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St. Helens softball players have busy summer

Severa Lady Lions qualify for state, regionals, and national tourneys
by: John Brewington Karli Edwards is one of several St. Helens players headed to ASA Nationals or Western Nationals early next month.

Most coaches will tell you that the more players play, the better they become.

St. Helens High School head softball coach Jeff Edwards buys into that and has much of his team playing on one summer team or another. That includes some incoming freshman that will join the program this coming school year.

'I'm excited that we have this many kids playing in the ASA teams. It's going to help the program,' Edwards said.

Several players qualified for various national tournaments.

Karli Edwards and Stevie Strawn, both sophomores, are playing on the 14 and Under A division Oregon Thunder Eastman team. Karli plays second base and pitches, and Strawn is an outfielder. The Oregon Thunder team is travelling to Midland, Texas, to play in the national championship, Aug. 1-10. The team qualified twice for championship. They took second in a tournament in Centralia, Wash., and fourth in the Oregon state tournament. At a four-team round-robin tournament last weekend at Campbell Park, the team went 2-0-1 to take top honors. Jeff Edwards put on the 'Western Warm-Up' to give teams a little practice before going on to the Western Nationals and Regional Nationals. Karli threw a 17-1 win in one game, the team tied after nine in another game, and won 5-1 over OC Nightmare.

Two incoming freshmen, Mariah Mulcahy and Michelle Sass are playing for the 14A Northwest Blaze. Mulcahy is a pitcher and an outfielder, while Sass is a catcher and outfielder. The team also qualified for nationals in Midland, but has opted to play in Western Nationals in Roseville, Calif., Aug. 1-7.

Another player, Sue Sass, will be a junior next season, but missed last year because of knee surgery. She plays on the Sherwood Fireballs Gold team and they qualified for Premier Nationals in Huntington Beach, Calif. Sass, however, has restricted playing time because of the surgery and will not attend.

Payton Albertson, a senior, and Brooke Cathers, a junior, are playing on the 16A Oregon Thunder Brown team. That squad took sixth in state and qualified for Western Regionals in Kent, Wash., Aug. 1-7. Both players are pitchers, while Albertson also plays in the infield, and Cathers in the outfield.

St. Helens' catcher Jessica Sanchez is playing on the 16A Silver Bullets. They took fifth in state and qualified for regionals in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The team may also play in Western Nationals at Delta Park, Aug. 1-8.

Katie Warner, a junior, and Michaella Ziegler, a senior, have been playing on the 16B Orange Crush. The team had a 13-3 record over the summer. Warner is a pitcher and infielder, while Ziegler plays both infield and outfield.

Three freshmen, Taylor Leal, Alyssa Giesber, and Elizabeth Ziegler played for the 14B Wolfpack team that took third in state and qualified for Western Nationals in Spokane, Wash., Aug. 1-7. Ashley Giesber, an eighth-grader, played outfield on the team. Leal is a catcher and infielder, Alyssa Giesber a third baseman and catcher, and Ziegler an outfielder.

Amella Burbank, a senior, played infield and outfield for the Aloha Breeze this summer. Kayla Beeler, a senior, was also picked up by the Oregon Thunder Brown, a 16A team for a recent tournament.

Two other freshmen, Courtney Anderson, and Kelsey Ansotegui, played on the 14B CC Outlaws. Anderson plays first and third, and Ansotegui pitches and plays in the outfield.

In all that gives Edwards 16 players out for summer ball, and 11 of them qualified for Western Nationals, Nationals or Regionals.