Yelm High School Fastpitch Begins Season With Dominant Performance, Rainier Notches Win

By Jacob Dimond / jake@yelmonline.com
Posted 3/22/22

Yelm High School’s fastpitch team got its season underway on Friday, March 18 against the North Thurston Rams in a South Sound Conference matchup.

Following a 14-0 season without playoffs, …

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Yelm High School Fastpitch Begins Season With Dominant Performance, Rainier Notches Win

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Yelm High School’s fastpitch team got its season underway on Friday, March 18 against the North Thurston Rams in a South Sound Conference matchup.

Following a 14-0 season without playoffs, the Tornados look to have a strong season and eye a return to the state tournament.

The first pitch was at 3:30 p.m. but prior to the game, there was a celebration of Yelm’s new turf field, capped off with two honorary first pitches. Former Tornados Tayelyn Cutler and Drea Schwaier threw the first pitches, as Taylor Gubser and Ashley Ellis caught the balls. Once the celebration was wrapped up, the competition began.

The Tornados offense was on a roll early on as the ladies scored one run in the first inning, one in the second inning, four in the third inning, and one more in the fourth. The Tornados jumped out to a 7-1 lead by the time the fourth inning came around, and had all but won the game, notching a 10-1 victory at the end.

Yelm tallied a total of 12 hits, which included a three-for-three day from senior shortstop Kailei Thompson, who also scored four runs. Senior catcher Kendall Lawson also tallied three hits on the day.

Coach Lindsey Walton applauded both seniors following their strong season debuts.

“Kailei Thompson and Kendall Lawson were both strong from the left side offensively, accumulating six of our 12 total hits,” Walton said.

Others contributing for the Tornados offensively were senior second baseman Molly Embrey and senior outfielder Elena Castanon. Embrey had a big day for the Tornados, as she had two hits and two RBIs in the matchup. Castanon had a productive day as well, tallying three RBIs throughout the contest.

Senior pitcher Vivian Watts had a dominating performance as well, allowing just one run and three hits through seven innings pitched. Watts also tallied a total of nine strikeouts, displaying her pitching prowess.

“Vivian pitched very well and made the appropriate adjustments to certain hitters later in the game,” Walton said.

Walton said it was a great start to the season as the team secured its first league game.

“We are looking forward to the next stretch of games as our season really gets going over the next two weeks before spring break,” said Walton. “The girls are excited and playing well together already, which is a good sign for the rest of the season.”

The Tornados were able to follow a strong, winning formula of being relentless on the basepaths, and being opportunistic on offense.



“One of our season goals is to score every inning and we almost met that goal with the exception of one inning. We have a lot of speed on our team so when we get base runners we can create havoc for our opponents and put runs on the board,” said Walton.

Following the victory against North Thurston, Yelm was set to play Tenino High School at 3 p.m. on March 22 at Yelm High School. The ladies will then play in a highly anticipated matchup against Timberline High School at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 at home.

Following that, the Tornados will play a series of games on Friday, March 25 at Bellevue College against Ellensburg High School at 5 p.m. and East Valley High School at 7 p.m. On Saturday, March 26, they will take part in the Auburn Riverside Invitational against Pe Ell High School at 1:15 p.m. and Jackson High School at 3:15 p.m.

Rainier Softball

As for the Rainier softball team, they erupted for 17 hits and the Mountaineers found little trouble dispatching Mossyrock in a 12-0 non-league road victory on Friday, March 18.

Bailey Elwell led the charge both offensively and defensively, going 3 for 4 with four RBI and three runs at the plate, while fanning 15 batters and allowing three hits in a complete-game shutout on the mound.

“She was just crushing it, hitting the fence, and her pitching was fantastic,” Rainier coach Kyle Greenwood said. “We’re lucky to have her. She was in full control.”

The Mountaineers hit well as a team, with Azlyn Taylor also going 3 for 4 with an RBI. Olivia Earsley (2-2), Brooklynn Swenson (2-4), Carolyn Ferguson (2-4), Madison Mounts (2-4) and Keira Anderson (2-4) all had multi-hit games. Mounts also hit a three-run homer.

“All the way up and down,” Greenwood said. “We struggled a bit at first, but once we started adjusting, we started racking it up. This is one of the best years for Rainier in that Bailey has a ton of help behind her. The kids are breathing confidence and they’re executing.”

As Rainier scored three runs every other inning, Mossyrock was unable to string together hits against Elwell. Hailey Brooks, the Vikings’ standout center fielder, led the way with a 2 for 3 performance at the plate. Adyson Barrows had the only other hit for Mossyrock.

Erin Cournyer pitched six innings for the Vikings, striking out four batters.

Rainier played at Tenino on Thursday, March 24.

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