St. Helens Girls Softball (SHGS) sent only one team to the Oregon 12C State/Regional Championship Tournament this year in Albany Oregon, June 25 - June 27.

The Team

Front Row: Maddix Bates, Alivia Elder, Aaliyah Fuhrer, Halli Heys, Bristol Beehler, Hope Heys, and Evanii Long. Back Row: Coach Lisa Liner, Coach Steve Bloyd, Veronica Frigaard, Mariah Estrada, Sophia Bloyd, Kylie Holm, Ella Eib, Jadyn Pense, Coach Lee Heys, and Coach Jeff Kroll.

The Aces were on a mission, with one main goal this year, "To bring home the Championship."

The Aces outscored their opponents 48 to 8 in five games. The Vancouver Misfits scored 6 of those runs, 3 in game one and 3 in the championship game. The Aces allowed only 2 more runs between their other three games.

After sending the Vancouver Misfits to the loser bracket in game one, the Aces faced Grants Pass Fastpitch, beating them 15 to 1. In game three of the tournament, the Aces matched up with Wildcats Fastpitch, out of Roseburg, outscoring them 8 to 0.

In game four, the Aces met the Olys. This was set to be a great matchup, as the two teams faced each other in a previous tournament, with the Aces winning by a run.

The head coach of the Olys, on Friday night, approached the Aces coaching staff and said, "We were hoping you'd be here this weekend. Our girls want revenge."

Aces coach, Lee Heys gave a great pep talk to the team and this fired them up. The Aces went on to beat the Olys 9 to 1, sending the Aces to the championship game.

The stage was set for another battle between the Vancouver Misfits and the Aces. It wasn't going to be easy for either team, as the temperature climbed to a staggering 105 degrees by 12:30 p.m.

The Misfits scored 2 runs in the top of the first inning, putting the Aces in uncharted waters. Not losing composure though, the Aces came back with 3 runs of their own, in the first. Now the pressure was clearly on the Misfits, who failed to score in the second inning. The Aces however added 3 more runs in that inning. The wind had clearly left the sails of the Misfits as they only put up one more run and were running out of time. In the last inning, the Aces got their bats working again, adding 3 more runs and putting the game out of reach for the Misfits.

The game was over and the Aces accomplished their goal. Champions!!!

This tournament was won with pitching efficiency and great hitting.

Kylie Holm, pitch all five games with the exception of one inning that Veronica Frigaard relieved her. Holm threw only 201 pitches all weekend, throwing 133 strikes and 68 balls, with 33 strikeouts and 4 walks. Frigaard threw 16 pitches, with 11 strikes, 5 balls, 2 strikeouts and 1 walk.

Halli Heys led the team in hitting. Batting .900, she had 14 at bats, with 9 hits and 4 walks. Other notable hitters were Ella Eib batting .625, Bristol Beehler at .600. Kylie Holm, Sophia Bloyd, Jadyn Pense and Aaliyah Fuhrer all hit over .300.

The Aces are coached by: Lee Heys, Steve Bloyd, Lisa Liner and Jeff Kroll

This was still a team win. It took hard work and dedication from the girls, the coaching staff and the parents.

Also a big thank you to the Aces sponsors: Peak Electric Group, Ross Diesel and Auto, Grumpy’s Towing, Scappoose Muffler, Koelzer Construction, Knife River, Linear Floor Covering, Grasshopper Enterprises, Cutting Edge Tree Services, Dahlgren’s Do-it Best and, St. Helens Market Fresh.

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