Deer Park Lady Stags Softball earns first state trophy in school history, bringing home 3rd place from Richland’s Columbia Playfields.
For the first time in school history, the Deer Park Lady Stags Softball team has brought home a state trophy in the 2023 State Softball Tournament held in Richland, WA, at the Columbia Playfields over Memorial Weekend. The Lady Stags won over Hoquiam High School to bring home 3rd place on Sunday morning after a thunder/lightning delay halted their game on Saturday night.
Lady Stags started out the tournament on Thursday with a play-in game (losers out) against Bellevue Christian, winning 9-6.
After a night of rest, they began Friday in the quarter-final against Hoquiam. After a hard battle, the Stags lost 4-7, but continued playing in the tournament for the 3/4 spot. They first battled Lynden Christian with an impressive 21-6 win.
Saturday morning started with a game against Blaine, where they continued their win with an 8-3 victory. The next game was back against the team that shut them out during round 2. Lady Stags started strong in Saturday night’s game against Hoquiam, scoring 5-0 in the first inning. When thunder started rolling during the top of the 5th inning, the game was delayed until Sunday morning, with the Stags leading 8-3. Picking up at 9 am, the game started with Hoquiam at bat, two outs and one on first. The batter popped up a fly, and Hannah Krantz caught it in right field. At the end of the game, Stags had brought their lead up to 10-3, cinching their 3rd-place state trophy.
“Our infield was amazing, knocking down balls and getting players out on first,” commented parent Kelli Sanchez. During the course of the tournament, four home runs were hit by Lady Stag seniors Hannah Krantz (2), Brooklyn Dryden (1) and Paige Hamilton (1).
Seniors for the team are Ruby Solomon, Hannah Krantz, Brooklyn Dryden, Paige Hamilton, Miah Weaver, Isabella Olson and Aly Sanchez. Paige Hamilton has signed to play Softball and study Elementary Education for Whitworth University. Brooklyn Dryden has signed to play Softball and study Health Sciences with Carroll College. Hannah Krantz has signed to play Soccer and study Exercise Science for Eastern Oregon University.
Head Coach Dana Shaw was proud of his team for their hard work to get them to state. “I am happy for everyone who was involved in our program this year. I’m especially happy for our seniors. Those girls did not get their freshman season due to Covid. That team, for that season, was loaded with talent and they had expectations to do what we ended up doing this season. So for them to end their high school careers with a win at state securing a 3rd place trophy I really hope it makes this journey worth it for them.”
He also had great words about the younger members of the team. “I don’t want to forget the underclass on this team. Those kids had great seasons as well, with three of them winning all-league honors and being huge contributors at state.”
Stags left Deer Park around noon on Wednesday with a parade leading them from the high school to the city center. After a rowdy send-off from the community in front of Bicycles by Deron and with drinks from Pickett Fence Coffee, both long-time supporters of Deer Park Athletics, they boarded their bus to head off to Richland for a weekend of games. Lady Stags are coached by Dana Shaw, Brittney Schupman, Erin Kautzman, and Whitney Stelzer.