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Ex-Viking hurler Williams earns NAIA Natty, claims tournament MVP

Tue Jun 6, 2023

Cayla Williams, one of the most versatile players in West Valley softball's storied history, capped her collegiate career by lifting Southern Oregon University to the NAIA national championship May 31. Williams, who worked all 23 of the Raiders' World Series innings in the circle, was named the tournament MVP. For the Raiders, it was their third NAIA title since 2019.

West Valley coach Vicky Piatt sounded prophetic in 2020 when she said, "Cayla has been one of the strongest offensive and defensive players to come through the WVC softball program. She is someone who set some big goals as a student-athlete and she'll be able to continue working toward those goals at Southern Oregon. We are looking forward to watching Cayla continue to grow at SOU and beyond!" 

Williams gave up only two runs on 13 hits during the series. She shut out Oregon Tech in the 11-0, five-inning championship, blanking the #1-ranked Owls for the second time in five days. She recorded a 0.61 ERA in the four-game tournament and finished the year 24-5 in the circle. She was also, as she was as a Viking, a force at the plate. The Raider cleanup hitter was 5-for-14 with 10 RBI and clubbed a grand slam in the 5-1 series-opening win against Georgia Gwinnett.

While at West Valley in 2019-2021, she was a two-time All-Coast 1st Team selection and a CCCFCA All-State 1st Team selection in 2021. She was named the week-one CCCFCA Player of the Week in 2019 after a 2-0, 19-K week in the circle and a 9-for-11, six RBI, two doubles and a homer week at the plate.

She had an electric 2019 season, going 6-2 with 61 strikeouts in 58 innings in the circle, while batting .592 with a .867 OBP and a .837 SLG. She hit a team-high three HRs, had three doubles and drove in 11.