REDMOND — Teammates call her Frostie. Yet Allicite Frost was anything but ice cold Friday afternoon.
The Ridgeview sophomore struck out 10, including five of the first six batters she faced, and limited Mountain View to just two hits — three days after holding the Cougars to one hit — to help the Ravens capture their 14th straight win with a 10-0 Intermountain Conference softball victory.
In her two complete-game outings against Mountain View this week, Frost totaled 21 strikeouts while allowing a mere three hits. And with Friday’s result, Ridgeview has shut out opponents in four consecutive games and in six of its past seven contests.
“We struggled with shutouts early” in the season, Ravens coach Sandy Fischer said. “We challenged our pitchers that they are good enough to do that and our defense should be good enough to help our pitchers do that. We really set goals to get shutouts, and the pitchers took it (to heart). The defense has really helped, and scoring lots of runs lets you relax a lot.”
Frost was quick to set the tone Friday, striking out the side in the top of the first inning. She punched out two more in the second inning, and with five strikeouts against the final six hitters, Frost completed a six-inning victory.
“I was struggling at the beginning of the year, and (Fischer) told me if I do well in the first inning then I’ll be a really good pitcher,” Frost said. “My goals are pretty big and high, and when she told me I could do that, I wanted to work hard so I could do well in the circle.”
The Class 5A No. 8-ranked Ravens (9-0 IMC, 14-1 overall) provided their pitcher with a one-run lead when Sage McVay, who led off the home half of the first with a triple, scored on a passed ball. In the second inning, Ally Henry blasted a two-run inside-the-park home run to extend Ridgeview’s advantage to 3-0 — more than enough insurance for Frost.
“If I have even two runs, I’m pretty comfortable,” Frost said. “Even with no runs, because I know my offense is pretty good. I know we can adjust.”
Emma Cannon opened the bottom of the fourth with an inside-the-park home run, and four batters later, McVay, a freshman, sent a high fly ball over the fence in right field for her first career home run, staking Ridgeview to a 6-0 lead.
Cannon drove in a run with a triple in the fifth inning and then scored on a single by Henry. And in the bottom of the sixth, pinch hitter Emma Salka smacked a single to left field to score two runs and end the game via the 10-run rule.
“That’s good coaching by Shane,” Fischer said of her team’s hard hitting, referring to Ridgeview assistant coach Shane Nakamura. “Shane’s had a lot of these kids since they were 10 years old. The hours spent, the dedication, they’ve really come up with a lot of good swings as a whole. There’s a consistency in coaching. I think that’s key.”
Kayla Berg struck out 11 in a complete game for Mountain View (1-5, 2-9), and Berg and Jamya Johnson each singled. The Cougars, however, were shut out for the fifth time in six games. Still, Mountain View coach Kate Hunter said she is starting to see glimmers of promise out of her young squad that includes just four returning varsity players from last season and six underclassmen.
“You have to deal with what you have and teach the younger girls the game,” Hunter said. “It’s still fun. No matter what, it’s still fun, and they go out and work hard every day, and that’s what we have to do against Summit next week. The battle for second and third (in the IMC standings) is wide open.
“Knowing that we can hit Allicitie — besides Kayla, she’s the best pitcher in the league — we can hit anybody. I’m confident in my girls. I always am. Now they have to gain that confidence in themselves.”
McVay went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Ravens, who have not lost since their season opener March 13. Lorena Vasquez was 2-for-2 with a double and a triple, and Cannon and Henry each finished with two hits. The Ravens will have a week off from IMC play, but when they return, they will begin their homestretch toward a fourth straight IMC championship.
“I think they were just settling into high school ball,” Fischer said of her team, reflecting on the season-opening loss. “We have nine new players out of 15, so they didn’t know each other very well. So I just think it is just settling in and getting to know each other and forming those relationships that make a team.”
“I just really want to win the IMC with the girls,” Frost said, “and maybe even the state championship.”
—Reporter: 541-383-0307, firstname.lastname@example.org .