With a collection of players sporting a variety of all-league honors, the White River High fastpitch squad should once again being a force to contend with.
That was certainly the case a year ago, when the Hornets advanced from league and district play into the Class 2A state tournament. It was the fourth season in a row White River made an appearance in the fastpitch Sweet 16.
Many of those players are back for another season in the maroon and gold, under the watchful eye of optimistic coach Brandon Walker.
“We have very high expectations and know we have the ability and drive to do something special,” Walker said.
The fastpitch game begins with pitching and the Hornets are well armed. Kayla Smith is entering her senior campaign, already honored twice as the South Puget Sound League 2A’s Pitcher of the Year.
Behind her, the Hornets have returning starters at nearly every position.
Foremost is shortstop Brooklyn Isaacs, a two-time, first-team, all-league performer.
Other returning players include Natalie Vollandt at first base, Kenadie Smith at third and Ashley Long at catcher, along with infielders Maddie Meyer and Kennedy Ledbetter and outfielders Mallory Lubking and Jordanne Fray. Long, Vollandt and Fray earned second-team all-league honors a season ago, while Meyer, Lobking and Smith received honorable mention.
Aside from that solid foundation, “we also have a couple of younger players that are very exciting and are fitting in very well,” Walker said. “I can’t wait to see how they contribute to the team.”