By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– This year was supposed to be a battle in the PacWest Conference with Blanchet Catholic softball looked to make a move for the league title in 2020 with second-team catch Alexis Jansen, honorable mention pitcher Ariel Davila and PacWest Pitcher of the year Savannah Barchus.
Barchus was one of three seniors this year looking to finish her High School career off right before heading to CSU-East Bay in the Fall.
“I had a very successful three years at Blanchet, but none of it wouldn’t have been possible without my team and coaches. The Blanchet community took me in with open arms, and helped me grow as a student, athlete, and person over the years. I was devastated that my teammates’ and my senior year was taken away, but I know we would’ve had a great year,” starts Barchus.
“The thing I was most looking forward to this year was to go out with a bang, and to inspire the underclassmen to take over with the positive growing culture that I was lucky enough to be part of. I have met some of the most inspirational and motivational people through this program, and have met some life-long friends as well.”
Peyton Kowalski was looking to contribute to the 3A playoff-caliber team that reached at least the opening round of the playoffs five of the past six seasons in her first season ever playing softball. Looking to be apart of the competitive atmosphere that came with the sport that drew her onto the diamond as well as the family feel she felt the few practices that kept her coming back.
“This would have been my first year on the varsity softball team, but I felt so welcomed and excited to be playing with a great group of girls. I love the competitive atmosphere that comes with softball. I wish that we got a few games in before the season was cut short, but I’m glad I got to practice with a great group of girls for a few weeks,” said Kowalski.
Barchus and Katie Tuttle were part of one of the toughest league’s in the State. Freshman and sophomore year had Scio in their prime of reaching four-straight 3A Semi-Final appearances. Junior year, they added Amity, Dayton and Yamhill-Carlton as the PacWest Conference became one, if not the, toughest leagues in 3A.
The Warriors were another year older after reloading in 2019 and the Pirates were looking to make it to yet another State Championship Game appearance. The Tigers looked to build off of their first year in 3A entering 2020. But they knew they were ready for whatever their league threw their way and what 3A had prepared for them this Spring.
“The program definitely prepared us to know that the tough teams were going to be a challenge. Our coaches knew we were going to have to work hard and prepare but they also knew we could stick with them. Going in to this season I think all of us wanted to prove that we are capable of beating the good teams and that we can hang with them,” said Tuttle.
“Some of my favorite memories are when we beat Dayton last season and just competing with the team. It was always an encouraging and competitive atmosphere and I am going to miss it next year.”
And as their time, the finals completed and graduation completed, it’s onto the next chapter of their adventure as they look back on their time in the Blue of the Cavalier uniform.
As I end my four years here at Blanchet with sadness due to the cancellation of our senior season, I also couldn’t be prouder of the community, team, and culture I have been lucky enough to be part of. I got to play against some of the best teams in the state for league, such as Dayton, Scio, and Yamhill-Carlton, and I have also encountered many other successful athletes and teams that have inspired me and motivated me to be better,” said Barchus.
“As I look forward to the community I will get to be part of next year, I will always rep the community that built me- Blanchet. Thank you for these past four years, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this team!”