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Sept. 24, 2020

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All-Region Softball: Olivia Grey, Woodland

Senior never settled during dominant two-year stretch

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Woodland pitcher Olivia Grey finished the season with an 0.05 earned run average. That’s just one earned run allowed in 147 innings.
Woodland pitcher Olivia Grey finished the season with an 0.05 earned run average. That’s just one earned run allowed in 147 innings. Nathan Howard/The Columbian Photo Gallery

For all the punishment Olivia Grey dealt to opposing hitters this season, she ended up with a battle scar of her own.

Sometimes, Grey’s pitching hand would swipe against her right thigh. For a pitcher so powerful, those occasional impacts left her with a large bruise.

But it’s no big deal, the Woodland senior said. Grey is quick to point out that her catcher, Justice Holcomb, endured a lot more.

“I couldn’t thank her enough this season,” Grey said. “This girl, her hand was swollen from the first week. It never stopped swelling up.”

Grey left opposing hitters sore all season. In pitching Woodland to its second consecutive Class 2A state title, Grey allowed just one earned run over 147 innings.

For her accomplishments, Grey is The Columbian’s All-Region softball player of the year for a second time.

After her breakout junior season, Grey didn’t want to settle.

“I always want to get better,” she said. “I never want to plateau and be in the same spot I was last year.”

Though her 329 strikeouts were less than the 380 she notched as a junior, her senior season was better. She allowed only 28 hits, roughly one third of last year’s total.

Then there’s that microscopic earned-run average of 0.05, compared to an ERA of 0.80 last season.

There’s also her dominance at the state tournament. In four shutout wins, Grey threw 258 strikes to only 95 balls, striking out 66 batters over 26 innings. On average, batters lasted 3.96 pitches against Grey.

It all culminated with a no-hitter in the championship game against district rival W.F. West.

And Grey didn’t do it alone. With most of its roster back from the 2018 championship team, Woodland rolled through the season by winning every game except a meaningless tune-up against Montesano two days before the state tournament.

“I think everyone stepped it up 10 notches,” Grey said. “I saw a lot of girls come to open gym that never did last year. The work was there and all our hearts were 100 percent in it.”

Grey has signed to play for Portland State. This summer, she will work out with Portland State infielder and former Woodland star Jessica Flanagan.

Though she has an eye toward the future, Grey will always cherish the memories of the past two years.

“If we had a perfect season or a losing season, I still had so much fun with these girls,” she said. “We poured our heart into this team.”

The rest of the All-Region team

Mikelle Anthony, Skyview — Junior leadoff hitter batted .426 in the regular season, then helped Storm reach the 4A state tournament.

Sydney Brown, Mountain View — 3A GSHL MVP pitched Thunder to fourth place in state. ERA of 1.42 with 256 strikeouts. Junior also hit five home runs.

Kaia Oliver, Ridgefield — Syracuse-bound senior pitched Spudders to third in state. ERA of .123 with 284 strikeouts. Also hit .333 with three home runs.

Grace Stillman, Battle Ground — Senior catcher was 4A GSHL MVP, batting .465 with 32 RBI. More than half of her base hits went for extra bases.

Mallory Meyer, Battle Ground — The 4A GSHL pitcher of the year as a sophomore, she pitched Tigers to league championship and a trip to state tournament.

Serena Fogg, Mountain View — Senior cleanup hitter batted .400 with 26 RBI and a team-high on-base percentage of .539.

Emma Jenkins, Ridgefield — Senior catcher led Spudders with a .480 batting average, a .541 on-base percentage and 12 doubles.

Sarah Jenkins, Ridgefield — Senior shortstop batted .321 as Spudders’ leadoff hitter, scoring 26 runs in 27 games. Also pitched 45 innings with a 2.02 ERA.

Kaily Christensen, Woodland — Junior leadoff hitter batted .583 with 12 home runs, 37 RBI and 34 runs scored helping Beavers to 2A state title.

Kaelani Gamble, Union — Senior catcher batted .523 with 24 RBI, eight doubles and .575 on-base percentage, all team-highs.

Alysia Fraly, Prairie — Only a freshman, Falcons cleanup hitter batted .507 with seven home runs and 40 RBI as Prairie reached 3A state tournament.

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