By Aaron Poling

HESPERIA – A year away from competition did nothing to slow down the Holton softball program.

The Red Devils won every CSAA Silver Conference championship between 2015 and 2019, before the 2020 season was wiped out. But on Tuesday Holton extended its title streak, beating Hesperia 13-1 and 9-2 to capture the 2021 title, as well. The first victory nailed down the championship.

Holton’s Ryann Robins stands on second after hitting a double as Hesperia’s No. 1 Emily Bayle holds the ball in the infield. Photo/Leo Valdez

Holton improved to 22-5 overall on the season and 14-2 in conference play.

The Red Devils picked up where they left off this season with a roster combination of outstanding upperclassmen and several great freshmen. They’ve blended into a winning group that could make some serious noise in the upcoming state tournament.

“We have a group that has bought in completely,” Red Devils Head Coach Kirk Younts said about his team following the sweep. “We have kids that come out that don’t have a lot of experience. We work hard with every kid, whether they are new, or have been around for four years, and that becomes contagious.”

The newer players may not have much experience, but other Red Devils have a wealth of experience, and they are not afraid to share it with their teammates. 

“The more experienced players make the other players feel welcome,” Younts said. “They are like player coaches in the field. They are willing to teach, and help their teammates out.”

Two key contributors for the Red Devils are freshmen Abbie Fowler and Ryann Robins. Fowler went 6-for-7 in the doubleheader, with a home run and triple. At the plate Robins was 5-for-7 with two home runs and a triple. On the mound, she allowed three runs on five hits while striking out 19 batters in 12 innings of work over two games.

Holton’s Abbie Fowler runs the base paths. Photo/Leo Valdez

“Abbie and I have worked really hard since we were little,” Robins said after the game. “We watched the games all the time and have been around it forever. When we were younger we were team managers, so we have been a part of the program for a while.”

Every championship team has a vocal leader, and senior outfielder Madi Bosset plays that role for Holton.

“Madi Bosset is the biggest leader on this team,” Coach Younts said. “She leads our team from center field, she leads our team in the dugout, and she is our biggest cheerleader in the dugout.”

“I have a loud mouth,” Bosset said after the game. “I really love my teammates. They get me going, so I get them fired up. I feel like I can get after my teammates and tell them let’s go. They respond, and that fires me up.”

In total, six different Red Devils collected extra base hits in the sweep. Courtney Boes chipped in two hits, including a triple. Alanna Cregg tripled, while Jasmine Vriesman and Kennedy Greene each doubled.