Six freshmen to start for Skyline fastpitch squad

March 18, 2014

There are definite disadvantages in having freshmen fill six of nine starting roles, but Skyline High School fastpitch coach Ken Brooks also believes there’s a bright side.

“No one knows anything about us,” Brooks said. “All they know is we’ve got a bunch of freshmen, and so we’re excited. Every year we get out here, it’s just a new group, and we only lose two seniors this year. Next year, we lose no seniors.”

The Spartans have struggled to recruit players for a few seasons — 14 turned out this spring, 12 the year before. But the team isn’t making excuses, and knows it can win if the chemistry is right and individuals meet expectations.

By Neil Pierson Riley Davidson, one of two seniors on the Skyline High School fastpitch team, figures to be an on-field leader and run producer for the Spartans.

By Neil Pierson
Riley Davidson, one of two seniors on the Skyline High School fastpitch team, figures to be an on-field leader and run producer for the Spartans.

And Brooks isn’t cutting the team any slack because of its youthfulness.

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Patriots’ coach to rely on youth

March 11, 2014

It’s always easier to do something the second time around, just ask Liberty High School softball coach Zach Bartholomew.

Bartholomew is heading into his second year leading the Patriots, and with a year under his belt, both he and the girls have a better idea of who they are and what they need to do as a team to bring the Liberty program back to previous levels of success.

By Greg Farrar Sydney Hopper, Liberty High School pitcher, strikes out eight and allows just three hits in a 2013 complete-game win.

By Greg Farrar
Sydney Hopper, Liberty High School pitcher, strikes out eight and allows just three hits in a 2013 complete-game win.

“It’s always great coming into something that you’re a little bit used to,” he said. “I’m not brand new to the program, the players are not brand new to me, so it helps me out a lot.”

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Young Issaquah softball team finds strength in pitching

March 11, 2014

Eagles welcome Skyline transfers

With just two seniors on its 2014 squad, youth is the Issaquah High School softball team’s overriding theme.

By Greg Farrar Kylie Bevell, Issaquah High School starting pitcher, throws to batters in a 2013 game against Eastlake.

By Greg Farrar
Kylie Bevell, Issaquah High School starting pitcher, throws to batters in a 2013 game against Eastlake.

That’s why, more than ever, second-year coach Ron Hatlen is preaching mental toughness and resiliency.

“We’re really going to work on the mental side for these guys,” he said. “I mean, they’ve all played for so long. It’s a matter of trying to turn their brain off when they’re out there.”

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Redmond all-stars send local girls home

July 9, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy Samantha Nemiroff slides safely into home, putting the Issaquah/Sammamish all stars up 1-0 in the first inning against Redmond on July 5. Redmond ultimately won, 9-8.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Samantha Nemiroff slides safely into home, putting the Issaquah/Sammamish all stars up 1-0 in the first inning against Redmond on July 5. Redmond ultimately won, 9-8.

Facing elimination, the Issaquah/Sammamish 9/10 all-star softball team came into their July 5 game against Redmond ready to battle.

The team, comprised of 9- and 10-year-olds from Sammamish and Issaquah little leagues, fell short, though, losing to Redmond, 9-8, in what was a thrilling, back-and-forth finish.

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Brielle Bray named pitcher of the year

June 4, 2013

Bellevue College freshman softball pitcher Brielle Bray has been selected as the 2013 NWAACC North Region Pitcher of the year.

The Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges consists of 27 colleges and community colleges with two-year athletic programs from Washington, Oregon and Canada.

Bray, a 2012 graduate of Issaquah High School, was one of only two pitchers in the league to have a 20-win season (20 wins, five losses). She lead NWAACC with four saves, was fourth in strikeouts with 155 and was sixth in ERA at 2.62. Bray also batted .394 for the season.

Bellevue College finished the season in fourth-place at 39-7.

Spartans ousted in lopsided defeat

May 21, 2013

When just 12 girls turned out for tryouts, a rebuilding year became a likelihood for the Skyline High School softball team. However, the Spartans hoped their subpar season wouldn’t conclude in as disappointing fashion as it did.

Skyline’s 2013 campaign came to an end May 14 with an 11-3 loss to Newport in a loser-out game of the KingCo 4A Tournament at Inglemoor High School. Opponents outscored the Spartans by a combined margin of 19 in Skyline’s two playoff games, making for a frustrating finish to the season for head coach Ken Brooks.

SoftballRidgewaySHS 2012 B copy

File
Winter Ridgeway delivers a pitch during a game earlier in the season.

“We’re not happy at all,” Brooks said. “We’re a better team than we showed this year.”

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Eagles’s softball season ends early

May 21, 2013

The Issaquah High School softball season officially came to an end May 14 after the Eagles dropped two straight games in the KingCo 4A tournament.

The chance to advance in the tournament hit an early roadblock when the Eagles drew Woodinville as their first-round opponent. Not only did Woodinville win last year’s state championship, but the Falcons are also considered among the top teams in the nation.

Issaquah put up a respectable fight against the top-ranked Falcons, losing 6-0 May 13. It was a considerable improvement from the teams’ first meeting when Woodinville defeated Issaquah 12-2 in just five innings. In that game, however, the Eagles did not face Woodinville’s staff ace, Madi Schreyer.

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Liberty bounced early from KingCo softball post season

May 14, 2013

It wasn’t the way the Liberty High School softball team expected the season to end, but after just one game in the KingCo tournament, Mercer Island sent the Patriots home May 9 with a 5-4 loss.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Liza VanCamp, Liberty High School shortstop, slides past the Mercer Island catcher to score the Patriots’ first run of the game.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Liza VanCamp, Liberty High School shortstop, slides past the Mercer Island catcher to score the Patriots’ first run of the game.

Just two weeks earlier, Liberty defeated Mercer Island, 7-4, but the Patriots failed to match that success during the tournament, showing more of the inconsistency that plagued the team this year.

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Ballard blanks Skyline, 5-0

May 7, 2013

Spartans retain third rank despite loss

Winter Ridgeway, Skyline High School sophomore, delivers a pitch April 30 against Ballard. By Lillian O’Rorke

Winter Ridgeway, Skyline High School sophomore, delivers a pitch April 30 against Ballard. By Lillian O’Rorke

After suffering a 6-5 loss at home to Skyline High School April 3, Ballard turned the tide April 30 by pulling a 5-0 win over the No. 3 ranked plateau softball team.

“It’s softball, and that’s part of the game,” said Ken Brooks, coach of the Skyline Spartans. “We expected ups and downs with only having 12 kids turn out.”

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Wolves too much for the Eagles in 13-2 loss

April 30, 2013

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.

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