Esther Deuel

Women's softball had an outstanding run in the 1940s and 1950s, and Esther Deuel ranks among the finest players during that era.

Esther learned the game from her father, John, an avid baseball fan who served as her coach for many seasons. In her early teens, Esther and her junior high-age friends played for the Midland Tigers/Lumberettes. She solidified her status as one of the best in the area at the 1946 state tournament played in Sumner. Esther earned all-star honors as a catcher by helping lead the Midland Tigers to fourth place.

In 1948, playing for the Tacoma Fuelerettes (Pacific Mutual Fuels), she pitched and provided the winning run in a thrilling 6-3, 14-inning win over Richland played in front of 1,000 fans. Esther started the decisive rally with an inning-opening triple. She played for Pacific Mutual Fuels and coach Frank Cey in 1949 and continued in the local league. The last mention of Esther Deuel in rosters of the period came in 1953 when she played for her father and with her sister, Jeannie, for the Tacomarettes. She also coached before retiring from the sport.