Hot starts to season for teams, athletes

Panther softball, White River softball and Sumner tennis are starting out with big wins.

Enumclaw High’s Emily Miller returns a serve during tennis action March 20 at EHS. Miller and partner Camryn Hayett, playing at No. 1 doubles, blanked their foes from Thomas Jefferson High 6-0, 6-0. It was a good day for the Hornet squad, which registered a 5-0 victory over their NPSL rival. Photo by Kevin Hanson

Enumclaw High’s Emily Miller returns a serve during tennis action March 20 at EHS. Miller and partner Camryn Hayett, playing at No. 1 doubles, blanked their foes from Thomas Jefferson High 6-0, 6-0. It was a good day for the Hornet squad, which registered a 5-0 victory over their NPSL rival. Photo by Kevin Hanson

The spring sports season is still young – and typical Northwest weather has put a damper of some of the action – but there are some performances deserving of early notice.

PANTHER SOFTBALL TEAM BEGINS 4-0

At the front of any list has to be the Bonney Lake High softball team. The Panthers are knocking the cover off the ball while also getting standout pitching from junior Brooke Nelson.

Through games of last week, Bonney Lake was a perfect 4-0, starting with nonleague victories over Gig Harbor, Inglemoor and Steilacoom, following by a win over Spanaway Lake in the team’s Pierce County League opener.

During that four-game spree, coach Andrew Sage’s Panthers outscored the opposition 39-1. The squad posted, as expected, some gaudy numbers, hitting .405 as a team with an on-base percentage of .596.

Nelson leads the way at the plate, coming off back-to-back seasons in which she was voted the PCL’s Player of the Year. During the team’s four victories, she hit .769 with three doubles and four home runs, while driving in eight runs. Heading into the season she was a career .640 hitter.

But she’s not alone in piling up offensive numbers. Joining the hit parade are sister Brynn Nelson, a freshman who handles second base and hits .643 with two doubles and six RBI, and sophomore Anna Hook, who plays first base and hits at a .517 clip with five RBI.

Brooke Nelson is even more dominant as a pitcher, improving upon a career earned-run average of a scant .88. Already during the young season she has hurled a pair of no-hitters; she has allowed opponents only four hits, three of those singles.

In 23 innings of work, Nelson has struck out 52 batters and issued not a single base on balls.

WHITE RIVER GIRLS WIN FIRST FOUR

The Hornets opened SPSL 2A Mountain Division play in impressive offensive fashion, pushing 68 runs across the plate while winning four consecutive games.

First matched against Lindbergh High on back-to-back days, White River opened with a 15-2 victory and closed with a 13-2 win. Then, during a March 20 doubleheader against Foster, the Hornets showed no mercy with 23-0 and 27-1 thrashings.

PANTHERS’ ADAIR WINS IN A BIG WAY

Bonney Lake senior Dreakeanna Adair already has built an impressive resumé, winning discus titles during the past two state Class 3A championship meets.

She was at it again March 21, overwhelming the opposition in the discus when her Panther girls team split with Stadium and Wilson.

Adair’s toss of 131 feet, 6 inches was nearly 40 feet beyond that of the second-place finisher.

Heading into the weekend, that throw was the best among the state’s Class 3A athletes. Two girls sat ahead of Adair, one from 4A Kentlake and the state leader from tiny Raymond, a Class 2B school.

STATE TENNIS CHAMPION UNDEFEATED

At Sumner High, Jade Lancaster captured state singles titles to close out both her freshman and sophomore seasons. Now, she continues to show the form that brought such success.

During the Spartans’ most recent matches, Lancaster was automatic in the No. 1 singles slot. On March 21, she whipped her Puyallup High opponent 6-1, 6-0; two days earlier, she defeated an Olympia foe 6-0, 6-0.

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