For the second year in a row, Allie Brock has been named the state’s best pitcher.
The La Grande Tigers junior ace was named Class 4A pitcher of the year following the conclusion of the 2019 season — one in which she played a key role in helping the Tigers win their second straight state title.
She wasn’t alone in the best-in-state category. Woody Wright, La Grande’s first-year head coach, was tapped state coach of the year after guiding La Grande to a 24-1 record.
While Brock wasn’t the only Tiger to earn all-state accolades, she perhaps played the biggest role in helping La Grande repeat, anchoring a pitching staff that allowed the fewest runs of any team in the state, regardless of classification. Brock finished with an individual record of 22-1 and an ERA of 0.90 with 220 strikeouts in 124-2/3 innings. She allowed just 62 hits, 16 earned runs and walked only 22 batters, giving her a 10-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The junior was quick to praise her teammates when asked about the award.
“It was an honor to be named pitcher of the year, but I couldn’t have done it without the great group of girls surrounding me,” she said.
Brock, who was also a first-team all-state pitcher, was one of four Tigers to land first-state honors, joining junior catcher Jayce Seavert, senior shortstop Alaina Carson and senior outfielder Kara Gooderham. Seavert, who was last year’s state player of the year, was edged this season by co-players of the year Abby Doerr of Marist and Kaila Mick of Henley, but still finished the season with a .575 batting average, 12 home runs, 61 RBIs and 37 runs scored. Carson had an average of .437 with two home runs, 26 RBIs and 47 runs, and Gooderham turned in a .423 average with 28 RBIs and 36 runs scored. The trio was also the top three on the team in stolen bases, with Carson nabbing 17, Seavert 12 and Gooderham 11.
The Tigers added one third-team member in second baseman Jacie Howton, who had a .355 average, one home run, 14 RBIs and 28 runs scored.
First baseman Jaiden Hafer and outfielders Lexee Gomes and Kinzy Bowen were all named honorable mentioned. Hafer batted .370 with six home runs, 31 RBIs and 28 runs scored. Gomes hit .357, drove in 14 runs and scored 21 times, and Bowen turned in a .395 average with two home runs, 10 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
The Tigers also saw most of their roster named to the all-Greater Oregon League team, with nine players — all nine members of La Grande’s primary starting lineup, in fact — named first-team all-league.
Brock and Seavert highlighted the awards as they were named league pitcher of the year and player of the year, respectively. It’s the second year in a row the juniors have swept the honors.
Three of La Grande’s infielders — Carson, Hafer and Howton — were selected first-team all-league, as were all three of La Grande’s starting outfielders — Gomes, Gooderham and Bowen.
Grace Neer rounded out the honors as a first-team designated player. The freshman hit .476 with three home runs, 13 RBIs and
14 runs scored.
Jayde Wiggins was selected as a second-team infielder, joined on the second team by Felicity Houston as an outfielder and Sophie Bell as a DP. Wiggins hit .212 with five RBIs and five runs, Houston hit .235 with two RBIs and nine runs, and Bell batted .400 with two home runs, 14 RBIs and 10 runs.
Lin Casciato earned the league volunteer coach of the year award.