Pierce Pioneer

See how canceling the 2020 season has affected the baseball program

In baseball, someone who fails 70 percent of the time is considered elite. Yet failing only 70 percent of the time calls for hundreds of hours dedicating yourself to the game. For all the time spent in the batting cage, on the field, and in the gym, you typically get three at-bats to show for it.
However, imagine having no chance to show off your hard work, and the opportunity to prove yourself is taken away. During the troubled times of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom baseball program was deprived of one thing they loved most - baseball.
On March 17, the Northwest Athletic Conference announced the cancellation of the 2020 season for all spring sports programs. Pierce College Athletic Director Duncan Stevenson remained sympathetic to the student-athletes that he worked with.
“My initial reaction to the cancelation was a sense of devastation for our student-athletes,” he said. “Not just for this lost season, and this year’s training and preparation, but for the years of time and sacrifice they and their families have invested in getting to this point.”
According to Stevenson, over the last three decades as Pierce’s athletic director, he has never experienced anything like the COVID-19 Pandemic. The feeling of devastation extended to the program’s coaches and players. Yet, the program remained optimistic as the players began to plan for their futures and the next season.
“Within a day or two of the announcement of the decision, their spirits really turned around, especially as the enormous scope of the national and global situation became more apparent,” Stevenson said.
“They quickly switched gears from being frustrated about the lost season, to making plans for spring quarter classes and looking at options for next year. I am really proud of how resilient they have been through all of this.”
As announced online by the Northwest Athletic Conference, freshman and sophomores enrolled during the 2020 season would remain the same grade athletically for the next season. This would apply to all athletes regardless of the number of games played during the spring season.
Moreover, the sophomores have a big decision to make on where they will play during the 2020 season. Stevenson realized that the baseball program will never get this season back. “For some, this will be the end of their competitive careers,” he said. “As an athlete, you want to go out on your own terms –in the arena of competition. For those that return next year or move on to play at a four-year college [or] university, this will always be their lost season; It is really heart-breaking.”
Pierce’s baseball coach, Kevin Davis, was also crushed by the cancellation of the 2020 season. He knew what this season meant to the sophomores, as he was once in their shoes after finishing his sophomore baseball season at Bellevue College.

“I feel for the sophomores who worked their whole life for this and don't have anything to show for it,” he said. “I also feel for the freshmen who got their first chance at college ball and had that taken away.”
The NWAC was not the first conference to cancel the season, according to Davis. The decision to cancel the 2020 season followed similar decisions by four-year universities in the NCAA. Tournaments such as the NCAA College Baseball World Series and NCAA Basketball were canceled ahead of the NWAC’s decision in March.
Since the spring season ended, the program’s players have kept in touch and continue to train on their own time. “They have been doing home workouts, playing catch together when they can, and we have weekly zoom sessions to goof around and keep in touch,” Davis said.
The team now endures a long offseason where they plan to start their fall season as planned. Next season, they will have the possibility to have a first-ever season with three classes of players. This would include incoming freshman, returning freshman, and third-year sophomores.
Riley Paulino, a freshman pitcher who plans to return for next season, was let down by the cancelation and empathized with his sophomore teammates. “I was very disappointed because I felt that we had a really good group of guys all pulling towards one goal,” he said. “I also felt for the sophomores because, for some, this marked the end of their careers. It hurt me to witness their last season go down like that.”
Even though the rest of the spring 2020 season was canceled, the team was able to play 12 games out of the 45-game season. Paulino, who led the team in strikeouts, said his teammates were what made the short season and preparation worth it.
“My favorite part of this last season has to be the countless hours that I have spent grinding day in and day out with this group of guys,” Paulino said. “There is nothing like having 30 guys you know would run through a wall for you. This makes us push each other harder because we truly care about the success of each other.”

Hunter Bungert/ Photo Illustration

Cody Russell, a sophomore shortstop who is continuing his playing career at Washington State University, is only one of a few sophomores who knows where they are playing next season. According to Russell, he received the news of the canceled season during a meeting with this team.
“At first I was really shocked,” Russell said. “I didn’t really think it was true. It probably took me a week for it to click in; I’m not going to be completing my sophomore season up here.”
Since Russell has a sense of direction to work towards, he started his off-season early in preparations for his jump to division one baseball. But with no facilities and teams to practice with, it has been difficult to train for the next step in his career.
“It’s tough; we don't really have gyms right now,” he said. “So, we've got a little setup in our garage; my brother and I are lifting almost every day, hitting at the cages, playing long toss, and running. Just all the normal things that you can try and do without having a school gym or whatever we had before this whole thing happened.”
Additionally, Russell will be joining his brother at WSU, who is a freshman. He looks forward to the opportunity to play at the highest level with his brother. “I’m playing with my brother, what else could I really ask for?” he said. “It’s D1 baseball with your brother; It’s kind of a dream come true for both of us. I’m pumped, I can’t wait to get down there, get rolling and get with the team.”
With his junior college career at an end, Russell embarked on what he will remember most about playing for Pierce. “The grind, the attitude, and the culture that coach Davis built around the team was the coolest thing,” he said. “It was crazy how last year it was two different teams. This year it was like we were brothers, everyone was so close, hung out almost every day; everyone had classes with each other. The energy that the team brought was so different, I think that would have taken us a lot farther than last year.”
According to Russell, the majority of sophomores remain unsure about the next step in their baseball journey. Yet, the team continues to express optimism in the pursuit to play baseball for a four-year university. Only time will tell where they will end up and how the program rebounds from a canceled season.
With no way of making up the canceled season, the program endures a long off season to improve individually. COVID-19 guidelines make it hard to train as a team and each player’s commitment will be tested in preparation for the fall season. Even with a pandemic limiting the access to facilities and players, it won’t stop the program from striving to challenge themselves everyday. The program's sense of resilience will push them through quarantine and prepare for another season as a Pierce College Raider.

Halloween at Pierce College

Every year, Halloween gets bigger and bigger. This year, the Pioneer decided to explore and share the Halloween culture of the Pierce community. From the sports team to the international office, everyone was making plans and celebrating the spooky day.

The Pierce Baseball and Softball team play a game dressed in Halloween costumes.

Interviews done by Anna Paxton Hammond asking the pierce community about their Halloweens.

It’s easy for Americans to view Halloween through the lenses of their culture. Widely celebrated across the nation, the spirit of the holiday often takes root as soon as October hits.

But for international students in college, Halloween can be something foreign and exciting; a way for those not from America to take part in its culture and festivities. And at Pierce College’s Halloween Dance Party, the international students were given the opportunity to truly feel the Halloween Spirit.

Photo Credits

Sunny Martini / Courtesy Photo

Darrel Kuntz / Staff Photo

Ty Phay / Staff Photo

Jesus Contreras / Staff Photo

 

Editors: Myra Fehling, Kotone Ochiai, Kevin Collins

 

Music provided by No Copyright

Music: https://www.youtube.com/c/royaltyfree...

Music used: Spook 3 by PeriTune https://soundcloud.com/sei_peridot/sp...

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...

Music provided by No Copyright

Music: https://www.youtube.com/c/royaltyfree...

Music used: Spook 2 by PeriTune https://soundcloud.com/sei_peridot/sp...

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...

Music provided by No Copyright

Music: https://www.youtube.com/c/royaltyfree...

Music used: Spook by PeriTune https://soundcloud.com/sei_peridot/spook

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...

Raiders hold eye of the storm

Marji Harris / Staff Photo
Ashley Howell (No. 20) is shown batting for the Raiders’ softball game.

Women’s Pierce softball: too legit to quit

On May 1, the Pierce Raiders and the Skagit Valley Cardinals competed at the level of superior athletes from the start. The sun was shining over the field and the crowd cheered for the young athletes while they performed in one of the closest matches they’ve had all season.

Prior to facing the Cardinals, the Raiders endured a lengthy and heartbreaking day against the fierce Edmond Tritons, who rank in at number two on the nwac bracket. Pierce pushed back with everything they had but in the end, it wasn’t enough.

“They have nothing to feel bad about. They competed like champions against one of the toughest teams around in a game that lasted much longer than expected, leaving them fatigued going into their next event,” said Duncan Stevenson.

Marji Harris / Staff Photo
Brooklyn Taylor-Sparks (No. 11) is shown pitching.

No. 11, Brooklyn Taylor-Sparks, pitching performance was highly impressive. She maintained a tight focus, keeping the pressure and throwing no-hitters for most of the game. The Raiders won the game 4-2.

No. 4, Allyssa Hansen, struggled earlier in the season due to a spinal injury. “She hurt her lower back, but made a steady recovery and continues to play,” said Austin Procter, Allyssa Hansen’s boyfriend.

Sparks, who is a sophomore, came in from Lacey, Washington after graduating out of Timberline High School. She earned the position as primary pitcher for the team, holding a pitching average of 11.56 and continues to mature into a bold young adversary.

Sparks is a strong contender, knowledgeable advocate and a graceful colleague. “She’s been a tremendous benefit to the crew, with a positive attitude and good sportsmanship. She’s also been a dependable side coach, always helping her peers,” said head coach, Mike Nelson.

“I am honored to have trained them. They are absolute warriors,” said Nelson.

Challenges were faced without a full team, but it promoted a sense solidarity. “We lost our main pitcher and a couple other girls along the way. Being short numbered helped us grow closer, connecting as a team,” said Riley Rivera (utility).

Nelson had a tough ride but in the end earned the team’s respect. “He’s been an outstanding mentor, taking the position on short notice and training us to compete on a whole new level. It wasn’t easy for him either since he never got to hand pick us during tryouts,” Rivera said.

No. 2, Kayla Washington, played third base and has been competing since she was ten.

“She’s the youngest of her two sisters,” said Washington’s mother, Kelley Washington. “This is her last year while studying for her associate’s degree. Her two sisters before her competed too and received scholarships for Howard University,” she said.

No matter what the girls went through… they never caved to the pressure.”

— Mike Nelson, Head Coach

Washington is the top batter for the team, always impressing the crowd as she steps to the plate while holding an average of .313. “Her confidence level is fierce. Everybody gets excited whenever she’s up to bat. She consistently performs well and always looks for improvement,” said Nelson.

Washington and Sparks used to compete against each other during their youth. “When they were ten years old, they were rivals from different schools,” said Kelley Washington.

Lily Hope, No. 15, plays shortstop and gave an impressive performance on the field as her boyfriend, Jacob Link, watched from the sidelines. “She’s doing great. They (the team) get along well and maintain their studies together,” said Link.

Hope has been an outstanding well-rounded competitor all season, showing every other competitor she’s worth it, claiming her time on the field. “Hope is a courageous young athlete. She’s the kind of athlete that makes plays nobody else can make,” said Nelson.

The Raiders fought through every injury and training exercise, surpassing every challenge with pride. “No matter what the girls went through or wounds they received during practice and events, they never caved to the pressure,” said Nelson.

As the season wraps up, the Raiders have no regrets with everything they’ve accomplished this year. “I enjoyed every moment as their coach and look forward to next year. They’re a tough bunch and deserve every bit of recognition for their efforts. Go-Raiders!” said Nelson.

Raiders embrace their brotherhood

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
The Raider’s focus this season was to enjoy the experience, have fun, and be bold in their playing.

Through the ups and downs of the season, the Raiders came together as a team and ended strong

This has been a unique and challenging season for the Raiders men’s baseball team. But throughout the season, they played with heart and soul and finished as winners.

Coach Jake Philips and some of the players touched on the highlights of the season. 

Who showed the most improvement?

Sophomore No. 2 Colby Tam, a graduate out of St. Anthony’s High school in Waihe’e-Waiehu Hawaii., is the team’s most improved player for this season. Tam has been a utility player, meaning that he can play several different positions. A strong competitor who has also played every position, his energy and drive would draw in those watching.

Most memorable moments?

The team’s most memorable moments have been as they are competing against rival teams in the Tacoma area. When the Raiders win, they dog pile each other on the ball field after the game.

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
Spencer Howell shown pitching for the Raiders.

Most surprising player?

Brock Wrolstad No. 24 turned out to be a surprise pitcher for the team. One of the other pitchers was out due to an injury, so Philips put Brock on the mound. After one of the games when he pitched a “no hitter” for four innings straight, Philips asked Brock how come he did not say anything about his pitching ability.

Brock’s answer characterized the team competitor that he is. “Well, you didn’t ask,” he said. He was more focused on getting out there and playing the game.

Biggest upset of the season?

Dominc Agron is a sophomore from Covington, Washington, graduating out of Kentwood High School. He started as the primary pitcher this season, and was talked about as the top pitcher in conference receiving consistent observation from scouts. 

Duncan Stevenson is the athletic director for Pierce College. He was very impressed with Agron’s pitching ability. “He would go out there and own the plate and with him being a short guy, nobody takes you as serious as they should and you shoot off like a thunder storm,” he said.

However, a serious elbow injury partway through the season has put his future baseball career into question.

The team kept true to the heart of the game, which is to go out there and have fun. In doing so, they were able to focus their energies into developing each other’s strengths. Overall, as of May 1, the Raiders ranked in the top five in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC).

Game Schedule

Day: May 10

Time: 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Playing against: Tacoma Community College

Where: Minnitti Field

Day: May 11

Time: 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Playing against: Tacoma Community College

Where: Mt. Tahoma H.S. Baseball Field

Raiders’ sportsmanship carries the team to victory

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo

Team’s mindset sets them up for the win

Raiders men’s baseball team has had its share of challenges this season. But the game on April 14 against the Grays Harbor Chokers highlighted their outstanding sportsmanship and team cohesion, all with a firm dose of competitive dominance.

For shortstop Mason Hoover, part of the team focus is having each other’s backs. “We weren’t connecting earlier in the season but we’ve been getting it together, feeling out our chemistry and having a great time and finding common ground,” he said.

Pitcher Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa No. 23 sees finding joy in the game has to be just as important as winning the game. “The coach gave us a better setting to have fun today and not being so serious because we still want to have fun just as much as we want to  win,” Hoopii- Tuionetoa said.

Coach Jake Phillips played baseball for the Raiders in 2011 and 2012 and has been the coach for the last five years. Training this year consisted of having his athletes improve their technique with new and interesting training exercises.

With a solid swing of the bat, he sent the ball flying into the outfield and his teammates to home plate.”

One of the training tools Philips used were whip sticks. Players use the short, slender sticks to hit tennis balls; by doing so, the batter can to improve control over the bat. He also had his players practice hitting sunflower seeds. If the batter can hit a sunflower seed, hitting a baseball is easy.

The Raiders formed up on the field three hours before the game started, embracing the cold as the rain soaked their uniforms. Getting a little wet was not going to hinder their pre-game exercises and team morale.

The tone was set early in the game. At the start of the third inning. the Raiders were `up to bat and ahead 2-0. It wasn’t long before the bases were loaded and no outs, when No. 7 Cody Russell stepped to the plate.  With a solid swing of the bat, he sent the ball flying into the outfield and his teammates to home plate.

As the spectators cheered, the Chokers answered with three points of their own, but the Raider’s team would continue to dominate. By the end of the fourth inning they were ahead by another four runs. Ultimately, the Raiders would finish the game 11-5 and the second game 10-0.

The last set of games for the men’s team is against Tacoma Community College. On May 10 at starting 1:00 p.m., they will be playing at Minnitti field. May 11 is a home game, playing at Mount Tahoma High School starting at 1:00 p.m.

A family on the field

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
Top – 35# (Lachlan Arford), 31# (Jason Sizemore), 27# (Balas Buckmaster), 33# (Spencer Howell), 23# (Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa), 9# (Jacob Hinkle), 13# (Clay Spacher).
Second row from the top – 27 # Balas Bukmaster, 22# (Cole Benson), 34# (Ashton Dulfer), 28# (Andrew Oasay), 15# (Chris Trisler), 17# (Trucker Stroup), 26# (Jamie Maples), 6# (Alex Sisley).
Third row from top – 8# (Nainoa Paragoso), 19# (Dominc Agron), 25# (Ryan Ancheta), 16# (Wyatt Ohlson), 11# (Kennedy Cook), 1# (Nathan Gelbrich), 3# (Hobie Mahon), 12# (Cody Isa).
Last row – 2# (Colby Tam), 7# (Cody Russell), 5# (Josiah Factora), 4# (Josiah Factora), 20# (Austin Eisenmenger), 10# (Tyler Fox), 24# (Brock Wrolstad), 14# (Rhys De Highden).

A Championship Culture and high aspirations for Pierce College Baseball

Last year, the Pierce College baseball team dominated conference play en route to the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) Super Regionals. This year, they aim to put championship rings on their fingers when the season ends.

After finishing with an overall record of 26-23, and out matching conference opponents with a record of 17-8, this year’s group has the mix of veteran leadership, talented young players, and a bond amongst each other to take them to great heights.

Sophomore pitcher Brock Wrolstad touched on the goals of the team and what it takes to achieve them. Wrolstad is currently getting a general Associate in Arts degree and plans to further his baseball career beyond Pierce College, but has not decided where.

“Our goal is to win an NWAC Championship and to do that we need to play with confidence and for one another,” Wrolstad said. “We cannot go out playing selfish, we need to play as a family.”

The family culture the team carries is something they have built through relentless offseason preparation.

Sophomore pitcher Tyler Fox intends to major in sports management and further his baseball career as well. He is waiting until the season’s end to decide where. Fox knows how important the culture the team has created is to their success.

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
“Play fast and relaxed and never give up on your teammates,” Tucker Stroup said.

“We have a culture of family and want to fight for each other every day,” Fox said. “We’ve been grinding for about seven months now and we all know we would go to battle for each other.”

The team’s family mindset pairs well with the high standards and goals players have individually.

For Fox, he wants to have an earned run average (ERA) under 2.00 and a batting average above .300. Wrolstad also wants to have an ERA under 2.00 and be named to first team all NWAC.

Sophomore pitcher Tucker Stroup also has the goal of having an ERA below 2.00. Stroup plans to get his Associate in Arts degree before transferring to a four year university to continue his baseball career. Stroup had other individual goals he brings whenever he’s on the mound.

“Play fast and relaxed and never give up on your teammates,” Stroup said. “Be consistent as a pitcher, throw strikes and throw with intent.”

For the Raiders offensively, a top returner at the plate is outfielder Nainoa Paragoso, who had a strong freshman campaign with a batting average of .325 while also wreaking havoc on the basepath with 12 stolen bases.

On the mound, Dominic Agron hopes to continue making an example of opposing batters as he did in his freshman season where he had a 2.44 ERA, 70 innings pitched, and 58 strikeouts; all second on the team.

For the freshman, there is definitely a bit of a transition from high school baseball into college, Fox said.

“In high school you kind of know if you’re going to play a lot,” Fox said. “But in college ball, you’re fighting for a spot in the lineup every single day.”

This far into the season, the Raiders are 6-10, but with the most important games ahead, the team will gear up to dominate the conference as they did last year.

Swinging into a new era

New friendships and leaders have Pierce College Softball headed in the right direction

The Pierce College softball team comes into the new season with a number of new players. Leading them is a familiar face from the past: Coach Mike Nelson. His experience has helped form one of the most successful teams in program history.

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
Coach Mike Nelson

Led by Mike Nelson, the Raiders have goals of reaching the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) tournament this year and playing for a chance at a ring following a 9-27 finish last year.

Nelson brings an approach that emphasizes the most basic parts of the game which has a trickle-down effect on other things too.

“Proficiency in the basic fundamentals leads to the game becoming easier to play,” Nelson said. “Teaching not only the how, but the why. In the long run, a better understanding of what we are doing leads to more confidence.” Confidence as a team leads to positive experiences both on and off the field and having fun as a team will also be important, Nelson said.

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
Brittany Camp

Nelson returns to Pierce College, where he was an assistant from 2010-2012. He helped guide those teams to a 67-46 record over that span. That includes 2011, where the team tied a school record with 37 wins. Sophomore catcher Brittany Camp said the team has come together as a unit and the bond between the women is a key theme this year. Camp plans to get her general Associates in Arts degree and evaluate her options to play at the next level when the season ends.

“We honestly revolve around food,” Camp said. “We always go out to dinner and hang out with each other. We’re all really close this year and hang out even on our off days.”

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
Michaela Hougland

Among the returners, outfielder Michaela Hougland has an opportunity to repeat as a member of the NWAC’s North All Region first team. She terrorized opposing pitchers in her freshman season with a .412 batting average and a .521 on base percentage.

Natalie Vollandt returns for her sophomore season after leading the team in innings pitched last year with 86.

Freshman utility player Riley Rivera comes to Pierce College all the way from Rathdrum, Idaho. She said the transition has not been a whole lot different but there’s more work and responsibility now.

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
Riley Rivera

“It’s a big reality check having to move states and live on my own,” Rivera said. “You learn to take responsibility for more things.”

Rivera also said the experience has been positive so far and spoke on the transition from high school to college softball.

“There is definitely more talent so you are working with girls at a similar skill level,” Rivera said. “In high school you are working with younger girls and in college most people only have a year age gap.”

So far this season, the team holds a 3-7 record and will look to come into league action playing their best. Their next matchup is a road double header against Highline College on April 9.

Raiders women’s softball finds redemption this season

For new coach Amber Coburn, anything that could go wrong did before the season was half over.

The season started with just enough players to call a team. Then, one-by-one the players either got hurt or life got in the way. Thankfully, other players were able to join the team – but the roster never got over the required 10.

“The biggest challenge being a new coach is coming in to (train) athletes that you didn’t recruit and then putting that team together with very few athletes,” Coburn said.

Natalie Vollandt is one of those players recruited by previous coach Mark Edmonston. Vollandt is a pitcher and first base player and played under Edmonston for several years before coming to Pierce. Edmonston was the deciding factor for Vollandt to play for Pierce. Her mom, Kellee, and the family dog, Bentley, have followed the team all season.

Debbie Denbrook / Staff Photos
Riley Reyes-Redhair prepares to connect with the ball.

“Other four-year schools were looking at her. I suggested that she go play for “E” (that’s what we called him) for two years, get your prerequisites done. She’s not ready to give it up yet,” Kellee Vollandt said.

Another factor the team faced: games are double-headers with no extra players. Any injury meant they were done.

“That’s what’s challenging when you have only 10 athletes, 2 pitchers. That’s our challenge, when somebody is getting hurt or sore or tired, that’s our biggest challenge of how many players to fit into a game,” said Coburn.

It is hard enough to get a mix of seasoned players vs. green players to play as a team. Other teams they were competing against have been able to play as a team the whole season. The season was about half over before the team started coming together.

When the Raiders played the Bellingham Bulldogs on April 20, the players were starting to show the pressure.

“The last few games have been a struggle. We are short on players midseason. Girls getting hurt, girls getting tired, just trying to piece it together,” Coburn said.

But their spirit is undefeatable. Despite the challenges, Coburn said the team is in good standing to be in the playoffs in Spokane. As of April 30, the team is in last place in its conference.

“This team has it, we have the talent. We stay competitive. How exciting it would be for the sophomores to finish their season up and for the freshman their first season to make it there, my first year as a coach, it would be exciting to make it,” she said.

Freshman centerfielder Michaela Houglane signed on last year under Edmonston, too. Coming together as a cohesive unit with new players in the middle of the season has not been easy, she said.

“It’s been challenging just because you’re having to work with new people constantly. You don’t know them, you don’t know their styles as well and then people leave and you get attached. It’s sad because it is a very team-oriented sport,” she said.

Coburn’s optimism is felt by the team’s potential.

“I believe in this team. I believe in them a lot. There is a lot of mental challenges, as well as physical. This team is very much in their heads. But we do have a good chance at the playoffs, keep getting better every day. It is just a matter of coming together as one, working together,” she said.

Debbie Denbrook / Staff Photos
Michaela Hougland slides into second base.

Raiders vs. Bellevue

Raiders+vs.+Bellevue

Raiders vs. Bellevue

March 4th – home game.

Raiders lost 9-12.

 

 

 

Woman’s Softball

Woman%27s+Softball

2017 was an interesting season to say the least for the Pierce College Raiders women’s softball team. It was a season that saw the Raiders go to .500 in conference play and fall just short of the postseason. The Raiders ended the season the season struggling managing only three wins in the last ten games. May 14 marked the end of the season with Pierce in triumph over Everett in the highest scoring game of the season that totaled 28 runs between the rivals.

Bailee Bradley was the winning pitcher on the afternoon with Olivia Berkan struggling for Everett. Both offenses abused each pitcher with Berkan giving up 18 runs and ten from Bradley. Pierce did not have a single strikeout in the matchup. Bradley had quite a productive day on offense leading the Raiders in hits (four) and RBIs (seven). Tavian Taketa for Pierce was the scoring machine in the game with five runs. The Raiders finished the season with a bang defeating Everett 18-10.

Emily Bishop led the Raiders in 2017 with 48 hits in conference play and was tied with Taketa with 35 runs. Holiday Riback was the leader in RBIs with 36. As a team, the Raiders amassed 219 runs and 310 hits.

This was a season full of hard fought battles and struggles for the Raiders. If this core group of players sticks together, the Raiders have a good chance to make a run at the postseason in 2018.

On to the Post-Season

On+to+the+Post-Season

The 2017 NWAC Men’s baseball regular season has come to an end. Fortunately, the Raiders have stormed their way to a playoff berth in hopes of claiming the title of champions. After a dismal performance in the middle of the season, Pierce caught fire in their last ten games winning nine of them with an eight-game streak to end the regular season.

The Western division produced four teams for the postseason this year with Pierce finishing in third place behind cross town rival TCC and division champion Lower Columbia. Pierce ended with a better overall record (29-12) than TCC (27-15) but was edged out in conference play by two games. This results in Pierce being third in the west and TCC second. Pierce had the sixth best winning percentage overall in the NWAC with .707.

Pierce had their premier scoring day on May 7 against the division rival Grays Harbor Chokers. David Smallwood was the winning pitcher in the matchup was Tyson Johnson was on the losing end. Both pitchers struggled mightily throughout the game. Smallwood gave up five runs on eight hits to the Chokers offense. The Raiders offense was able to amass 22 hits with ten coming off Johnson throws. Josh Swanson had the hot bat for the Raiders with six hits, at six at bats.

After a scoreless first inning, Pierce followed with five straight innings scoring. The sixth inning was explosive in every sense of the word. The Chokers put up all their runs in the top of the inning with the Raiders adding five to their lead. Pierce finished off the night with four more runs in the bottom of the eighth. The final score was 16-6. The most points scored by the Raiders

Gaining Speed and Momentum

Raiders Softball finds a winning edge through the midway point of the season

Gaining+Speed+and+Momentum

The Raiders have had a solid start to the season but have begun to catch fire during the midway point. In the past ten games the Raiders have an 8-2 record. Pierce had an eight-game winning streak come to an end against Edmonds in heartbreaking fashion with a 19-1 loss. Despite their recent success with the eight-game winning streak, Pierce is still 15 games out of first place Douglas who are undefeated at 24-0.

Pierce had one of their better performances during this streak on April 25 against Shoreline. The Raiders more than double Shoreline in hits with 15 to six. Emily Bishop and Tavian Taketa were the leading scorers for the Raiders on the day with three runs apiece. The Raiders pitching staff was dominant giving up only a single RBI the entire game while the Raiders offense enjoyed different results putting up 13 RBIs on the board. Taketa was perfect offensively with four hits on all four of her at bats. The second inning featured Pierce at its most deadly with eight bigtime runs adding to their 2-0 lead from the first. The Raiders prevailed with a 14-1 beatdown of their Northern division foe.

The Raiders hopes of winning the division has all been eliminated with their back-to-back losses to Edmonds. In the first match-up, Edmonds was nearly unstoppable on offense. Edmonds had their best inning during the second putting up 11 runs. The game lasted only five innings due to their massive 19-1 lead over the Raiders. The Raiders struggled to produce any kind of success offensively only putting up two hits on the day. Each team struck-out four batters. The second game gave fans more of a competitive edge. Pierce gained confidence early entering the second inning tied 2-2. Momentum was shot down when Edmonds put up a quick three runs in the third inning. Edmonds continued to add to their lead entering the final inning up 7-2. The Raiders tried to complete the comeback but fell short only earning two more runs.

With nine games remaining in the regular season, everyone is crucial in the hopes on a postseason berth.  

Leave a Comment