Skyline falls to Eastlake despite late rally

April 20, 2010

By Christopher Huber

Heavy-hitting Skyline High School freshman Mickey Dunn-Blad nearly caused a seventh-inning Eastlake meltdown when she stroked a two-out, ground-rule double over the centerfield fence. It was 4-1 and Eastlake had nearly sent the Spartans home without much of a fight.

But the hit scored two runners and brought the Spartans to within one run of tying the game.

“I was just trying to make something happen,” Dunn-Blad said after the game at Skyline.

She did provide some late-game excitement for the home crowd, and she did make the Eastlake bench nervous. But the short-lived rally was not enough as Eastlake ace Nicole Guptil struck out the next batter to end the game.

“I was just really glad to get the last out,” Guptil said.

Eastlake won 4-3 as the sun finally came out for a 4A KingCo Conference game April 14. The Wolves improved to 5-2 overall and Skyline went to 5-3.

Lauren Richards, Skyline relief pitcher, winds up a pitch to home plate. She held Eastlake to no runs on three hits April 14, striking out six Lady Wolves and walking just one batter. By Christopher Huber

Skyline’s bats were quiet the entire game until the seventh. The team relied on Guptil’s seven walks and some fielder’s choice plays to get anyone on base, but was unable to capitalize.

“Too little, too late. They were too picky with strikes,” said Skyline coach Alison Mitchell, seeming somewhat frustrated with the timing of the rally. “There was no patience.”

Skyline starting pitcher Elizabeth Stromquist got off to a slow start. Eastlake pounced in the top of the second, scoring four runs on two walks, and four hits. The Wolves sent eight players to bat and scored first on a Mercedes Bass sacrifice fly. Lexi Jaeger drove in one on a single. The fourth run came on a Stromquist wild pitch.

Stromquist pitched one and two-thirds innings and gave up four runs on four hits. She struck out one and walked two.

In relief for Skyline, Lauren Richards went the rest of the way, holding Eastlake scoreless on three hits. She struck out six Wolves and walked just one batter.

Guptil went all seven innings for Eastlake and finished with nine strikeouts. She walked seven Skyline batters.

“A win’s a win,” Eastlake coach Al Leaverenz said. “It’s going to be a nice race this year.”

Amy Ziegler finished 1-for-3 with a single for Skyline. At the top of the lineup, Anya Kamber hit an RBI single to score Ziegler and Dunn-Blad capped off Skyline’s near comeback with the two-RBI double that could have almost been a three-run home run.

“I was just waiting for her to do that all game,” Mitchell said about Dunn-Blad’s double in the seventh.

Dunn-Blad is hitting above .500 for the season, Mitchell said and will be a force to be reckoned with throughout 2010 and for the next few years.

Skyline no-hits Garfield

Skyline bounced back from its loss to Eastlake April 16 by walloping Garfield 12-0.

Stromquist hurled a perfect game, retiring 15 batters in a row in the five-inning game and struck out eight. Amanda Nemiroff had three hits for the Spartans and Ziegler drove in two runs.

The Spartans also blanked Newport 9-0 April 12. Richards tossed a one-hitter and struck out 13 batters, Dunn-Blad went 4-for-4 and Lauren Wolfe had three hits and five RBIs for Skyline.

Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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