SANDPOINT — When colleges recruit high school athletes they’re often seeking raw tools, and Audrey Mattila had what Yakima Valley College was looking for, signing a letter of intent recently to play softball next season for the Yaks of the Northwest Athletic Conference.
Mattila, who played softball and basketball at Sandpoint, went for a private workout with the Yaks’ coaches and was ultimately offered a 60 percent scholarship.
“It was close to home, so I figured I’d try out and things went well,” said Mattila. “I’m looking forward to the next level of competing, meeting new people and trying something new.”
Mattila raked at a .346 clip during her senio year, and came up huge in league play with 15 RBIs in those 12 games. She also went 3-3 in the circle, posting a 5.59 ERA and striking out 23 to earn all-league honors.
She’ll get to continue playing a sport she loves while studying in the nursing program. She was asked what she loved most about softball.
“It’s exciting. I love hitting, fielding, being aggressive out in the field,” said Mattila, thanking the folks who helped her get to this point. “I would never be here without my family, teammates and coaches. They helped me become who I am.”
One of those coaches is Elizabeth Hawkins-Williams, who has built the Bulldog softball program into one growing accustomed to competing at state. One of the key pieces of the past few state teams has been Mattila, a line-drive hitter with speed on the bases.
Hawkins-Williams feels Mattila’s versatility and ability to play multiple positions will serve her well with the Yaks.
“Speed and athletic ability will give her the ability to compete. You need the drive to compete and succeed at that level, and she has that,” praised Hawkins-Williams, noting Mattila’s biggest strength as a player. “Her ability to make in-game adjustments. I attribute that to being a multi-sport athlete.”