The Tigers are the top-ranked team in the state and boast one of Oregon's best pitchers, but they win collectively.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Tigard senior pitcher Makenna Reid winds for a pitch during the Tigers' game versus Jesuit April 11, at Jesuit High School.The Tigard High School softball team is 15-1 overall, boast arguably the state's best pitcher and are presently the top-ranked team in the OSAA rankings. But while many people's pick to win it all, head coach Pete Kostel said that this Tigers team looks inward opposed to outward for the inspiration necessary to succeed.

"Our goal has always been to become the best version of ourselves and with that have this team become the best version of itself," Kostel said. "They internally have high goals and expectations to see where this thing can go, and truly believe in each other's success and want that for each other."

So far, so good.

The Tigers have been dominant over their first 16 games, with just a loss to No. 11-ranked McNary to their name.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Tigard infielder Ella Dardis throws the ball from her shortstop position during the Tigers' game against Jesuit April 11, at Jesuit High School.They have wins over No. 3-ranked Newberg, No. 6-ranked Oregon City, No. 8-ranked Sheldon, and No. 10-ranked Westview under their belts, not to mention victories against Sherwood, Mountainside, Jesuit and Sprague who all sit in the top-16 of the OSAA rankings.

Much of their success can obviously be attributed to pitcher Makenna Reid who's allowed just four earned runs in 95 innings of work, while striking out 213 and walking only 14.

She's also thrown four no-hitters, two of which came in back-to-back appearances versus Dallas and Mountainside.

Last season Reid was nearly equally impressive, holding opposing hitters to just a .129 batting average opposed to .074 thus far this season.

Kostel said he's seen the difference in the standout who's committed to attend and play softball at Florida State University this coming fall, and attributes it to the work she has and continues to put-in on and off the field.

"She worked hard in the offseason to prepare herself physically," Kostel said. "She has a stronger command of her pitches and her mental focus and toughness in the circle has gotten better."

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Tigard right fielder Kaylin Kisor hustles for a fly ball during the Tigers' game versus Jesuit April 11, at Jesuit High School.This isn't a one-woman show however, for the Tigers boast a litany of talented players that span the field.

Junior catcher Karen Spadafora offers a powerful bat and glove behind the plate, and seniors, first baseman Sera Reilly, third baseman Kani Korok, pitcher and outfielder Olivia Allison, utility player Kate Looney, and Kali and Kaylin Kisor combine for a sound defense and offer the grit and leadership necessary to succeed.

Additionally, Kostel said sophomore shortstop Ella Dardis, sophomore outfielder Hailey White, and junior newcomer Nozomi Akin offer versatility at the plate and in the field.

If that sounds like a lot of notable people, it is, which is why Kostel is quick to attribute this Tigers team's success to a consistent and collective effort.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Tigard ace Makenna Reid focuses in on the target during the Tigers' game against Westview April 4, at Tigard High School."Consistency in how we practice and play and getting better every day is something I challenge them with," the coach said. "The team has performed really well in the aspect of team chemistry and the care factor they have for each other."

And would he call that their strength? Of course, along with pitching and that sound defense.

He wouldn't tell me their "weakness," after-all he wouldn't want to give the competition a leg-up. But he did say he was excited about their hitting turning a corner, and if the bats heat up, look out.

"Our bats are starting to come around, and if we can consistently put pressure on the defense…"

Good luck.

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.