Wolves too much for the Eagles in 13-2 loss

April 30, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Sydney Schultz, Issaquah High School center fielder, reaches third base from first on the fourth-inning double by catcher Heather Benjamin (left), in their game April 26 against Eastlake. Photo by By Greg Farrar

Sydney Schultz, Issaquah High School center fielder, reaches third base from first on the fourth-inning double by catcher Heather Benjamin (left), in their game April 26 against Eastlake. Photo by By Greg Farrar

In a season when the win column just doesn’t look pretty, players tend to place undue pressure on themselves to try to power through the adversity.

The youth-laden Issaquah High School softball team knows the feeling all too well as it struggles to turn around a season plagued by injuries and inexperience.

“In the games, they are just trying to win so bad right now that they’re pressing in everything, offense and defense,” first-year Issaquah coach Ron Hatlen said.

There were not too many positives during the April 26 contest between Eastlake and Issaquah. The Wolves needed just six innings to put away the Eagles, 13-2.

The Eagles’ runs came in the first inning, with Issaquah showing strong patience at the plate, drawing five walks and forcing an Eastlake pitching change. Sydney Schultz and Kylie Bevell scored Issaquah’s only two runs.

Not much else went right for Issaquah after the first inning. Eastlake would go on to cross home plate 13 times, accumulating 21 hits along the way.

“Eastlake hit the ball well. I can’t take anything away from them, but any team you give seven outs, they’re going to score. I don’t care who it is,” Hatlen said.

Issaquah used three pitchers during the game, starting with staff ace Bevell, followed by Bailey Englin and Amelia Cunningham. Despite Eastlake’s offensive production, Hatlen said he was happy with his pitching staff’s ability to get the ball over the plate, allowing the Wolves to draw only one walk.

“That’s all that I can ask of my pitchers, not to walk batters, and if they hit a homerun, they hit a homerun, credit to them,” Hatlen said.

Senior catcher Heather Benjamin led the team in hitting, going 2-4 with a double. Cunningham also picked up a pair of singles.

The freshman-heavy team is keeping their heads up through a tough rebuilding season, gaining experience that will hopefully help the Eagles thrive in the future, Hatlen said.

“These kids haven’t given up,” he said. “They have great teamwork and they practice well together. The spirits are up. They just know they need to do the little things.”

After the game, the Eagles hosted an Issaquah Little League night as part of Hatlen’s efforts to try and renew interest in the sport. The Issaquah coach also plans to hold clinics and take the high school team to watch Little League games to construct meaningful relationships between the two entities.

“This is how you build a program,” he said. “You start from the little ones. You build up from the Little League. We’ve got to build it from the ground up to where we have enough athletes to field junior varsity teams.”

up next

Issaquah vs. Newport

♦4 p.m. May 6

♦Issaquah High School

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