By David Krueger and Aaron Lommers Herald Writers
Arlington, Sr., C
With a lot of the attention on the return of Arlington’s star pitcher, Ronnie Ladines, her battery mate has also had a huge season for the Eagles. Amundson, who has been catching for Ladines since Little League, is another key part of Arlington’s success this year.
“She’s hitting about .430. She’s caught every game. She’s the backstop for the team,” said Arlington head coach Dan Eng.
Amundson has 22 RBI this season and 12 doubles, according to Eng. The return of Ladines to the lineup has helped give the Eagles a batting order that no team is excited about facing.
Behind the plate, Eng lets Amundson call her own games. The first-year Arlington coach is back after retiring from the job about three years ago, which happened to be Amundson’s — and Ladines’ — freshman year.
“And they were a force then,” Eng said.
Snohomish, Jr., OF
The Panthers junior can do just about anything. She set the school record last season batting .556 and followed that up this season by crushing her own record, finishing the regular season with a .682 average. Head coach Lou Kennedy said at one point about halfway through the season, Melhart’s average was so high that she went 3-for-4 in a game and her average actually dropped. She has developed into a player that can hit for power in the gaps or a slap hitter that can reach base with her incredible speed (Melhart leads the team in steals and the league in triples).
“She came in her freshman year and she blew up the hitting record (at Snohomish) by about 100 points,” Kennedy said. “Can she repeat? Yeah. The next year she broke it by another hundred and this year it looks like it is going to go to another hundred. She just keeps getting better.”
Snohomish, Sr., OF
As a senior, Pisac is the leader on the Panthers. Kennedy said she has earned the respect and admiration of her teammates, who follow her lead. Pisac compliments her teammate Trysten Melhart well, hitting for both power and average. She enters the postseason with a .525 average and like Melhart has no errors in the Panthers’ outstanding outfield. “Bottom line is Anna is the absolute leader — mentally, physically; the girls would follow her off a cliff,” Kennedy said, “She is absolutely the one that everyone turns to, not just for bit hits or big events, but for the mental side.”
Marysville Pilchuck, Sr., P
Haley Fritz’s senior year wasn’t quite what she expected. The senior co-captain envisioned her final year at Marysville Pilchuck playing shortstop, her preferred position.
But Tomahawks’ coach Aaron Zachry, desperate for a pitcher after the graduation of Moncia Clow, had something else in mind.
“We graduated our pitcher last year so she’s stepped up and took the ball and pitched for us,” Zachry said. “We had a sit down at the beginning of the season and told her where we were at. … She didn’t want to pitch. She’s a shortstop and that’s what she wanted to do. She said, ‘I don’t want to pitch. But if this team needs me to pitch, I’ll pitch as much as you need me to.’ I was really proud of her for that.”
So Fritz, who hadn’t pitched since eighth grade, took the mound. She went 9-4 with a 2.71 earned-run average and 88 strikeouts. Fritz has also had a strong season at the plate, finishing with a .609 average with 10 doubles and two home runs and a slugging percentage over 1.000.
Cascade, Jr., P
On a team that finished the year 18-2 it’s hard to pick one player who stood out above the rest. Makinlee Sellevold has made that a bit easier for this year’s Cascade team, which finished first in Wesco South 4A.
Offensively, Sellevold shined with a .556 batting average, 14 doubles, five home runs, 30 RBI and 21 runs scored. She leads the team with 10 stolen bases and has only struck out once. It’s a far cry from the batters she faces while pitching, who have fanned 149 times while the junior has gone 15-2 on the mound.
“She’s been vital to the team,” said Bruins’ head coach Kelly Ross. “Obviously, they all pull it together, but she’s leading the team offensively and defensively with pitching. She’s taken us a long way so far. Hopefully, that continues into the end of the month.”
Sellevold is one of eight juniors on the Cascade team that has played together for most of their young careers. Ross said that bond has helped the team be successful.
“It makes the team that much closer,” Ross said.
Meadowdale, Sr., P
The Mavericks senior has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the area this season. She posted a 16-2 record with a 1.94 earned run average and 118 strikeouts versus just 10 walks this season.
Not only is she one of the better pitchers, but she is also one of the most dangerous hitters in Wesco 3A, leading the league in doubles with 15.
Mavericks head coach Dennis Hopkins said her desire and determination is what makes Reuble, who has committed to Seattle University, the player she is. “Everything she does is team oriented, but she truly wants to be the best that she can be,” Hopkins said. “She is a true leader and treats everybody equally no matter if they are a junior sophomore or freshman. They are all equal in her eyes.”