ENCORE FOR OLYMPIA?
The Bears haven’t made back-to-back state appearances since 2000 and ’01, but behind the junior battery of Maddy Stensby and Adrianna Rupright, they could well be back on their way to Spokane. Stensby ranks second in single-season wins by a pitcher (19) after her 19-5 record as a sophomore with a 1.30 ERA. Few tend to run on Rupright when she’s behind the plate; between pick-off attempts and base stealers, she threw out 77 percent of base runners in 2013.
POWER, POP FOR NORTH THURSTON
Expect young talent to continue to mature for North Thurston, the reigning 3A Narrows League champion. The Rams return seven starters — six are nonseniors, including the league’s top hitter, junior shortstop Dominique Greeno, a Northern Illinois commit who hit .534 in 2013, and sophomore pitcher Cierra Davis, who is coming off a 10-6 record and a .422 batting average.
1-2 PUNCH IN CIRCLE
While most teams rely heavily on one arm, W.F. West coach Mike Keen has two top-end pitchers in junior Ali Graham and senior Mattie Boucher, both the reigning co-pitching MVPs of the 2A Evergreen Conference. The pair are a big reason why the Bearcats are favorites to defend their EvCo title. Who can challenge them? Tumwater, with its balance of pitching and strong defense (75 percent of its infield is back), led by shortstop Alyssa Ubrun, a Colorado State Pueblo signee.