Local players in regional and national tournies
A little summer experience bodes well for the St. Helens High softball team next season, and 11 members or future members of the team did quite well.
The most impressive summer showing came from two incoming freshmen, Mariah Mulcahy and Michelle Sass.
The two soon-to-be ninth graders were on the NW Blaze 14A team that finished third out of 98 teams at Western Nationals in Roseville, Calif., Aug. 1-7.
Mulcahy, a pitcher and outfielder, pitched 20-1/3 innings in the tournament, including wins in two 1-0 games. She has a spectacular 1.01 earned run average. Sass was the catcher for most of the tournament, catching eight of the nine games.
The Blaze lost one game in pool play, but then went through the double-elimination bracket unbeaten until there were just two teams left. They lost a 2-1 game, and then had to play the last remaining team from the loser's bracket. They lost that game 12-11 in 11 innings. Mulcahy didn't pitch in the contest, as she was being saved for the championship if they had won. They would have had to win twice to claim the title.
It was a lot of summer ball for the team. They played 80 games and had a 61-19 record.
Both will also play some fall ball. Mulcahy gets pitching instruction year round. She plans on playing basketball during the winter season as well. Both girls are expected to contend for varsity spots next season.
Two other St. Helens players, Stevie Strawn and Karli Edwards, played on the Oregon Thunder 14A Eastman team. Both were also on the high school varsity squad last year.
The team went to the 103-team national tournament in Midland, Texas.
Their team played under extreme heat conditions, but did fairly well in the tournament. With an ongoing drought in Texas, fields were under water restrictions and the temperature exceeded 100 degrees every day.
The Thunder finished 65th overall, going 3-4, counting practice games and 2-3 in pool and bracket play. They lost their last game 9-8.
Four other local players were on the Oregon Thunder 16A Brown team that attended a Western Nationals tournament in Kent, Wash. The team went 4-3, finishing in the top 25. St. Helens players included Payton Albertson and Brooke Cathers. Cassie Hoglund and Lexi Courtney of Scappoose were also on that team.
St. Helens catcher Jessica Sanchez played on the 18A Oregon Silver Bullets team that went 2-4 at Western Nationals at Delta Park.
The Wolfpack, a 14B team, finished ninth of 44 teams at Western Nationals in Spokane, Wash. The team was 4-3 overall. Playing on the team were ninth graders Taylor Leal, Alyssa Giesber, and Elizabeth Ziegler, and eighth-grader Ashley Giesber.