The Dalles 12U All-Stars
Through eight games
Anna Miller: three walks, three runs, .375 on-base percentage, .375 OPS.
Audrey Synon: 7-18 .438 avg., seven runs, three RBIs, four walks, .517 on-base percentage, .438 slugging, 1.009 OPS.
Charlie May: one hit, 2 RBIs, four runs, four walks, .625 on-base percentage.
Courtney Hert: 9-17 .529 avg., nine runs, three RBIs, six walks, one strikeout, .652 on-base percentage, 1.162 OPS.
Elizabeth Tapia: 5-10 .500 avg., four RBIs, six runs, three walks, .615 on-base percentage, 1.115 OPS.
Kaya Byrd: 9-17 .529 avg., five RBIs, five runs, four RBIs, .619 on-base percentage, 1.148 OPS.
Kayla Bailey: 12-18 .667 avg., one double, one HR, nine RBIs, eight runs, two walks, one strikeout, .714 on-base percentage, 1.803 OPS.
Kiersten White: 5-8 .625 avg., three RBIs, five runs, one walk, .667 on-base percentage, 1.292 OPS.
Maddie Linville: 3-8 .375 avg., three RBIs, four runs, two HBP, one walk, .545 on-base percentage, .920 OPS.
Maggie Justesen: 4-17 .235 avg., one RBI, four runs, one walk, .278 on-base percentage, .513 OPS.
Savannah Jones: 2-13 .154 avg., one RBI, six runs, six walks, .421 on-base percentage, .575 OPS.
Sydnee Byers: 7-15 .467 avg., two doubles, four RBIs, six runs, one HBP, three walks, .579 on-base percentage, 1.179 OPS.
Every year, a coach likes to see his players show vast improvements on the field.
Such was the case for The Dalles 12U softball All-Stars in this past weekend’s Pacific Northwest Regional Softball Tournament at Gaddis Park in Roseburg.
The Dalles went 2-5 overall with victories over Upper Rogue by a combined 43-12 margin to score fourth place in the standings.
In all, it was a stark contrast from last season where The Dalles went winless at regionals in Jerome, Idaho.
“I thought the kids that were there (in Jerome) from last year made a ton of improvement,” said TD skipper Steve Byers. “I thought we played much better in this tournament because of the experience we had. I thought that our pitching and hitting was greatly improved.”
In those seven games, The Dalles amassed 64 hits, four going extra bases, for an average of .432 with 58 runs scored.
From the circle, the pitching trio of Audrey Synon, Courtney Hert and Kaya Byrd struck out 17 and allowed 60 earned runs.
After losing to Roseburg in their tournament opener, The Dalles rebounded in a big way with a dominant 18-5 triumph over Upper Rogue.
TD scored nine runs in the bottom of the first frame, added four more in the second and capped this outburst with five runs in the third inning.
Kayla Bailey and Sydnee Byers each had singles hit, Savannah Jones, Elizabeth Tapia and Hert worked walks, and Synon, Byrd and Kiersten White had RBI singles.
Both Hert and Tapia netted steals of home to account for the offense.
Up 13-4 in the bottom of the third, The Dalles put the finishing touches on matters, as Charlie May received a bases-loaded walk, White posted an RBI single, May and White later swiped home plate and Bailey drove in a run with an RBI single.
After that win, The Dalles squared off against Forks late Thursday, but took a 13-6 loss.
Jones reached base three times and scored three times, Hert had two hits and Bailey reached on a walk to account for TD’s six-hit effort.
Forks led 5-1 after two frames, but The Dalles battled back with two in the third to make it 5-3.
Forks then flipped the switch with five unanswered runs to lead 10-3, but TD closed the gap to 10-6 with three runs in the top of the fifth frame.
Bailey tossed five innings, scattered 14 hits and struck out one in the loss.
The Dalles then lost consecutive games to Hoquiam by tallies of 14-3 and 12-2 margins.
In the first game versus Hoquiam, Bailey, Synon and Byrd singled and Hert scored a run.
Synon lasted three innings, allowed seven hits and fanned two in taking the loss.
In the 12-2 loss, White had two hits and Tapia drove in two more runs, but Hoquiam broke open a 7-2 lead with five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to seal a win.
From the circle, Hert was pegged with the loss, as she tossed 4 1/3 innings, gave up nine hits and struck out one.
Those losses put The Dalles in the fourth and fifth place game versus Upper Rogue with a chance to keep the season going.
When the final out was recorded, The Dalles used three big innings with nine runs apiece in the first and second frames, before landing the knockout blow with seven runs in the third as part of their 25-7 win.
Bailey chalked up three hits and four RBIs, Sydnee Byers added two more hits and four RBIs, as the team notched a season-high 14 hits.
Linville had two hits and two RBIs, and both Miller and Byrd received two walks and scored two runs each.
Byrd tossed a complete game one-hitter with a strikeout for the win from the circle.
Even though this contest was played at 8 a.m., Coach Byers was happy to see his group overcome a slow start to finish with a bang.
“They fought their way through a sluggish start, but played good defense, the pitchers threw strikes and we had lots of hits,” The Dalles coach said. “Everybody on the team stepped up and played hard. They had confidence in what they could do and that was nice to see.”
That win moved The Dalles into a pivotal matchup with Forks on Saturday where third place was up for grabs.
Much of the game hung in the balance until Forks broke open a 5-3 lead with 12 runs in the top of the fourth frame.
Against Forks, The Dalles pounded out seven hits with Byrd leading the way with two hits, and Hert walked and scored a run.
Byrd lasted four innings and struck out four in taking the loss.
In these last two seasons, all of the players earned valuable playoff experience on the diamond, so the hope of coach Byers and his assistants Dawn Marie Hert and Dawn Sallee-Justesen is that the players stay motivated to improve for future tournaments.
Sydnee Byers, Bailey, Tapia and Linville will move up to the 14U ranks next season, so they take the beginnings of a positive legacy in place for years to come.
But, Maggie Justesen, Synon, White, Hert, Miller, Byrd, May and Jones will be back for another memorable run at the top teams in the 12U divisions.
Through the grueling three weeks of preparation in 11 practices some of them spanning more than three hours, the athletes realized that dedication comes to the forefront for team success.
“I think it is very important that they see what they have been able to do and use it as motivation to come back in the offseason and keep working on their game,” Coach Byers said. “We talked to them along that they need to learn from each game and know what areas they need to improve. I think we showed that. From the first game to the last game, we got better and they took it as a way to look at making those improvements in the future.”
Without the help and understanding of the parents, coach Byers said the coaching does not benefit and neither do the players.
It is a collaborative effort from everyone involved to make sacrifices for the sake of the athletes.
“I want to thank the parents for being understanding,” Coach Byers said. “Without them, none of this is possible. We can all take pride in knowing we were unified all the way through this process. It is not easy to make these trips, but the parents did everything they could to make sure these girls had a great experience here at regionals.”