REDMOND — Her teammates, friends and coaches call her Frostie.
It has nothing to do with her personality; it is simply a family nickname for Allicitie Frost. But it could just as easily refer to the coldblooded way in which the Ridgeview pitching ace mows down hitter after hitter.
Frost, a junior, has a record of 16-0 this season with 170 strikeouts, averaging nearly 11 K’s per game. Teams are hitting a paltry .152 against her, and she has led the Ravens to a 20-2 record and the No. 1 OSAA ranking in Class 5A softball. They clinched the Intermountain Conference title a week ago and now are aiming for a state championship.
Ridgeview is set to host a Class 5A first-round playoff game Wednesday against an opponent to be determined.
“I think the offseason with coach (Sandy) Fischer helped me with my mentality from last year, and really working on my spins really helped,” says Frost, who also has powered the Ravens on offense this season with a school-record nine home runs. “And I think just every year I’ve been focusing on being a better player and teammate.”
The team leader has a solid backup in the circle in senior Natalie Hill, who is 3-1 this season with 18 strikeouts. Teams are batting just .248 against her.
“We act like sisters, I would say,” Hill says of the Ravens. “We fight like sisters and love like sisters. We do have tiffs, but we always get through it, and that shows on the field. Some of these girls I’ve played with for eight or nine years, all spring and summer.”
Frost and Hill also lead the Ravens at the plate, although Fischer said she would not provide current batting averages to avoid possibly aiding the scouting of potential playoff opponents.
Ridgeview finished 23-3 last season but lost in the state quarterfinals for the second straight season. They lost just one senior to graduation coming into this season, and the current squad of five seniors, four juniors and a mix of talented underclassmen has meshed well.
“We’ve been talking about this group for a very long time,” says Fischer, who has coached Ridgeview softball since the school opened in 2012. “We challenged them this year. You’re either all in, or you’re not. So they’re special, because I know the upperclassmen certainly want it.
“I know Frostie worked very hard over the winter to get a couple of her pitches to be more consistent and better. It’s a group effort, and the coaches have put in some extra time with them. We’re just all really dedicated to taking it as far as we can.”
Fischer says that her players have all made the effort to be the best hitters they can be. She mentions the consistency at the plate of Frost, Hill, senior Taylor Smith, and sophomores Sage McVay and Marley Sargent.
“Sometimes the top of the order is really rolling, and sometimes it’s the bottom, and that’s what’s nice,” Fischer says. “Oftentimes, you get a pretty large drop-off after the fifth or sixth hitter. But this group is pretty consistent all the way through.”
Hill’s opportunities in the circle this season have been limited due to the dominance of Frost and the fact that the Ravens have closed out many of their opponents in just five innings via the 10-run rule. Eleven of their 20 wins have been by 10 or more runs, and they have posted eight shutouts.
“Natalie didn’t get a lot of opportunities to share games with Frostie,” Fischer says. “She’s actually throwing really well right now and she offsets her (Frost) completely. We’re definitely two deep in pitching.”
Says Hill: “I tend to pitch location more so than speed and different pitches. It’s more about playing a game with the batter than just overpowering them.”
Fischer adds that if the Ravens perform to their ability, they should reach the 5A state title game. “But we’re a long way from that,” she cautions.
Frost says the team overcame some early-season doldrums during which players were “going through the motions” and not pushing themselves. Now, she says, they relish their No. 1 ranking and having that target on their back.
While the goal remains a state championship, the Ravens say they are simply trying to concentrate on each pitch and not get ahead of themselves.
“Once we think about it, I think it gets too big-picture, and as a team we’re better off focusing on pitch by pitch,” Frost says. “I think we figured that out when we all came together and said, hey, let’s clean it up so we can start having fun and relaxing and be ourselves. We’ve meshed really well and this year we’re trying to put all of it together and go for a championship.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0318,