Sue Sass graduation leaves a hole, but St. Helens will still be strong at state level

St. Helens High girls softball coach Jeff Edwards isn’t spending too much time worrying about what might have been for his team this past season.

The Lady Lions lost two close league games to eventual state champion Sandy (2-0, 2-1), and were eliminated in a state playoff game by Hermiston, state runner-up.

The 20-6 Lady Lions losses for the most part came against some of the state’s top teams. They lost to 6A state runner-up Glencoe 3-2 in eight innings, and the 3-1 loss to Hermiston played out over two days due to rainy weather. All of Hermiston’s runs came because of untimely St. Helens errors.

“Our defense was pretty strong and our pitching very strong,” Edwards said. “We were not very strong with timely hitting. We tried to mix it up with the short ball and that may have affected our hitting. If you’re not hitting the ball you can’t beat a good team like Glencoe.”

Mulcahy, NWOC Pitcher of the Year, got stronger as the season wore on. Seven of her 14 games, most near the end of the season, were shut-outs. She had a 19-6 record, and was 11-3 in league. She averaged 10 strike-outs per game with 140 overall in 99 innings. Edwards said most impressive was her .78 ERA. She gave up just 55 hits, and walked 25 in 25 games.

The team’s shortstop, Sue Sass, also made the second all-state team.

“She was our team leader and will be missed,” Edwards said. “She taught out young kids the way we run the program. She will be missed.”

Sass was the only senior on the team. She committed just three errors in league play and led the team with 10 RBIs and 13 hits. Her on-base percentage was .412. She also led the team in runs scored.

Also, a nice plus for St. Helens was freshman Ashley Giesbers earning all-state honorable mention.

“She batted .310 and was the fastest kid in the league. She’s fast and had a really good year running the outfield.”

The Lady Lions had four freshmen, six sophomores, three juniors, and one senior on the team this season. They were undoubtedly the youngest team in the league and one of the youngest in the state.

“I’m proud of the team and proud of the work our coaches did,” Edwards added. “All the rest is woulda, shoulda, coulda. Probably seven of our 10 players coming back are playing summer ball. We’re back to work.”

Team awards were given out this past week. Mulcahy was named the “Most Valuable,” Kali Moore “Most Inspirational,” and Karli Edwards “Most Improved.”

Edwards said he was aware that St. Helens would be a favorite in league and state next season, but said that doesn’t get them any wins or into the playoffs. Still, it’s certain that St. Helens undoubtedly will be a factor in the state race next year.

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