Glencoe's Becker, Butterfield, head list of Pacific Conference all-stars
A good year got a whole lot better for the Glencoe softball team recently when the 2019 Pacific Conference all-league teams were announced.
The Crimson Tide garnered six first team selections, a second-teamer, four honorable mention, and swept the Player, Pitcher, and Coach of the Year awards.
Glencoe lost to Sheldon in the state quarterfinals, but prior completed an undefeated Pacific Conference season en route to their third consecutive league title dating back to their 2017 and 2018 Metro League crowns.
Jensen Becker was honored as the Pacific Conference Player of the Year. The senior centerfielder who's headed to Oregon Institute of Technology to play for the Owls in the fall, hit .512 over the Tide's 12 league games and is widely considered one of the state's best outfielders.
"Jensen has one of the strongest and accurate arms that I have ever seen," Glencoe head coach Jason Eastman said. "She's been one of the best outfielders in the state since her freshman year and this recognition is something that is well deserved."
Becker said she didn't see the award coming, but was quick to point to her teammates and the team's success as part of what makes the honor so exciting.
"I was completely surprised and honored," Becker said. "It was even more special since we were also undefeated league champions and all nine of our starters also received league awards. I'm very proud of how well our young team did this year. It made my senior year very special."
Not to be outdone, Dana Butterfield was selected Pitcher of the Year. The sophomore, despite battling injury for much of the year, finished with an 11-0 record, 0.31 ERA, while striking out 124 hitters. Eastman said that while impressive, the numbers are even more so due to the first-year starter's bout with a handful of injuries.
"Dana had a Special year," the coach said. "Pitching the way she did and still not being 100 percent shows her true competitive nature and grit."
Eastman — seemingly to his chagrin — was also honored, selected as the conference's Coach of the Year. Like Becker before him, the coach deflected the bulk of the credit, pointing more to the assistants and youth coaches that help him throughout the Glencoe program.
"This award shows that Glencoe has a wonderful staff at all levels dedicated to softball and growing amazing young ladies into great people," the coach said. "I have always put better coaches around me, and that is the secret."
Joining Becker and Butterfield on the list of Crimson Tide honorees, were fellow first-teamers: senior infielder Morgan DeBord, sophomore catcher Athena Van Dyke, junior outfielder Nici Eckhart, and freshman infielder Ellie Ravins, who Eastman said will be a valuable cog in the Glencoe lineup in the coming years.
"Ellie also had a great league run for us," he said. "Her confidence and demeanor will help us the next three years as a leader of our infield."
DeBord's first team selection capped a year that saw the standout earn first team honors in volleyball, basketball, and softball, as well as qualifying for the state track and field meet as part of Glencoe's 4x400 relay team.
Glencoe's Emma Ware was a second team utility honoree, and junior Alivia Eastman and sophomore Megan Gaskin were honorable mention.
The Tide weren't the only local team represented on the all-league teams, with Forest Grove boasting five honorees, Liberty four, and Century three.
The sixth place Vikings' freshman pitcher Ella Taplin, fellow freshman Hailey Yon, sophomore Kamalie Tanaka, and junior Ellie Kintz were all honorable mention. Tanaka led Forest Grove with a .341 batting average, while Kintz hit .321 while leading the team in home runs and slugging percentage.
The Falcons, who finished with a 10-16 overall record and fifth in the Pacific Conference, were represented by first team sophomore outfielder Natasha Stubbs, second-teamers Abby Blair and Zoe Allen, along with senior Angelica Colbert who was an honorable mention infielder.
Century was led by first team infielder Gavyn Shafer who was honored for the fourth consecutive year, earning first team All-Metro League selections following her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. In addition to Shafer, senior infielder Adreanna Stratton was a second team selection, while senior pitcher Sarah Gruber was honorable mention.