Tigard's Ashley Davis is simply the best
TIGARD — Year after year, Ashley Davis has put in the hard work.
Year after year, she would keep getting better and better.
This year, she was the best.
Not only was she at her best, but she was the state's best.
And she was honored for it.
Davis, a 2018 Tigard High School graduate, was named the Class 6A Pitcher of the Year for her senior-year performance for the Tiger softball team.
"I'm so grateful and honored," Davis said. "I didn't expect it at all. But it was huge to know that all of these coaches voted for me. I'm so honored. There are so many good pitchers out there."
And, of all of those good pitchers, Davis was selected as the very best one.
The numbers certainly seem to back up that selection. This past spring, as a Tigard senior, Davis, as a pitcher, had a 23-5 won-loss record and 1.01 earned-run average. She struck out 255 batters in 170 innings pitched.
She also shined at the plate, hitting for a .371 average, with 10 doubles, four home runs and 31 RBIs.
"Her leadership was unquestioned, I've said that a million times," Tigard coach Pete Kostel said of Davis. "She led by example in the way she worked, from practice to her off season routine, to her expectations of her self. A big thing as well was her perspective, she was a valedictorian, involved in Young Life, held a job, and was able to play at an elite level. I believe that our younger kids see that and she leads in that manner."
It was Kostel who told Davis of the Pitcher of the Year honor.
"I started crying," Davis said. "I was shocked. I didn't expect it at all. I was happy just being on first team. Then, to find out I was Pitcher of the Year, I felt so honored."
But that honor didn't come without hard work. That's been a big thing for Davis, ever since her freshman year at Tigard, when she played junior varsity softball, but also swung up to see some varsity action.
"A goal of mine was to get better every year," she said. "In my senior year, my placement continued to get better, and my riseball came to life."
Davis, with her pitching and hitting, helped lead Tigard to a 24-5 record in the 2018 season. But she contributed even more to the team.
"It was fun being a leader with (Tiger senior infielder) Caroline (Riggs)," Davis said. "We bonded more. Everyone worked so hard."
While Davis had many big games her senior year, the biggest might have come in a 3-0 win at Glencoe in a Class 6A state playoff second-round game. In that contest, where she outdueled Glencoe standout pitcher Izzy Womack, Davis gave up five hits, while striking out 11 and walking one.
And, with that win, the Tigers earned their first state playoff quarterfinal appearance since 1995.
"It was insane," Davis said. "It was awesome, and we had so much fun."
Davis is also quick to point out that her success as a senior was a team effort.
"Our fielders were great, and our catcher, Emily Paulson, was great," she said. "They all really helped me out."
Davis will continue her scholastic softball career at George Fox University in Newberg.
"I'm so excited for that," she said. "I'm really looking forward to it. They graduate two pitchers, so I should have a really good opportunity."
But Davis knows that success isn't going to come easy at the collegiate level.
"Physically, it's going to be more demanding," she said. "I'm going to keep working hard."
In addition to Davis' Pitcher of the Year and first-team selection, Tigard had other players earn Class 6A all-state accolades.
Tiger sophomore outfielder Lexi Klum was a second-team Class 6A all-state pick. Paulson, also a sophomore, was a third-team selection and freshman outfielder Sophia vanderSommen was an honorable-mention all-state pick.
Class 6A state champion Tualatin, which went 30-0 on the season, had five players earn Class 6A all-state honors.
Leading the way for the Timberwolves was senior Megan Woodward, who was a first-team all-state selection as a pitcher.
Tualatin senior third baseman Taylor Alton and junior first baseman Emily Johansen were each second-team picks. Senior catcher Ella Hillier and senior outfielder Zoe Olivera were both third-team selections.
Tualatin's Jenna Wilson was named the Class 6A Coach of the Year.
Clackamas sophomore Alyssa Daniell was named the Class 6A Player of the Year.
For baseball, Sherwood senior Riley Aggson was a Class 6A all-state pick as a pitcher. In his senior season for the Bowmen, Aggson had a 7-3 won-loss record and a 1.65 earned-run average. In 59 and one-third innings of work on the mound, he gave up 14 earned runs on 44 hits, while striking out 79 batters and walking 15.
Also for Sherwood, senior Hayden Gilbert was a second-team all-state pick at catcher and junior shortstop/pitcher Anthony Garrett was a second-team selection as a utility player.
For Tualatin, which won a share of the Three Rivers League title, junior shortstop Kyle Dernedde was a second-team pick as an infielder and senior second baseman Colby Jackson was an honorable-mention pick as an infielder.
For Tigard, junior C.J. Rivers was a second-team selection as a first baseman and senior Nick Heinke was an honorable-mention pick as an outfielder.