The La Grande softball team proved itself as the best team in Class 4A by winning the state championship Saturday over Henley.
So it’s no surprise that the Tigers were well represented in the all-state selections, including a sweep of the player, pitcher and coach of the year honors.
Sophomore catcher Jayce Seavert was voted as the Class 4A state player of the year. Sophomore Allie Brock was chosen as the pitcher of the year. And Kirk Travis was named coach of the year.
The three are among eight all-state selections earned by La Grande.
“They all worked very hard and are very deserving of their awards,” Travis said of the players who were honored.
Seavert, in addition to being player of the year, was also named first-team all-state catcher. The sophomore had a breakout 2018 season, finishing with a .539 batting average, 16 home runs, 49 RBIs and 43 runs scored. Seavert had four multi-home run games, and had a streak during Greater Oregon League play where she homered in seven straight contests, going deep 10 times during that stretch. She also had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on the season and threw out 42 percent of would-be base stealers. The sophomore did so while also calling the pitches behind the plate for both Brock and No. 2 starter Mady Bell.
“It makes me proud because I have spent so much time and effort fixing my swing and on my defense. Plus I feel like because I earned this award so young I will push myself even harder than before,” Seavert said.
Brock, who was also a first-team pitcher, capped off a dominant season with an impressive postseason run in the pitcher’s circle. For the season, the sophomore posted a 16-2 record and had two saves with a 0.86 ERA. In 106 innings of work, she recorded 201 strikeouts, walked just 23 batters, allowed 48 hits and only 13 earned runs. She was even better in the playoffs with an ERA of 0.00 and 45 strikeouts in 26 innings, recording a win in all four games for La Grande. Highlights of her season include a perfect game against Baker, a no-hitter against McLoughlin, and 10 games where she struck out at least 10 batters.
“It just adds to the honor of winning state,” Brock said. “It is even better that my catcher of eight years (Seavert) has been named player of the year. Jayce and I work really hard in the offseason and have created an inseparable bond throughout the years.”
Seavert expressed pride in seeing Brock named pitcher of the year.
“She has been working on her pitching ever since I can remember,” Seavert said. “She definitely earned that award.”
Bell, a senior, was one of two Tigers to earn second-team accolades, doing so as a utility (multi-use) player. Bell had a .458 average — second-best on the team — with three home runs, 36 RBIs and 20 runs scored. She also had six stolen bases.
Bell was also solid in the circle for La Grande, going 7-2 with a 3.57 ERA. She allowed 27 earned runs on 59 hits and had 62 strikeouts in 53 innings.
Alaina Carson was also named to the second team as an infielder. On the season, the junior hit .378 with one home run, 17 RBIs and 32 runs scored. She also led the team with 12 walks and nine stolen bases, and had a fielding percentage at shortstop of .887.
Three Tigers were named honorable mention. Sophomore Jacie Howton was an honorable mention infielder after hitting .396 with one home run, eight RBIs, 22 runs scored and a .929 fielding percentage.
Juniors Kara Gooderham and Lexee Gomes were both honorable mention in the outfield.
Gooderham finished with a .237 average, three home runs, 19 RBIs and 20 runs scored. She added a .769 fielding percentage and was a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts. Gomes hit .304 with eight RBIs, 18 runs scored and posted a fielding percentage of .842.
Travis was named coach of the year as the Tigers finished with a 23-4 record and the program’s first state championship. In two years under Travis, the Tigers are 44-9, have a 22-2 record in the GOL, two league titles — including one outright — and two semifinal appearances, topped off with Saturday’s championship game win.