Year to remember: Kennedy softball wins OSAA State title

June 2018 Posted in School, Sports
kennedy softball 2018

The Kennedy High girls softball team and coaches show off their trophy after winning the Class 2A-1A softball title June 1 at Oregon State University. James Day

By James Day

The hits just kept on coming the entire school year. Kennedy High athletic teams blazed a trail through OSAA competition unprecedented in school history.

But the coup de grace took place June 1 at Oregon State University. That’s when the Kennedy softball team finished a dominating run through the Class 2A-1A tournament with a 10-0 victory in five innings against Pilot Rock-Nixyaawii.

The Trojans outscored tournament opponents 46-1, with pitcher Tressa Riedman pitching a one-hitter and striking out 11 batters in the 63-minute championship game. The senior right-hander threw just 60 pitches in the five innings, with 42 of them strikes. She walked only one and allowed just one runner to reach second base.

“Our defense was great, our hitters were on fire and we weren’t intimidated at all,” Riedman told Our Town after the title win. “We were ready for this one. We’ve been waiting for it for a year. This was our year.”

Riedman finished a 10-1 win against Central Linn in the semifinals by retiring the final 13 batters she faced. Add that to the title game and that’s 28 of 30, with 17 of them via strikeout.

“It looks like we peaked at the right time,” said Kennedy coach Walt Simmons, whose 2006 squad lost 3-2 to Waldport in the Trojans’ only previous visit to the title game. “I thought that considering we got to the semifinals last year and with all the returnees we had… we knew we had a shot. (A state championship) was our goal.”

And the awards just keep on coming. Kennedy won the Capitol Cup, the all-sports trophy from the Statesman Journal that honors the best all-around sports program in the mid-Willamette Valley and seems likely to take home the Oregonian Cup for Class 2A for the third consecutive year. The Oregonian honor also includes sportsmanship and academic components.

Riedman was named pitcher of the year in Special District 2 and was joined on the first team by catcher Abby Frey, shortstop Hannah Arritola, first baseman Molly Jaeger and outfielder Ellie Cantu. Utility player Grace Schaecher, second baseman Hailey Arritola and outfielder Kalyssa Kleinschmit were named to the second team, while third baseman Emily Cuff received honorable mention.

In baseball, Kennedy infielders Jonathan Valladares and Sam Grosjacques and outfielders Bruce Beyer and Brady Traeger were named to the all-district first team. Catcher Dylan Kleinschmit, infielder Angel De La Rosa and utility player Daniel Moreno made the second team and outfielder Demetre Marseille received honorable mention.

It wouldn’t have been possible without a remarkable group of senior girls athletes who helped lead the pack and show the way: Riedman, Jaeger, Hannah Arritola, Frey, Kaylin Cantu and Kaylee Brown. All of them played at least two sports, and with underclassmen such as Hallie Sprauer, Alejandra Lopez, Kalyssa Kleinschmit and Sophia Carley already making themselves known … well, you get the sense that more great stories are likely to be told. Ditto from boys athletes such as Emorej Lynk, Carson Hall, Luke Hall, Traeger, Beyer, Dylan Kleinschmit, Nick Suing and Grosjacques.

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