Sports

SnoCo Express wins regional championships

Local softball team SnoCo Express poses with the NSA Championship plaque, one of many they won this season, with a final overall record of 62-2. Back row from left, Lily Fischer, Camryn Scott, Isabelle Hansen and Lexus Thomas. Middle row from left, Jillian Zachry, Kassidy Millar, Sydney Zachry, Jordan Schroeder and Elise Allen. Front row from left, Emma Fortney and Lexie Klaudt. - Courtesy photo.
Local softball team SnoCo Express poses with the NSA Championship plaque, one of many they won this season, with a final overall record of 62-2. Back row from left, Lily Fischer, Camryn Scott, Isabelle Hansen and Lexus Thomas. Middle row from left, Jillian Zachry, Kassidy Millar, Sydney Zachry, Jordan Schroeder and Elise Allen. Front row from left, Emma Fortney and Lexie Klaudt.
— image credit: Courtesy photo.

MARYSVILLE — A group of local softball players could have made it to the World Series this year after finishing with a record of 62-2 — if only they’d been a little bit older.

The SnoCo Express is a 10u softball team made up of players from Arlington, Marysville and other north Snohomish County areas, with one thing in common — the drive to win.

“These girls work year-round two to three times a week out of our indoor facility in Arlington,” said coach Mike Millar. “They work extremely hard trying to master hitting, pitching, defense and all the little things that make them a great team.”

The team won every 10u tournament they entered, as well as one 12u tournament. On July 1, the team beat the Northwest Lady Sharks 9-4 to win the National Softball Association State Championship.

“I got the winning hit at the NSA State Tournament,” said Sydney Zachry. “I felt so good because all my teammates ran up to me and jumped on me and cheered.”

Less than a week later they were at it again, beating the WA Speed 1-0 in the final game of the Amateur Softball Association State Championship on July 8.

“They were really good competition,” said Kassidy Millar, of the WA Speed. “We lost to them in the first game and we thought, ‘We have to beat them.’ After that game, we went back and practiced because we knew we could do it. We kept our heads up.”

“We never give up,” said Lily Fischer. “Their pitcher was really fast. We went back into the game knowing that we had to beat them and we did.”

SnoCo Express made it to the ASA Northwest Regional Championship on July 22, and won the title in a final game against the WA Kaos, a 4-3 victory.

The team moves up to play 12u next season, which comes with a larger ball and some field changes, but they aren’t sweating it. “I’m looking forward to it,” said Fischer. “I’m a little nervous, but we took second place in the last 12u tournament we played, so it’s going pretty good.”

Mike Millar credits their success to the girls’ determination. “They take great pride in themselves and their team,” he said. “They are a very close knit group, best friends on and off the field. The team spends countless hours together, from practices, to traveling and hotel stays, to just hanging out together on rare weekends off.  They are also great assets to their community.”

In addition to their success on the field, the team also works to support their local community. “SnoCo Express prides itself on raising excellent, strong young ladies off the field too. They do community service projects together during the off-season. Working a day at the pumpkin patch for the Pumpkins for Literacy charity, while also holding a local food drive going door-to-door collecting food for the local food bank during the holiday season,” said Millar. “I could talk for hours about these young ladies. We are so very proud of them. They are truly amazing.”

Despite the accolades they’ve received, the players were sure to thank their parents and coaches for supporting them, including Millar, coach Crystelle Fischer, coach Brandon Zachry and coach Aaron Zachry, who is also the head coach of Marysville-Pilchuck High School’s fastpitch team.

“My coaches are the best,” said Elise Allen. “They work us really hard but it doesn’t seem like work because they make it fun. They make games out of it.”

“I just really want to thank our coaches,” said Kassidy Millar. “If we didn’t have our coaches, we wouldn’t have won.”

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