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SBLive's 2022 Washington high school softball all-state team: Monroe's River Mahler is player of the year

The talented Bearcats' shortstop has signed with Stanford University softball; Nooksack Valley's Tom Harmon is named state coach of the year in leading the Pioneers to their first Class 1A title

Here is SBLive’s 2022 spring all-state team for Washington high school softball. The statewide team spans all Washington high school classifications and was compiled by senior reporter Todd Milles.

Read: 20 hitters to watch in 2022 WIAA softball postseason

Read: 15 pitchers to watch in 2022 WIAA softball postseason

Players were selected based on spring high school performance, coach recommendations, all-league awards and team success:

River Mahler, Monroe softball 2022, SBLive WA state player of the year

A career .649 hitter, Monroe shortstop River Mahler will take her vast ability to Stanford next fall.

Player of the year: River Mahler, Monroe, sr.

Bearcats coach Ashley Tuiasosopo kids she has the best view of her standout shortstop's natural softball gifts standing in the third-base coaching box. "She slaps it, but she will also lace a triple over your head," said Tuiasosopo, who also played at Washington. "The thing that makes her so great is her preparation." A career .649 hitter at Monroe, Mahler will take her talents to Stanford next fall. This spring, she moved to the leadoff spot - and began the season by hitting for the cycle against Kamiak. Overall, Mahler hit .691 with 65 hits (33 for extra bases), 52 runs, 42 RBI and nine SB in 28 games. She also had a .981 fielding percentage.

Nooksack Valley softball coach Tom Harmon

Tom Harmon is the only fastpitch coach in Nooksack Valley history, and led the team to first Class 1A title this spring.

Coach of the year: Tom Harmon, Nooksack Valley

The former Western Washington University baseball player wanted to be a head coach - and became Nooksack Valley's first and only fastpitch leader in 1998. And with seven seniors leading the way, including pitcher Jordyn Relethford, the Pioneers became the first Whatcom County program to win a WIAA state championship. Capping their season-ending 26-game winning streak was a 4-3 victory over Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls to capture the Class 1A crown in Richland. "They all tried to kick it up a notch in the offseason," Harmon said. "And the thing about this team this spring, it was all driven by 'Today's' performance."


WIAA 2022 Class 3A softball action at the RAC in Lacey, first round Lilly Bean

Lake Washington catcher Lilly Bean was among the home run leaders (16) in Washington softball in 2022.

Catcher: Lilly Bean, Lake Washington, sr.

Kangaroos closed the season on an 18-game winning streak - and with a Class 3A title. This Weatherford College signee, who was the 3A/2A KingCo MVP, was a big reason behind the charge (.632 BA, 16 HR, 56 RBI).

Kaiea Higa, Tahoma softball, class of 2022

Tahoma's Kaiea Higa set all the home run records at Tahoma, and is headed off to play at Oregon State University.

Corner infielder: Maleah Andrews, Bothell, jr.

Exceptional power-speed combination who sprays it to all corners of the field, especially the opposite way (.411 BA, seven HR, 30 RBI) for the 4A KingCo regular-season champions. Voted an all-league third baseman.

Corner infielder: Kaiea Higa, Tahoma, sr.

In terms of plate discipline and power stroke, nobody is better than this Oregon State University signee, also a three-time all-4A NPSL third baseman (.643 BA, 13 extra-base hits, 20 RBI in 18 games). Hit 27 career home runs in two-plus seasons.

Camryn McDonald, Othello softball, class of 2023

Othello junior shortstop Camryn McDonald, the 2A CWAC player of the year, did her most damage against elite pitching.

Middle infielder: Kya Jenkins, Skyview, sr.

So smooth in everything she does, Jenkins broke out as a senior in garnering 4A GSHL player of the year honors (.553 BA, 19 extra-base hits, 34 runs) at shortstop, leading the Storm to the Class 4A championship game in Spokane.

Middle infielder: Camryn McDonald, Othello, jr.

The numbers for the 2A CWAC player of the year were outstanding - .667 batting average, 10 HR, 60 runs, 51 RBI - but the big-play shortstop seemed to do her most damage against the best pitchers - and teams - in the state.

Middle infielder: Tia Milloy, Redmond, soph.

There isn't a more feared and explosive table setter in the state than this 4A KingCo player of the year (.589 BA, 25 extra-base hits, 51 runs, 18 SB), who drove in the game-winning run to net the Mustangs the Class 4A crown.

Middle infielder: Aly Waltermeyer, Tumwater, sr.

Every time the Thunderbirds needed a big hit in the postseason, it was this 2A Evergreen first-team shortstop who came up clutch (.549 BA, 17 extra-base hits, 32 runs). She hit two of her three home runs in the state title game.

Ella Claus, Redmond softball, class of 2022

North Dakota State signee Ella Claus made a habit of driving in important runs for Class 4A champion Redmond.

Outfielder: Ashlyn Alexander, Lynden, sr.

Whatcom County flexed its muscle in the WIAA state championships - and this Northwest Conference player of the year hit everything in sight (.529 BA, 14 HR, 44 RBI), setting school long-ball records in the process.

Outfielder: Ella Claus, Redmond, sr.

The top of the Class 4A champions' lineup arguably was the most feared in the state - and this 4A KingCo first teamer was in the middle of it as the league's top power hitter (.508 BA, 10 HR, 24 extra-base hits, 51 RBI).

Outfielder: Hailey Rath, Eatonville, sr.

What more can be said about the Babe Ruth of Washington high school softball? The 1A Evergreen player of the year (.605 BA, 24 HR, 62 RBI) hit 39 home runs in her past 42 games, including a state-best 24 as a senior.

Designed hitter: Taylor Fitch, Woodinville, sr.

Falcons underwhelmed in battle-tested 4A KingCo - but their all-league catcher did not. The Loyola-Marymount signee raked as the sole run-producing threat in the lineup, batting .423 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 24 games.

Olivia Matlock, PWV softball, class of 2022

Olivia Matlock was on a mission for PWV in the Class 2B tournament, hitting four home runs and pitching 15 scoreless innings.

Utility: Chloe Flerchinger, Shadle Park, sr.

The best performer in Spokane was certainly the Highlanders' pace setter in the circle (10-3, 1.71 ERA, 133 strikeouts in 77.2 IP) and also part of a deep hitting lineup (.567 BA, 24 extra-base hits, 46 RBI, 12 SB). Two-time 2A GSL player of the year.

Utility: Olivia Matlock, Pe Ell/Willapa Valley, sr.

Simply put, this two-time 2B Pacific League player of the year(13-3, 2.08 ERA, six no-hitters as pitcher; .710 BA, 13 HR, 52 RBI as hitter) made the state tournament her playground (four HR; 15 scoreless IP) in leading PWV to the title.

Utility: Gracie Ream, Puyallup, fr.

The only ninth grader to make the team, Ream quickly became the team's top two-way cog - and delivered in a big way (8-3, 2.64 ERA, 132 strikeouts in 69 IP as pitcher; .527 BA, 13 HR, 44 RBI as hitter). Voted 4A SPSL MVP.

Utility: Tallulah Sickels, Walla Walla, sr.

The emotional pulse of the team's run to the Class 3A title game ran through this two-time reigning Mid-Columbia Conference player of the year (17-2, 1.98 ERA as pitcher; .438 BA, 12 HR, 35 RBI as hitter).

Yanina Sherwood struck out 255 batters in 164 innings in 2023 for the Jackson Timberwolves.

Sophomore Yanina Sherwood notched 15 wins and 205 strikeouts in her first full season as the Jackson workhorse.

Pitcher: Tess Bumiller, Lake Washington, sr.

Until the Class 3A title game, the most runs this Utah State signee had given up in a game this spring was ... two. The 3A/2A KingCo first teamer (15-0, 0.78 ERA, 203 strikeouts in 107.1 IP) wore hitters down with precision.

Pitcher: Ryan Grace, Skyline, sr.

Armed with wit, will and pinpoint location, this Harvard signee navigated the tough 4A KingCo and was named the league's pitcher of the year (18-6, 1.57 ERA, 303 strikeouts in 187 IP). Gamer led Spartans to District 1/2 title.

Pitcher: Maddie Milhorn, Skyview, fr.

Battled injuries all spring in her first varsity season, but when she felt good - her power-pitching arm talent was elite (17-1, 0.78 ERA, 223 strikeouts in 116.1 IP) in leading Storm to Class 4A title game.

Pitcher: Yanina Sherwood, Jackson, soph.

Ice in her veins, dynamite in her arm - Sherwood, once again, showed she was easily the top pitcher in the 4A Wesco (15-2, 1.17 ERA, 205 strikeouts in 143.2 IP) - and capable of being a workhorse ace for any team.

Pitcher: Sarah Wright, Kentwood, soph.

Dazzled as 4A NPSL player of the year (18-1, 0.33 ERA, 330 strikeouts in 128 IP), Wright tossed eight no-hitters, including one in the West Central/Southwest District title game. Named 2022 Gatorade state player of the year.