Forest Grove players earn lots of accoloades after yet another successful softball season

Recognition has been given where recognition is due.

Forest Grove softball posted yet another solid season in 2013, going 21-7 overall and 10-4 in Pacific Conference play, and eight members of the squad have been rewarded by being named all-conference selections, and one also made the Class 6A all-state team.

“Overall, I was really pleased that those girls got the recognition that they deserved,” Forest Grove coach Trevor Tusow said.

Emily Peters, Shelby Turner, Leena Silvis, Molly Johnson and Iesha Johnson were all first team all-league picks, while Alexis Richey, Sarah Hess and Kira Hein all earned second team nods.

For her stellar infield play, Turner also earned honorable mention all-state honors earlier this month.

Peters, a sophomore, split time with Turner in the pitcher’s circle, and both players went 5-2 in league outings. (All-league awards were based only upon statistics from league play.) In 47 innings, Peters struck out just 11 batters, but she also gave up only nine hits and 11 runs, nine of them earned. She hit two batters, walked one and posted an earned run average of 1.34.

Turner pitched 42 innings in league play and gave up 15 runs on 15 hits while striking out 24, finishing with a 2.50 ERA. At the plate, the junior hit an impressive .489 and recorded 23 hits, 14 RBIs and 16 runs scored. Playing at first and second base when she was not pitching, Turner had 36 putouts and 26 assists.

“She definitely deserved to make that,” Tusow said about Turner’s all-state nod.

As a sophomore, in her first year playing for the varsity, Silvis batted .333 and recorded 13 hits, six RBIs and nine runs scored.

Part of the Vikings’ stellar all-senior outfield triumvirate, Iesha Johnson hit .439 and notched 18 hits, six RBIs and 11 runs scored while posting a perfect fielding average. Molly Johnson (no relation), batted .404 to go along with 19 hits, seven RBIs and 11 runs scored. Richey, the third member of the outfield, batted .233 and produced 10 hits, 11 runs and five RBIs. Like Iesha Johnson, she had a perfect fielding average in league play.

“Outfield, it never really seems to get the attention that it deserves — but our outfield play was phenomenal and kept us in so many games,” Tusow noted.

After missing most of last season due to injury and illness, Hein ended her high school career on a high note with her second team honors. An infielder, she batted .327 and produced 15 RBIs, 11 hits and eight scored runs in league play.

Hess, the squad’s sophomore shortstop, hit .333 during the conference schedule and had 14 hits and five RBIs. She also scored 12 runs.

In the first game of the season, Tusow noted, his squad committed seven errors. But the Lady Vikings, featuring a number of new players this year compared with last year’s team, eventually advanced to the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

“I think every one of those kids, all the awards they won, they’d trade it all for a chance to play in that state title game,” Tusow said. “They’re very team-oriented. That was what was really fun. They weren’t as concerned about individual stats. They were more concerned with, ‘How do we win the ballgame?’”

That team-first mentality served the Vikings well, especially after the squad lost five all-conference players to graduation in 2012.

Said Tusow:“The lack of varsity experience going into this season was, I think, what caused a lot of people to be surprised by the success we had.”

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