Adna Pirates defeat the Forks Spartans 12-3 in the 2B State Fastpitch Championships on Saturday
By Jamie Council
YAKIMA, WA — One year ago today, Adna had to say goodbye to an old friend when they lost to Pe Ell-Willapa Valley in the state championship: The 2B State Championship trophy. Their last state championship was in 2019, so the the trophy stayed in the case at Adna High School during the pandemic with no playoffs in 2020 or 2021.
“Get the bad taste out of our mouth and get the trophy back where it belongs,” said Pirate head coach Bruce Pocklington of their win.
Using the feeling of defeat as motivation, the Pirates are back on top defeating Forks 12-3 on Saturday in the 2B Washington State Softball Championships and finish their season with a 22-3 record.
“It feels so much better than last year,” laughed senior third-baseman Karlee Von Moos. “It made us want it that much more because of what happened last year.”
Adna capitalized on their electrifying bats all tournament long, averaging just short of 14 runs per game. Serving as the away team, the Pirates leaded to an early 3-0 lead over the Spartans in the top of the first inning.
“We swung the bats like we were supposed to,” said Pocklington.
In the win over Forks, the Pirate recorded 16 hits. Senior catcher Brooklyn Loose was responsible four 25% of them, going 4/5 at the plate including a home run in the sixth inning. Sophomore Kendall Humphrey had a home run in the third inning, indicative of the young upcoming talent for the Adna.
Ava Simms manned the mound all seven innings. The sophomore pitcher faced 30 batters with a strike percentage of 72%. Simms recorded seven strikeouts and no walks. In the tournament, the right-hander pitched a total of 16.3 innings tallying 26 strikeouts and seven total walks.
Chloe Gaydeski pitched all seven innings for the Spartans, earning six K’s and two walks.
The battle to get to the state championship game wasn’t an easy road. Being paved as the team-to-beat created a target on their backs.
“It’s an expectation where we are at,” said Pocklington. “We work hard.”
Adna lost to Ocosta in the district championship but climbed the mountain of redemption when they defeated Ocosta 8-7 in the state semifinals when it counted. It came down to the bottom of the 7th when Adna converted by stealing home on a passed ball.
“Our composure was there,” said Pocklington after the win. “It was more exciting than it needed to be.”
The 2B classification is for schools who have enrollment numbers between 105-224. Being in such a small school can feel like a family, but the Pirates say really embrace that mentality.
“We’ve all been in school together since elementary school, grew up together, and we’re really tight,” said Brooklyn Loos.
Loos and Von Moos are headed to Lower Columbia next season to continue their softball and academic careers.
“Our whole team has played with each other for the past 10 plus years,” added Von Moos.
Pocklington had been the head coach for the Pirates for the past six years but has about four decades of coaching experience under his belt. He now has another state title to add to his list of accomplishments.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and I enjoy it,” said Pocklington. “I love to see the progression of how they become young ladies. They put up with me. I’m pretty hard on them. They go through the wall for us and I don’t know why.”