SBLive's 2024 Washington high school softball all-state team: Jackson's Yanina Sherwood repeats as player of year

UNLV-bound ace pitcher leads Timberwolves to back-to-back Class 4A titles; Auburn Riverside's Bryce Strand is coach of the year
Jackson's Yanina Sherwood leads school to back to back WIAA Class 4A softball championships.
Jackson's Yanina Sherwood leads school to back to back WIAA Class 4A softball championships. / Photo by Todd Milles tT

Here is SBLive’s 2024 spring all-state team for Washington high school softball. The statewide team spans all WIAA classifications and was compiled by senior reporter Todd Milles.

Players were selected based on spring high school performance, coach recommendations, all-league awards and overall team success, especially in the postseason.

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Jackson High School's Yanina Sherwood leads school to back to back WIAA Class 4A softball championships.
Jackson High School's Yanina Sherwood leads school to back to back WIAA Class 4A softball championships. / Photo by Todd Milles tT

All-classification player of the year: Yanina Sherwood, Jackson, sr.

If somehow a Class 4A softball contender was going to get by defending state champion Jackson High School this spring, the biggest challenge would be dealing with the formidable presence in the circle.

You had to find a way to beat the UNLV-bound Sherwood.

That became nearly impossible, especially in the playoffs. Sherwood went 25-2 with an 0.50 earned-run average, striking out 273 batters in 166-plus innings.

Her two losses were 1-0 defeats to Skyview and Sedro-Woolley during the regular season.

And in the playoffs? The Gatorade state player of the year went 7-0 with a 0.58 ERA, including a run at the WIAA championships where she gave up just one earned run in four games (4-0, 0.27 ERA, 37 strikeouts in 26 innings pitched).

Workhorse? She was the state's premier battle-tested innings eater, and is the repeat choice as SBLive WA's state player of the year in 2024.

Over her final two seasons, Sherwood logged 331 of the team's 345 innings pitched.

"What Yanina did for our team over a two-year span was absolutely incredible," said recently-retired coach Kyle Peacocke said.

Sticking to a strict workout regimen that included Crossfit training and lots of free-weight leg work, Sherwood said her body held up great over a massive workload.

"I am super grateful that I learned really good mechanics that worked for my body at an early age," Sherwood said. "I never had a history hurting anything, except rolling my ankle."

Her nickname at end of it all?

"My coaches on my select team call me, 'Ball Hog,'" Sherwood said.

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Auburn Riverside's Bryce Strand is SBLive WA's 2024 all state softball coach of the year.
Auburn Riverside's Bryce Strand is SBLive WA's 2024 all state softball coach of the year. / Photo by Todd Milles

Coach of the year: Bryce Strand, Auburn Riverside

Strand claims he is no hitting specialist.

Sure, he has a baseball background (Auburn 1997 graduate) and has been in the Ravens' dugout since 2013 and witnessed plenty of crooked-number innings.

But what his Auburn Riverside High School club did this spring, particularly in the WIAA playoffs ... well, that was more of a belief thing, he said.

"The reality is, I am no hitting guru or great tactician," Strand said. "I am more of emphasizing the mental approach more than anything."

Whatever the case, Auburn Riverside went on to defeat Snohomish for its first Class 3A championship in Lacey.

The offense set program benchmarks, including batting average (.450), home runs (52) and runs scored (363).

And the output in four WIAA tournament games was insane - 18 runs in the first round against Monroe (18-4); 20 runs in the quarterfinals against Mount Spokane (20-7); 15 runs in the semifinals against 3A GSL champion University (15-4) and 11 runs in the championship game against reigning state runner-up Snohomish (11-6).

"Early on, I had seen it in various games," Strand said. "I just said, if we put it together, we can win a state championship."

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Skyview's Maddie Milhorn was named 4A GSHL softball player of year in 2024.
Skyview's Maddie Milhorn was named 4A GSHL softball player of year in 2024. / Photo by Todd Milles

4A player of the year: Maddie Milhorn, Skyview, jr.

Certainly a case could be made that this Oregon commit was state's most dominant player (21-1, 0.72 ERA, 270 K in 135.1 IP; hit .477 with eight HR, 53 RBI).

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Auburn Riverside third baseman Kaylee Walker is SBLive WA's 3A player of the year.
Auburn Riverside third baseman Kaylee Walker is SBLive WA's 3A player of the year. / Photo by Todd Milles

3A player of the year: Kaylee Walker, Auburn Riverside, sr.

Senior power? 3A NPSL player of the year at third base led state in home runs (19) to go along with 14 doubles and 69 RBI; signed with NCAA D2 St. Martin's.

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Sedro-Woolley sophomore Kasandra Gonzalez, right, was nearly unbeatable in the circle in leading Cubs to Class 2A title.
Sedro-Woolley sophomore Kasandra Gonzalez, right, was nearly unbeatable in the circle in leading Cubs to Class 2A title. / Photo courtesy of Sedro-Woolley athletics

2A player of the year: Kasandra Gonzalez, Sedro-Woolley, soph.

What a breakout campaign for this Northwest Conference defensive MVP whose pitches dance in front of batters (14-1, 1.29 ERA, 157 K in 92 IP); led Cubs to second WIAA crown.

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Royal's Jill Allred helped Knights to first WIAA fastpitch championship in Class 1A in Richland.
Royal's Jill Allred helped Knights to first WIAA fastpitch championship in Class 1A in Richland. / Photo by Todd Milles

1A player of the year: Jill Allred, Royal, soph.

Teamed up with sister, Randi, to form formidable battery (16-6, 2.78 ERA, 273 K in 178.2 IP) for Knights, who captured first WIAA fastpitch title in Richland.

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Adan's Ava Simms was 2B Central player of the year, leading the team to back to back WIAA titles.
Adan's Ava Simms was 2B Central player of the year, leading the team to back to back WIAA titles. / Photo courtesy of Adna athletics

2B player of the year: Ava Simms, Adna, jr.

Best small-school softball is played in District 4, and this 2B Central MVP (13-1, 1.57 ERA, 142 K in 80 IP) was spectacular in circle in leading Pirates to repeat WIAA title run.

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DeSales' Katie Dunham is SBLive WA 1B player of year after leading Irish to WIAA title.
DeSales' Katie Dunham is SBLive WA 1B player of year after leading Irish to WIAA title. / Photo courtesy of DeSales athletics.

1B player of the year: Kate Dunham, DeSales, sr.

What more can one dual threat do (15-4, 1.67 ERA, 330 K in 154.2 IP; hit .641 with 35 XBH, 68 runs, 62 RBI and 42 SB)? She carried Irish past Liberty Christian for WIAA title.

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2024 ALL-STATE SOFTBALL FIRST-TEAM HITTERS

Redmond's Tia Milloy was named 4A KingCo MVP in 2024, and is headed off to Oklahoma.
Redmond's Tia Milloy was named 4A KingCo MVP in 2024, and is headed off to Oklahoma. / Photo by Todd Milles

Catcher: Kaelin Blakely, Ferndale, jr.

In a Northwest Conference full of sluggers, she was the best of all - and was voted league most valuable player (.679 BA, 13 HR, 42 RBI).

Corner infielder: Scarlette Chapman, Kamiak, jr.

Repeat all-state pick has one of most fluid, sound swings you will see, and all-4A Wesco first baseman (.623 BA, 20 XBH, 38 RBI) is headed to UC RIverside.

Corner infielder: Kyra Smith, Puyallup, jr.

She just continued to demolish good pitching as 4A SPSL's best hitter (.480 BA, career-high 15 HR, 60 RBI, 45 runs). Third baseman signed with Colorado State.

Middle infielder: Bella Ely, Juanita, sr.

Word got out quickly on Seattle University-bound shortstop - don't let her bat beat you. And it still did (.604 BA, 17 XBH, 24 RBI, 39 runs) often enough.

Middle infielder: Jordana King, Garfield, jr.

What didn't this Stanford commit do for resurgent Bulldogs? She was magic in field, and a thorn in the side of pitchers (.686 BA, 15 HR, 32 XBH, 60 RBI, 71 runs, 19 SB).

Middle infielder: Tia Milloy, Redmond, sr.

Gold-standard playmaker had to also be leader for young group. She did it all as 4A KingCo MVP (.567 BA, 28 XBH, 57 runs, 35 SB) - and is now off to NCAA D1 champion Oklahoma.

Middle infielder: Gabi Toney, Inglemoor, sr.

In a word - smooth. All-4A KingCo first-team shortstop was a show stoppered in the field - and UW signee's hitting stroke (.500 BA, 11 HR, 37 RBI, eight SB) wasn't far behind.

Middle infielder: Mallory Vancleave, Ridgefield, sr.

Three-time 2A GSHL player of the year (.607 BA, eight HR, 59 RBI) is the complete playmaker at shortstop - one that Fresno State is excited to finally get in tow.

Outfielder: Hayden Downer, Seattle Prep, soph.

Would you believe she is on a career 51-game hitting streak? Speed-power combination makes her one of toughest outs in state (.660 BA, 14 HR, 48 RBI, 52 runs, 36 SB).

Outfielder: Sophia Sams, Richland, jr.

Best all-around player in Tri-Cities was 4A/3A Mid-Columbia Conference MVP this spring - and for good reason (.662 BA, .724 OBP, 26 XBH, 44 RBI).

Outfielder: Allie Thomsen, Jackson, jr.

Healthy UW commit's thunderous bat gave this deep lineup even more juice, either from leadoff or No. 3 spot. (.538 BA, 11 HR, 33 RBI, 44 runs, nine SB).

Designated hitter: Shelby Southard, Cedar Park Christian, soph.

Classification (1A) level here matters little - she raked against everybody (.744 BA, 16 HR, 40 XBH, 61 runs, 56 RBI) as 1A Emerald City MVP.

Utility: Madison Lee, Roosevelt, jr.

Whether in center field and at catcher, this 3A Metro first teamer was table-setter for Roughriders' offense (.623 BA, 23 XBH, 51 runs, 27 SB).

Utility:  Maliyah Mann, University, sr.

4A/3A GSL player of the year displayed prodigious power with bat (.550 BA, 18 HR, 30 XBH, 61 RBI) and pitching-arm pace (15-1, 1.85 ERA, 206 K in 98 IP).

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2024 ALL-STATE SOFTBALL FIRST-TEAM PITCHERS

Kentwood's Sarah Wright set many program pitching records, and led Conks to Class 4A semifinals as a senior.
Kentwood's Sarah Wright set many program pitching records, and led Conks to Class 4A semifinals as a senior. / Photo by Todd Milles

Pitcher: Ella Ferguson, Tumwater, jr.

Two-time 2A Evergreen MVP (16-4, 1.89 ERA, 245 K in 141 IP) led Thunderbirds to second WIAA title-game appearance in three seasons; Nevada commit.

Pitcher: Sami Potvin, Olympia, sr.

Was 4A SPSL's best pitcher her entire career, capped by overall league MVP nod as senior (9-2, 1.99 ERA, 204 K in 98.2 IP) for Bears; Iowa State signee.

Pitcher: Carah Sweet, Hanford, sr.

4A/3A Mid-Columbia Conference pitcher of year (11-2, 1.33 ERA, 138 K in 73.2 IP) was at forefront of Falcons' remarkable resurgence; Sacred Heart signee.

Pitcher: Sarah Wright, Kentwood, sr.

Won Gatorade state MVP in 2022, finished career with whopping 905 strikeouts - and Arizona signee finished senior season strong (12-2, 1.00 ERA, 229 K).

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Honorable mention

SS Alexis DeBoer, Bellevue, sr.

OF Payton Chacon, Richland, jr.

SS Isa Davis, Everett, sr.

SS Jess Eaton, Bonney Lake, sr.

SS Cerenity Fake, North Kitsap, sr.

1B/DH Sina Fuiava, Decatur, sr.

SP Amarie Guzman, Othello, sr.

UTI Brittany Howe, Eastmont, jr.

SS Rubi Lopez, Stanwood, jr.

UTI Riley McGee, Sumner, sr.

SP Maya Mesa, Glacier Peak, sr.

SP Christina Minor, Lake Washington, sr.

SP Jasmyn Polanco, Timberline, sr.

UTI Crimson Rice, Shadle Park, sr.

SS Natalie Robinson, Port Angeles, sr.

C Layla Royle, Skyview, jr.

UTI Camryn Sage, Snohomish, sr.

SS Rachel Sysum, Jackson, sr.

C Bri Titus, Glacier Peak, jr.

SP Alanna Wirtala, Emerald Ridge, jr.


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Todd Miles

TODD MILES