Unionís Sarman helps Oregon Elite team win title
CENTRALIA, Wash. —The Oregon Elite softball team won the upper division of the Northwest Championships recently in Centralia, Wash.
The team had three Eastern Oregon players, including Union’s Keesha Sarman.
Darian Lindsey of Pendleton and Colette Robert of Milton-Freewater also competed on the team.
Despite being underclassmen scheduled to graduate in 2015, the trio were playing with some of the top seniors to be in the state of Oregon.
The other division was for the freshman and sophomores to be.
“Keesha was so impressive at her Prospect Evaluation Clinic that we asked her to play up,” coach Tom Mauldin said.
Sarman was a key contributor on a team that went 5-0 at the tournament, including a 9-0 victory over Central Oregon in the championship game.
She batted .333 in the five victories and had two hits in the title game.
Sarman also was one of the better defensive players at the tournament, according to Mauldin.
“Keesha was simply outstanding in the field,” the coach said.
“If there was a better second baseman in the tournament, I didn’t see her.”
Mauldin also raved about the coachability of Sarman and her desire to become a better player.
“Keesha was a delight to coach. After the first day of the tournament, she came to me and asked for extra batting practice.
“The next day, she looked like a different hitter — confident, aggressive and successful. Very coachable,” Mauldin said.
Oregon Elite also defeated Eastern Idaho 7-1, Western Washington 4-0, Western Idaho 3-2 and Eastern Washington 5-2 in the four-day tournament.
To participate in the Northwest Championships, a player must be selected from a Prospect Evaluation Clinic (PEC).
To get to a PEC, a player must be nominated by their high school or club coach, or by one of the three FPNW directors.
From there, players are selected (or not) to play in the tournament.
Sarman was one of 194 players selected.
There were four other Eastern Oregon athletes selected (Tia Glass, Alexis Morrison and Ellie Richards of Pendleton, and Jesse Flynn of Ione.)
The goal of Fastpitch Northwest is to identify players who have the “potential” ability and desire to play at the collegiate level.
The Fastpitch Northwest Championships are a College Exposure event.