With dominant pitching and clutch hitting, the Lumberjill fastpitch softball team brought home the first softball championship in school history with a 1-0 victory over W.F. West of Chehalis. Good teams can win with good pitching and hitting, but great teams - championship teams - can also win with excellent fielding. These qualities were exhibited by the Jills in the championship game and throughout the state tourney. At state the Jills scored 11 runs and gave up only one.
Winning the AA portion of the AA/AAA Greater St. Helens League, R.A. Long entered district play as a number one seed. In their first game they lost to Centralia 4-1 in eight innings. The Jills came back and won their next two games over La Center 3-2 and Castle Rock 2-0 in eight innings. This game had been delayed 72 hours because of weather conditions and was completed on the Wednesday before the state tournament, held at Larson Park in Yakima that weekend. In the game with Castle Rock, Angie Ramos had three hits, and Misty Velke and Courtney Giles two apiece.
At the AA/A/B State Fastpitch tournament, the Jills continued their winning ways, beating number one seeded Meadowdale from District I by the score of 2-1. Sarah Stuart led the Jills’ offense with three hits, and Jill pitcher Velke struck out 11 Chiefs. In their second game, RAL shut out Colville 5-0. Velke struck out 16. Ramos, Giles, and Emily Minium aided the Jills by getting two hits each.
Continuing their remarkable run at state, the Jills captured their fifth straight victory by beating Capital 3-0. Capital was the Southwest Washington district champion as well as two-time reigning state champion. Leading the way offensively were Stuart, Velke, and Ramos. Ramos delivered a clutch two run RBI triple in the third inning, eventually scoring R.A. Long’s third run.
Both teams in the title game, R.A. Long and W.F. West, were determined to win. It took an extra eighth inning to decide the championship. Katy Madden drove in the Jill’s only run in the top of the eighth, scoring Minium from third base. Giles had the only other Jill hit. Velke struck out eight Bearcat batters and provided some clutch fielding by throwing out runners at third base during the course of the game.
During the season, the Jills had a record of 20 wins and 7 losses. Velke, Ramos, and Giles were named to the first team of the Greater St. Helens League fastpitch team. Velke was also named the AA league Player of the Year. Madden and Minium were all-league second team. Stuart was an honorable mention choice.
Head Coach: Dave Polk
Assistant Coaches: Jose Ramos, Jackie Slechta, Dan Velke
Team Roster: Angela Abel, Melody Abel, Sandra Bean, Courtney Giles, Kristy Giles, Heather Leibe, Katy Madden, Emily Minium, Amanda Mackey, Angie Ramos, Sarah Stuart, Katie VanCuren, Misty Velke, Amy Williams, Sara Yohe