Congratulations to Richland's Sophia Sams for being voted SBLive’s WaFd Bank Washington High School Athlete of the Week for May 8-May 13!
The sophomore did what an ace pitcher should - come up big in important games. And in the Class 4A District tournament, Sams recorded a pair of complete-game victories - the first a no-hitter over 4A/3A Mid-Columbia Conference foe Pasco (11 strikeouts and the second a one-hitter over league opponent Hanford. The all-league first teamer also notched three hits in both games.
Sams received 52.4% of the vote, beating out the Timberline baseball duo of Kaleb McNeely and Gage Reeser, who finished second with 41.0%.
Here are the other athletes who were nominated for the week of May 8-May 13:
Jacob Andrews, Sehome boys track and field: Lowered his career-best time in the 200-meter dash to 21.10 seconds, best in Washington, at the Class 2A sub-district (D1) meet. Already has a top-10 time in the country in the 400 (46.30).
Cassandra Atkins, Federal Way girls track and field: Became the first girl since Monroe's Hannah Ganashamoorthy in 2018 to break the 20-foot barrier in the long jump with her 20-03/4 at the 4A/3A NPSL championships. Also flew a career-best 41-21/2 in the triple jump. Has No. 1 marks in Washington in both events.
Braelyn Baker, Bear Creek girls track and field: The reigning Class 1A sprints champion is not just about speed. She recorded a lifetime-best time in the 300-meter hurdles - 42.60 seconds (No. 1 in state) - and also went 18 feet, 81/4 inches in the long jump (No. 2 in state) at the 1A Emerald Sound Conference meet.
Addie Bowen, Walla Walla softball: Underdogs as the No. 5 in the Class 3A District 8 tournament, the Blue Devils beat Mead and Kennewick to advance to the title game. Bowen, a ninth grade third baseman, was 6-for-8 with five extra-base hits, including a fifth-inning grand slam (and six RBI) in win over the Lions.
Laila Carpenter and Faith Jordan, Glacier Peak softball: In the biggest game of the year for the No. 3 seed in the super 4A Wesco, both seniors smashed two home runs and collected five RBI in the team's 13-3 win over Lake Stevens to clinch the final district spot.
Alex Harris, Columbia River boys soccer: There's a reason he's the reigning Gatorade state player of the year - he scores goals. Harris recorded a hat trick in a district semifinal win over W.F. West, then scored twice in the first 12 minutes in a 3-0 title-match win over Aberdeen.
Alli Kimball, Peninsula softball: The WWU signee was at it again - both on the mound and with the bat. She struck out 23 hitters in 15 innings pitched (0.60 ERA), and was 8-for-10 at the plate with four RBI, including game-winning hit against Timberline.
Kaleb McNeely and Gage Reeser, Timberline baseball: Both standouts from the 3A SSC champions came up with walk-off winners in the Class 3A District 3/4 tournament. McNeely hit the game-winning three-run triple against Gig Harbor, and Reeser had the run-scoring single to beat Stadium in the WCD title game.
Brody Mills, West Valley of Yakima baseball: Cannot ever count the left-handed UW signee out, especially in big games. Mills gave up one earned runs and struck out nine hitters, and hit the game-tying two-run double with two outs in the seventh inning of the Rams' district-winning game against Moses Lake.
Tyler Normine, La Center baseball: Outfielder had season-high three RBI in first-round district victory against Eatonville, then had a two-run single in the fourth inning of the Wildcats' third consecutive district title-winning game against Montesano. Had an RBI in each of the team's three district games.
Brayden Platt, Yelm boys track and field: Is there anything he cannot do? The Tornados' junior recorded new personal-best marks in the boys shot put (62 feet, 43/4 inches) and discus (174-9) at the 3A SSC championships.
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