive anchors of an experienced PWV squad, Portmann had a 93% fielding percentage with a team-high 24 assists and just three errors in 24 games.
The senior’s bat also proved huge, with three home run blasts, 29 RBIs, 33 runs scored on a .580 batting average.
Dani Shannon, PWV
Key to the Titans title run, Shannon pitched most innings that Matlock didn’t, totaling 27 strikeouts and just six walks in 28 ⅓ innings pitched. But her bat is where the senior really stepped up late, hitting three homers, 23 RBIs, scoring 31 runs, all on a .532 batting average.
Karlee VonMoos, Adna
Another Lewis County MVP, VonMoos took home co-honors in the Central 2B, hitting .613 with seven home runs, 33 runs scored, and 36 RBIs as the league’s most dangerous and powerful bat.
VonMoos also pitched the most innings for the district champ and state runner-up Pirates this year, with 65 strikeouts, a 93% fielding percentage and a 2.69 ERA.