Skyline High School softball team earns first conference win

April 17, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

Erika Wolfe, Skyline High School Spartans catcher, slides safely into home to score their eighth run at the bottom of the fifth inning. By Lillian Tucker

The Skyline High School softball team turned its season record on its head with an 11-1 victory over Redmond High School on April 9.

“I was really impressed,” said head coach Alison Mitchell, who explained that the Redmond Mustangs are a team that usually finds a way to hang around and win. “It was nice to get that monkey off our back, because I know our team is much more capable than our record has shown.”

The Skyline Spartans had gotten off to a rocky start of conference play with consecutive losses to Issaquah and Newport.

But their stay at the bottom of the KingCo 4A-Crest standings didn’t last long. The score was tied at zero at the bottom of the third inning when Winter Ridgeway, Skyline’s freshman pitcher, hit a single to secure herself on first. Fellow freshman Tia Hedman followed with another single. With runners on first and second, Natalie De La Garrigue smacked a double to bring Ridgeway home and for the first time this season; Skyline had the lead.

The momentum continued to grow as Riley Davidson stepped up the plate. Hitting a triple, she brought Hedman and De La Garrigue home and landed herself on third where she didn’t stay put for long. On the next pitch, Davidson stole home, giving Skyline a 4-0 advantage.

“It was great when our bats came alive,” said Ridgeway, who hit three for four against Redmond. “We just need to keep buying into what our coaches are telling us. We are a team. That’s how we played.”

Ridgeway pitched the entire game, which allowed for the Spartans’ other pitchers, Megan Burris and Charlotte Zhao, to arm the infield.

“Our best defense is when I can use Charlotte and Megan in other positions. We have a young team and I have a limited number of players, but with that defense out on the field it proved to be our best showing,” Mitchell said. “We really limited our mistakes. Once she (Ridgeway) settled down and got going you could see the rest of the team get settled down and start going too.”

The Spartan offense came alive again in the bottom of the fifth, when it responded to Redmond’s first and only run by circulating through its whole batting order, eventually scoring five more runs for Skyline. With a scoreless top of the sixth for the Mustangs, the Spartans were up to bat again with the possibility of an early finish. The coach turned to the bench and said, “Ladies, it should never be quiet in the dugout.” The team responded with a chorus of cheers.

“The key moment is when you can feel that momentum shift,” Mitchell said. “This is the moment when we can go in for the kill shot and be done with it.”

Davidson stepped up to the plate and soon the game would be over. With a hard hit to the left field she earned her fourth RBI of the game. As Davidson rounded second and headed for third the coach signaled to her to hold her up. But Davidson didn’t slow and headed for home, putting a 10-point spread between the teams for a homerun finale.

In total, Davidson hit three for four; De La Garrigue went two for four with a single and a double; Madisen Camp-Chimenti batted two for four; and both Erika Wolfe Rachel Carnes went one for two with two RBIs.

The Spartans went on to best Roosevelt, 13-4, on April 10. They were scheduled to take on Woodinville and then Ballard on April 16 and 17, respectively.

“I am hoping they will continue to ride the high,” Mitchell said. “I know we are pretty capable. The kids just need to have confidence in themselves and start believing it.”

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