Tigers ready to step up in 2018
TIGARD — The Tigard High School softball team looks to have a lot going for it heading into the 2018 Three Rivers League season.
The Tigers seem to boast talent, experience and leadership, among other qualities, as they look for a strong performance in league play.
"We're excited for the season," second-year Tigard head coach Pete Kostel said. "The team has great senior leadership in Ashley Davis and Caroline Riggs. Junior Maddie Hoover is one of the hardest workers in this program."
Davis, Riggs and Hoover are just three of the key returnees from last year's young squad that finished in second place in the final Three Rivers League standings at 12-2, while going 19-7-1 on the season.
Davis, a year ago, was named the Three Rivers League Pitcher of the Year, while also earning Class 6A all-state honorable mention accolades.
"She is one of the best pitchers in the state," Kostel said. "Her work ethic and leadership are unquestioned."
Behind the plate, Tigard has another returning first-team all-league pick in sophomore catcher Emily Paulson, who also was a third-team all-state selection.
"She's very competitive and leads by example," Kostel said.
Hoover is back at shortstop for the Tigers. She was a second-team all-league pick last year.
"She brings it everyday, and leads by example," Kostel said.
Riggs, at third base, was an honorable mention all-league pick last year.
Tigard also returns sophomore center fielder Lexi Klum. Last year, Klum got off to a roaring start to the season before suffering an injury.
"She's fully healthy going into this season," Kostel said.
Sophomore infielder Abby Soderquist, sophomore utility player Katelyn Erickson, sophomore utility player Elli Dardis, sophomore outfielder Grace Nelson and sophomore utility player Jalen Perez are also back from last year's varsity team.
Among the newcomers to the Tigard varsity are sophomore outfielder Emilie Otto, freshman infielder Katie Regalado, freshman utility/pitcher Sophia vanderSommen and sophomore utility player Megan McNamara.
"We are still going to be young as a team, with only two seniors and one junior on the varsity roster," Kostel said. "But we had a lot of freshmen, who are now sophomores, get a lot of experience last year."
As for the strength of this year's team, it all may start with Davis.
"We're strong in the circle with Ashley Davis," Kostel said. "And leadership, as well, for her. I believe we have some kids who can compete at the plate. Klum, Paulson and Davis come to mind."
As for the Three Rivers League this year, Kostel sees some strong competition ahead for the Tigers.
"This is a very competitive league," he said. "Tualatin is the team to beat. We hope to go out every night and compete and play hard."
Tigard, on Monday, won 10-1 at Centennial. Paulson went 2 for 4 at the plate in the win, with a home run, two runs scored and four RBIs. Riggs went 2 for 3, with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs. Klum went 2 for 5 with a run scored an an RBI.
Davis picked up the pitching win, allowing three hits, while strikng out 10 and walking one.
Tigard was slated to host Reynolds in a non-league game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press. The Tigers will be back in action on Friday, when they travel to David Douglas for a non-league game starting at 4:30 p.m.