The 2023 Puget Sound Showcase featuring selected 3A and 4A high school All-Star teams split the two-game doubleheader May 29 at Auburn Riverside.
Both sides consisted of players from in and around the North Puget Sound League (NPSL) with each team divided up by classification. The coaches for these teams were 4A Coach of the Year Sydney Eacret (Kentwood) and 3A Coach of the Year Brenna Nesper (Auburn).
“It was definitely a shocker, but very much appreciated. It shows that the coaches watch you and see what you’re trying to do with the program … The athletes make a coach look really good … They were just a family and came together and fought their asses off,” Nesper said reflecting on her season and being awarded coach of the year.
From the jump, both teams scored in the first inning and brought the energy, which was something that didn’t surprise either coach.
“These girls want to come out and have fun, but they’re also here to win a game. They came out here to show their talent and be the best they can,” Eacret said.
“It’s always bigger than softball. These kids were taking this opportunity and enjoying the moment … It’s really incredible to have this much talent on both sides out playing,” Nesper said.
The quality of play from the girls was also extremely high, and the talent level was incredible in the game.
Auburn Riverside’s Kaylee Walker was awarded MVP on the 3A side, going 3-for-5 (2 doubles, 2 RBI). Tahoma’s Taryn Jones received the 4A MVP for the two games by going 3-for-3 (HR, 2B, 6 RBI).
4A won game one 8-1 over 3A. Decatur had two pitchers combine for the seven-inning one-run ballgame. Karen Cervantes went four strong innings, allowing a run in the first and struck out two. 4A NPSL pitcher of the year Audrey Deviney came in to relieve Cervantes and allowed just one hit over three innings.
To get the teams familiar with each other, 4A coach Eacret had her own unique way of breaking the ice.
“We came from a very awkward beginning to literally having an ugly dance competition before the game. Now they’re all hugging and best friends after the game,” she said.
In game two, it looked to be a similar result as the first game with the 4A All-Star team taking a quick 5-0 lead. But back-to-back five-run innings in the fifth and sixth bolstered 3A to a huge 10-5 win.
Nine players registered RBIs in the win for the 3A squad. Aubrey Muxen from Auburn Riverside had the lone multi-RBI game, driving in two with a double. Riverside Raven Jossy Taylor had a great day in game two, recording two hits in her two at-bats.
With the softball season now officially coming to a close, it’s a storybook ending for coach Eacret’s first season.
“I don’t think the end of the year has processed yet,” she said. It was her first year at the helm of any team. She coached Kentwood to a state berth for the second year in a row and was two games away from the championship.
“I remember sitting watching this game last year. I never would have ever thought I would be coaching this team. It wasn’t on my mind at all … I’m thankful, I’m not ready for it to be done. But the nice thing is my girls are ready for summer workouts, so we’re not really done,” Eacret said.