Naselle softball Lily Harman

Naselle’s Lily Harman has been named MVP.

Naselle’s Lily Harman won her second straight Coastal League softball MVP award. Harman, a senior, shared the award with Wishkah pitcher Abby von Blaricon.

Harman, who won the award playing catcher in 2018, moved to first base due to an ACL tear during the fall volleyball season. Playing first base, a player can’t contribute as much defensive value as at the up-the-middle positions, meaning a player has to dominate at the plate to win MVP there. Harman obliged, batting a whopping .651, with 14 of her 41 hits going for extra bases. Harman helped the Comets dethrone Wishkah as league champion. In each game against the Loggerettes, she provided a pair of hits to break open a previously close contest, two singles in the first contest and a pair of doubles in the second. Harman had a 7 for 9 double-header against Taholah. She had some of her best games when Naselle played up against higher-classification teams. She was 9 for 9 over a two-game stretch against 2B opponents South Bend and Ilwaco, homered against a strong Montesano JV squad, and had two of Naselle’s four hits against Winlock.

Pitcher Brynn Tarabochia, Kylee Tarabochia and Hollie Haataia were all First-Team All-League players. Brynn, an eighth-grader, had a big season at the plate (.551) and a huge season on the mound with 114 strikeouts and 41 walks in 87 innings. She beat Ocosta, holding the Wildcats to four runs, and held Wishkah Valley in check over two games, and struck out 10 batters in an 18-2 District title victory over Quilcene. Against lesser opponents, she was utterly dominant, starting with a ten-strikeout four-inning performance in the league opener against Lake Quinault. She confounded batters with outrageous movement on her off-speed pitches, consistently getting batters to chase them out of the zone, and nailed the top of the zone with her fastball almost at will.

Kylee Tarabochia covered ground at shortstop, making diving stops and smooth back-pedaling catches. Besides Harman, she was the team’s most dangerous slugger, with 12 extra-base hits. In Naselle’s most impressive win of the season, against 2B State-bound Ocosta, she led off the game with a double to set the tone for a four-run first inning, then hit a two-run double with the Comets clinging to a 5-4 lead. Tarabochia hit .485.

Haataia took over at catcher for Harman, making diving catches of popups. She used pitch-calling to fully exploit Tarabochia’s pitch repertoire and keep batters off-balance, and was up to the challenge of blocking the many pitches that dropped suddenly into the dirt. Haataia batted .500 with 10 extra-base hits in the regular season and added a grand slam in the District title game, in which Kylee Tarabochia also homered.

Freshman Peyton Dalton homered in the league opener against Lake Quinault and batted .464, on her way to being named Honorable Mention. Joining her on honorable mention were second baseman Taylor Gudmundsen (.420) and third baseman Hailey Weston (.383).

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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