After missing out on the 2020 season due to cancellations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, high school softball teams in Snohomish County delivered a memorable 2021 season.
Six different teams finished with at least 10 wins in a campaign that featured plenty of tight games with down-to-the-wire finishes.
Here’s a look at some of the top teams and moments from the season:
The Knights closed the season with an eight-game winning streak on their way to securing the best record in Wesco at 11-2. Kamiak’s season-ending streak included a run of three straight victories in tightly contested battles with local powers Lakewood, Glacier Peak and Jackson. The 11 wins nearly matched Kamiak’s total of 12 wins from 2019 when the team played 10 more games than it did this season.
Kamiak’s successful campaign was highlighted by a strong pitching staff that helped Kamiak finish with a league-best 1.7 runs allowed per game. Senior Katelyn Sonnichsen led the way with a 10-2 record and 1.38 earned-run average over 66 innings pitched. She struck out 108 batters and walked just 11. Freshman Ally Bulger struck out 22 and allowed just three walks and one hit over 11 scoreless innings.
Senior shortstop Jadyn Bushnell, sophomore outfielder Sammy Porter and freshman first baseman Scarlett Chapman highlighted a Kamiak offense that averaged 6.9 runs per game. Bushnell hit .472 with eight extra-base hits, 10 RBI and 14 runs scored. Porter hit .481 with two doubles, six RBI and 11 runs scored in 30 at-bats. Chapman hit .400 with a team-high 18 hits, four extra-base hits, nine RBI and nine runs scored. She also allowed just two unearned runs over 11 innings pitched.
The Timberwolves showed once again that they’re one of the top program’s in the area with a team that looked far different than the ones that won back-to-back Class 4A state titles in 2018 and 2019. Jackson (10-3) won its first nine games before losing three of its last four by a combined four runs during a challenging final stretch. The Timberwolves allowed more than three runs only once this season.
Freshman shortstop Rachel Sysum slugged six home runs and hit .349 with a team-best 24 runs driven in. She also hit three doubles, scored 15 runs and had five stolen bases. Junior third baseman Kalia Zellmer hit .390 with seven extra-base hits and six RBI, and senior first baseman Amanda Wingert hit .361 with three extra-base hits and 10 RBI.
Freshman Yanina Sherwood fanned nearly two batters an inning as she racked up 156 strikeouts in 80.2 innings pitched. She posted a 10-3 record with a 1.21 ERA. Her efforts helped Jackson finish second in Wesco in fewest runs allowed at 1.9 per game.
The Cougars made a smooth transition into Wesco play this season on their way to a 10-3 record. Lakewood started off the season in dramatic fashion when senior Ashtyn Falor delivered a walk-off home run to beat Lake Stevens 4-3 in the season opener, one of two victories the team earned over the Vikings this season.
The Cougars finished the year in the top half of the conference in runs scored (6.9) and fewest runs allowed (2.7) per game. Two the team’s three losses came against Kamiak, which finished the season with the best record in Wesco.
The Tomahawks went 10-3 this season behind a potent offense that led Wesco with 9.2 runs per game this season. Marysville Pilchuck scored six runs or more in all 10 of their wins, including six games of 13 or more runs. The team started the season with eight straight wins before hitting a three-game slide that started with a shutout loss to perennial powerhouse Jackson. The team rebounded to win its final two games of the season.
Marysville Pilchuck also led the league in run differential with an average of plus-5.9.
The Grizzlies earned shutout victories in each of their first four games this season and finished 10-3. They split two-game series against conference powers Jackson, Snohomish and Kamiak. Glacier Peak’s second half of the season came with a pair of dramatic victories via walk-off home runs by senior Makayla Miller and sophomore Ashleigh Wojcik. The team’s three losses came by a combined four runs.
Miller, a two-way standout, mashed 12 extra-base hits, including six home runs, and batted .525 with a 1.125 slugging percentage in 40 at-bats. She also struck out 66 batters over 54 innings pitched with a 3.48 ERA.
Sophomore outfielder Laila Carpenter hit .429 with 11 extra-base hits and a .857 slugging percentage in 42 at-bats, and senior catcher Haley Winckler had five-extra base hits in 34 at-bats.
After spending the past decade near the bottom of the Wesco standings, the Marauders delivered by far their most impressive season in recent history. Mariner (8-5) picked up its first win in league play since 2016 and matched its win total from the previous four seasons combined. The team’s success came as it battled in a number of close games. All but two of the squad’s 13 games were decided by three runs or less.
Two-way standout Alexis Slater led the way with an impressive season in the circle and at the plate. The junior struck out over two batters per frame as she racked up 190 strikeouts over 89.1 innings pitched with a 0.94 ERA. She hit .415 with five extra-base hits.
Senior Mackenzie Graham finished the season with a .500 batting average, seven extra-base hits, six RBI and 11 runs scored.
Three memorable moments
Marysville Pilchuck senior finishes prep career with perfect game
Marysville Pilchuck’s Kelsey Harris ended her high school softball career with a special day in the circle. The senior retired every batter she faced on her way to tossing a perfect game against archrival Marysville Getchell. Harris’ performance helped the Tomahawks finish the season as one of five 10-win teams in Wesco this season.
Glacier Peak senior tosses shutout, hits walk-off home run
After throwing seven shutout innings to keep her team alive in pitcher’s duel against Cascade, Glacier Peak’s Makayla Miller stepped to the plate with a runner on base in the bottom of the seventh inning and a chance give her team a victory. The senior did just that, sending a 2-0 pitch over the fence for a walk-off home run. Miller struck out 12 and provided the Grizzlies with all three of their hits in the game.
Mariner pitcher throws three straight shutouts to close monumental campaign
The Marauders entered the final week of the season with a 5-5 record and a chance to clinch their first winning campaign in recent memory with three games left. Alexis Slater made sure her team achieved that accomplishment. The junior allowed just five hits and struck out 43 batters over 21 innings as she tossed three consecutive shutouts, including a no-hitter against Mountlake Terrace on May 5.