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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Skyline error proves costly to Eastlake

April 16, 2013

By Lillian O’Rorke Riley Davidson, Skyline High School junior infielder, steps up to bat against Eastlake April 8.

By Lillian O’Rorke
Riley Davidson, Skyline High School junior infielder, steps up to bat against Eastlake April 8.

Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning April 8, the Skyline High School softball team was leading Eastlake, 2-1, but by the inning’s end it had fallen to 6-2.

The Skyline Spartans first pulled ahead of their plateau neighbors in the top of the fifth by scoring two runs, including one by senior Charlotte Zhao, who went 3 for 4 with a double.

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Patriots not happy with 3-1 win over Thunderbirds

April 2, 2013

By Greg Farrar Miranda Bukantz, Liberty High School catcher, grins as she prepares to put out Haley Newton, of Sammamish, on a double play, to retire the side March 28 during the third inning of the Patriots’ 3-1 win over the Totems.

By Greg Farrar
Miranda Bukantz, Liberty High School catcher, grins as she prepares to put out Haley Newton, of Sammamish, on a double play, to retire the side March 28 during the third inning of the Patriots’ 3-1 win over the Totems.

If the Liberty High School scoreboard was functioning during the softball team’s matchup against Sammamish, it would have shown a 3-1 victory for the Patriots.

The March 28 win against the Totems didn’t feel like much of an achievement for the Liberty coaches and players, though.

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Skyline’s offensive explosion downs rival Issaquah, 9-6

April 2, 2013

The Issaquah High School softball field was host to an explosion of offense when rivals Issaquah and Skyline High School squared off March 25. It was the Spartans’ bats that proved to pack the most punch, though, defeating the Eagles, 9-6.

The schools combined to produce 25 hits, but the game remained scoreless through two innings, before Skyline pushed six runs across the plate in the third.

Skyline’s Madisen Camp-Chimenti put the Spartans on the board first, driving in two runs with a double laced to the left-center field gap. It was just the beginning of what would be a productive day for the Skyline junior, who collected four hits and three RBIs.

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Eagles are all about the new in 2013

March 12, 2013

By Sebastian Moraga Amelia Cunningham fires the ball home during drills at Issaquah High School’s softball practice. The Eagles have a new coach in Ron Hatlen and a new attitude this season, players said.

By Sebastian Moraga
Amelia Cunningham fires the ball home during drills at Issaquah High School’s softball practice. The Eagles have a new coach in Ron Hatlen and a new attitude this season, players said.

For this year’s Issaquah High School squad, the word is new.

New year, new coach and a new chance to leave last year’s campaign behind.

Last year’s squad lacked enthusiasm, senior catcher Heather Benjamin said. This year is different, she added.

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Skyline turns out enough players for varsity team only

March 12, 2013

What the Skyline High School softball team lacks in numbers, it makes up for in returning key players.

With only 12 total girls turning out this year, there is not enough to field a junior varsity team. However, varsity is covered. Those returning include Skyline’s No. 1 pitcher from last year, sophomore Winter Ridgeway. Making up the other half of the battery is Tia Hedman, also a sophomore.

“Our catching is one of our strong points,” Ken Brooks, the new head coach for Skyline, said about Hedman. “She is just a very aggressive gal. She is just a pure athlete. I couldn’t have asked for a better kid back there.”

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New Liberty coach returns to his alma mater

March 12, 2013

The Liberty High School softball team’s first-year coach, Zach Bartholomew, is rather comfortable donning the Patriots’ signature blue and green.

That’s because he wore it himself as a 2004 Liberty High School graduate and was a member of the 2003 baseball team that won a 3A state title.

Zach Bartholomew

Zach Bartholomew

“When I heard that this position was open, I said ‘I’ve got to get this job. I’ve got to get back in blue,’” he said.

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Skyline High School hires Ken Brooks as softball coach

September 18, 2012

The Skyline High School softball team has a new head coach.

The high school announced Sept. 13 that Ken Brooks has been hired as the new head softball coach.

Brooks is not new to the Skyline Spartans. From 1998 to 2000 he served as the junior varsity softball coach. From there, he went on to head the softball program at The Bear Creek School but returned to Skyline to take over as head coach for the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

During that time, the Spartans were named 2002 Academic State Champions and finished fifth in the 2003 state academic contest. Brooks left Skyline after 2003 to spend more time with his young son. Most recently, he has coached baseball and softball at the club level.

“I’m excited to be back at Skyline, and to grow the program,” Brooks said in a statement. “As a coach who was here at the start of the program my goal is to bring back the Spartan tradition of a team that competes at the highest level.”

First-round state loss leaves room to grow for Liberty’s youth

May 29, 2012

Miranda Bukantz, Liberty High School junior, stretches a single into a double on a throwing error to first during the fourth inning May 25. By Greg Farrar

Two unearned runs in an error-riddled bottom of the first inning proved to be an insurmountable lead as the Liberty High School Patriots’ fast-pitch team lost to Everett in the first round of the 3A state tournament May 25.

Everett starting pitcher Lexi Levin took control after that, surrendering only one run in the top of the fourth on steal of home.

Although the quick exit from the state tournament was not what Liberty had in mind, head coach Brian Hartman said he knows that the return of Liberty to the state tournament is a return to normalcy.

“It’s a big deal,” Hartman said. “The program’s kind of back where it belongs. I think we’re about ready to start another streak here. We had a 12-year run here. It’s fun seeing everyone here. It means you’re back playing with the elite. You’re one of the top programs in the state and that’s where we expect to be.” Read more

Enthusiasm lacks as Issaquah Eagles softball team loses, 4-2

May 1, 2012

Traci Castonguay, Issaquah High School senior, belts a two-RBI single during the third inning April 27 against Ballard at Woodland Park. By Greg Farrar

It’s been a rough, up-and-down season for the Issaquah High School softball team in 2012, and head coach Jim Magnuson chalked up another couple of losses over the weekend to attitude.

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