Prep softball: Youth encapsulates Toledo in seeking extended postseason play


MOSSYROCK – Almost every time the Toledo High School softball team had a batter to the plate or runners reach scoring position, Jeff Davis was calling out everything.

From different situations to making sure each runner knew the number of outs, it was a clinic of coaching.

Which is what Davis believes is the fundamental part of season-opening jamborees.

“There is no substitute for getting out here and having the (game) experience,” the Riverhawks head coach said. “We’ll build on it.”

Toledo, a top-half team in the C2BL last spring, wallopped Mossyrock 11-2 and trounced Morton-White Pass 20-2 in two three-inning jamboree contests at Mossyrock High School on Saturday.

It is a young group returning to the diamond for the Riverhawks, with just four seniors and no juniors on the roster. Most of the pitching will be done by underclassmen, primarily off the hands of Peyton Holter and Brenna Carver.

“They’re gonna share a lot of ball games,” Davis said. “It is good to see them throwing strikes.”

Toledo was two games shy of reaching the state tournament, losing an elimination game to Raymond/South Bend 6-1. The Riverhawks also had a shot against Forks, with a win-and-in situation, but dropped a 4-2 heartbreaker.

Even with a lot of youth, the goals of being in the mix for a berth to Yakima remain prevalent. Toledo broke out the bats against M-WP, plating 16 runs in the top of the third inning to turn a 4-1 lead into a rout.

It was one of the aspects of the two victories that were pleasing to Davis.

“We talk all the time, let’s focus on what we can control,” he said. “We hit the ball (well) and for me, when we do have errors or pop ups, don’t hang our heads. It is a long season.”

Vikings’ mental toughness, leadership to determine season: It was a sight to behold for coach Keith Coleman last season. After losing in the opening round of the Class 1B state tournament, Mossyrock rallied off three straight victories to take third in Yakima.

“It showed at the beginning of the year, after most of them played basketball, it was like they just stepped off the diamond in Yakima,” Coleman said. “Their excitement to get back there is huge.”

With the graduation of just one senior and starter in Hailey Brooks, the Vikings have reloaded for another chance at hardware. They lost to Toledo 11-2 and their game against Morton-White Pass was called after a downpour made the field too wet.

In order for Mossyrock to get back to state, Coleman believes it will take another gear of between-the-ears fortitude. Plus, with Brooks gone, a vacancy for a leader.

“That’s where we’ll have to step up,” Coleman said.

Timberwolves have two goals this spring: To say last season was a struggle for Morton-White Pass would be an understatement. It triumphed just once in the C2BL and four times overall, more times than not giving up double digit runs.

Yet the records are the last thing on coach Derek Bowen’s mind.

“Compete and have fun, that’s ultimately what we’re trying to do,” Bowen said. “We’re just going to do our best.”

Like the other two counterparts in the jamboree, the Timberwolves feature a team filled with youth. Bowen is excited about the talent on the roster and is hopeful it can lead to a positive environment in the dugout.

“Getting better and progressing everyday,” Bowen said. “I really liked the communication out on the field.”