St. Helens' Mercier finishes strong at 5A/6A All-Star Series
St. Helens' Brooklynn Mercier went out on top.
Mercier, who just completed her senior year on the St. Helens softball team, added one more bit of excitement at the end of her final season, competing as a member of the 5A team in the Class 6A/5A Senior All-Star Series at University of Oregon's Jane Sanders Stadium on June 3.
Mercier's 5A team — coached by Missy Doerr of Marist, Samantha Frost of Putnam and Mardy Benedict of Lebanon — pushed the 6A stars to the limit, falling 6-5 in the opening game, then posting a decisive 12-2 victory in the second.
Having a chance to compete against the state's best — and to beat them — made the experience both rewarding and memorable for Mercier.
"Not only did we want to make our last games fun, we wanted to win, too," Mercier said. "That's exactly what we did against the 6A all-star team."
Mercier, who was recently named to the all-Northwest Oregon Conference first team, went 1 for 3 batting in the two games, getting a double, a walk and two groundouts in her four plate appearances. A third baseman for St. Helens, Mercier played third base, shortstop and second base in the all-star series.
"I'm very proud of the way I played," she said. "I was very excited to be out on the field and to be a part of the experience even if I was playing in positions I haven't played in years. I wanted to go all out for my last game and the (way it turned out) was even better than I thought."
Mercier's success came as no surprise to St. Helens coach Miranda Little.
"Brooklynn is one of the hardest working athletes that I have ever had," Little said. "She has a no-fear attitude and pushes herself daily."
During her senior year with the Lions, Mercier was one of St. Helens' best, hitting .468 with 10 doubles, two triples, 18 RBIs and 14 runs scored. She only struck out four times, stole seven bases and put together a .507 on-base percentage.
Mercier was just as tough defensively, handling 71 chances with 39 assists, 28 putouts and just four errors.
"She wants the ball hit to her every time," Little said. "It doesn't matter what position she is playing."
It was those attributes that got Mercier selected to the all-star series — she was one of just five NWOC players chosen, along with Payton Goodrich of Hillsboro, Madison Mayer and Mikayla Schweinsberg of Putnam, and Hannah Sisul of La Salle Prep — and gave her the chance to finish her competitive career on a high note. Mercier will enter the U.S. Air Force following graduation.
"It meant a lot to be invited to play against the best in the state, and better yet, to be a part of that group," she said. "It's an amazing experience to be able to play with the girls I played against for four years. I am very grateful to have this opportunity be the last time I step on the field as a fastpitch player"