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.
And Brooks isn’t cutting the team any slack because of its youthfulness.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.”
July 9, 2013
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.
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.
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.
“We’re not happy at all,” Brooks said. “We’re a better team than we showed this year.”
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.
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.
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.
May 7, 2013
Spartans retain third rank despite loss
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.”
April 30, 2013
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.