KENNEWICK -- It was the stuff made of dreams, a sweet finish to a spectacular high school career.
Lindsey Kamphuis, a pitcher/hitter extraordinaire during her four years at Kamiakin, finally got to hold the Class 3A state softball championship trophy on the last weekend of her senior season.
The cherry on top was that the Braves finished the season 28-0.
“It takes a little bit of luck, a lot of skill and a lot of determination to do what we did this year,” Kamphuis said. “We had all the things. We had the skill, the determination. The luck was on our side.”
But perhaps the most important ingredient in the mix was Kamphuis, the Herald’s All-Area Softball Player of the Year.
She is joined on the first team by Kamiakin teammates Jessi Miracle and Carlie Richards; Walla Walla’s Alyson Ambler, Elli Rassbach, Libbie Jimenez and TraeAnn Payne; Connell’s Ashley Thompson; Hanford’s Remy Bradley; Pasco’s Marissa Menchaca; and Richland’s Cydney Elgin, Bailey Walthers and Dora Hernandez.
All season, Kamphuis handled opponents with ease.
In the CBBN 3A, she went 13-0 with 94 strikeouts and a 0.33 ERA. She also batted .511 (23-for-45) with 17 RBIs.
After the district tournament, she fell ill but still led the Braves to the regional title. In four state games, the right-hander allowed two runs -- one of them in the title contest against Everett.
Winning the state title was a big emotional boost for Kamphuis, who wanted to prove that the Braves were for real.
“It was good to get in front of the school and show how big of a trophy that we have and that we did it,” Kamphuis said.
The championship also was a breakthrough for Tammy Hutchison, the Herald’s All-Area Coach of the Year.
This past winter, Hutchison guided the Kamiakin girls basketball team to a 23-0 record ahead of the Class 3A state tournament, but the Braves went 0-2 in Tacoma.
In softball, Kamiakin had gone to state four consecutive years but missed the final each time. This year, it felt as though things would turn out differently.
Kamphuis’ lights-out pitching and the cohesiveness of her young squad made Hutchison believe this team could be the one to go all the way.
“They were winning it for each other,” Hutchison said. “That’s what took them where they went. That’s one of the battles is team unity.”
To maintain their united front, Hutchison and her players sat in a circle after every game and recapped their performance in positive terms.
“In competitive ball, sometimes if you lose, you get yelled at and you leave the field not happy and you don’t work hard,” Kamphuis said. “Hutch never focused on that. At the end of the day, you felt happy and knew what you needed to work on and were not down on yourself.”
When Kamphuis suits up for Weber State next season, she won’t forget the work ethic that Hutchison instilled in her. After state, Kamphuis sent her coach a text message, thanking her for making her a better player.
“I wanted the title for me,” Kamphuis wrote, “but I won it for you.”
The feeling was mutual for Hutchison, who considers herself blessed to have coached such a gifted all-around player as Kamphuis.
“I’m really, really gonna miss her next year,” Hutchison said. “It’s not just her talent. I’m gonna miss her personality and what she brings to the team.”
w Katie Dorsey: 582-1526; email@example.com
P: Lindsey Kamphuis, sr., Kamiakin; Alyson Ambler, sr., Walla Walla; Ashley Thompson, jr., Connell.C: Jessi Miracle, sr., Kamiakin.1B: Elli Rassbach, so., Walla Walla.2B: Cydney Elgin, sr., Richland.3B: Bailey Walthers, sr., Richland.SS: Libbie Jimenez, jr., Walla Walla.OF: TraeAnn Payne, sr., Walla Walla; Dora Hernandez, sr., Richland; Carlie Richards, so., Kamiakin.U: Remy Bradley, sr., Hanford; Marissa Menchaca, sr., Pasco.Coach of the year: Tammy Hutchison, Kamiakin.
P: Paige Goulet, jr., Richland; Kayla Andrews, so., Richland; Haley Hess, sr., River View.C: April Utecht, fr., Richland.1B: Caitlyn Stevens, sr., Richland.2B: Hunter Schneitter, so., Kamiakin.3B: Melanie Oord, so., Kamiakin.SS: Monika Hebky, jr., Richland.OF: Hannah Sams, sr., Southridge; Grayson Corrales, jr., Connell; Hailee Bishop, so., Moses Lake.U: Andrea Hamada, sr., Walla Walla; Shanika Sawyer, sr., Connell.
Cylie Richards, so., Kamiakin.Emily Benson, so., Kamiakin.Jordana Storm, fr., Walla Walla.Kendsey Hill, jr., Walla Walla.Savannah Egbert, fr., Connell.Michelle Schultz, jr., Connell.Kayla De La Paz, so., Hanford.Ashlyn Lyons, so., DeSales.Paige Long, jr., Hermiston.Allyx Copeland, sr., Southridge.Kim Bullis, jr., Othello.Kenzie Koch, sr., Prosser.Whitney Weber, so., Chiawana.Jazmynn Jesse, fr., Moses Lake.