July 8, 2014
June 3, 2014
The Liberty High School fastpitch team’s postseason magic came to an end May 30 after two consecutive losses in the 3A state tournament at Lacey’s Regional Athletic Complex.
Liberty was dealt the toughest possible opening-round game when it was matched up with Kamiakin, winners of the previous two state championships. The Braves went on to make it three in a row before the weekend ended.
The Patriots fell to Kamiakin, 12-6. Despite the loss, Liberty’s offense was the only Kamiakin tournament opponent to score more than three runs against the champions.
May 27, 2014
The Liberty High School softball team is back where it belongs.
The perennially state-bound squad will return to the state tournament, after missing out on the fun a year ago. The Patriots clinched a 2014 berth with a 3-1 record in the two-day SeaKing District Tournament May 21-22.
“I’m just trying to get back to where the program should and used to be,” second-year coach Zach Bartholomew said. “It’s always kind of been the same story. They’re not always the most talented group, but nobody ever wants to play us because we’ll jump up and beat anybody at anytime.”
May 27, 2014
Annika Hildebrand isn’t known as a power hitter, but she picked a very good time to collect her first home run as a high-school player.
The Skyline High School third baseman clobbered a three-run homer over the center-field fence, and those runs proved to be the difference as the Spartans held off the Issaquah Eagles, 7-6, in a loser-out game at the Class 4A KingCo Conference fastpitch tournament May 20 at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore.
In the bottom of the third inning, Skyline (15-7) took a 4-3 lead on Natalie King’s RBI single. Hildebrand then stepped to the plate and drilled a pitch from Issaquah’s Kylie Bevell, making it 7-3 in the blink of an eye.
May 20, 2014
Anya Kamber, a Sammamish resident and 2011 graduate of Skyline High School, was part of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s All-New England teams announced May 10.
Kamber, who plays for Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., was a first-team All-New England selection. She will be eligible to be selected for NCAA Division III All-America honors.
Kamber, a junior, was the only Brandeis player to appear in every game during the 2014 season, and led the squad in hits, doubles and RBIs. She was second on the team with a .420 batting average.
The Judges finish with a 21-18 record in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, winning their last six games to reach the postseason for the eighth straight year.
Kamber’s parents are Peter and Tracey Kamber, of Sammamish.
May 6, 2014
Issaquah High School sophomore Sydney Schultz’s first-inning homerun trot ended with a rather emphatic stomp on home plate.
Just a half-inning earlier, the Eagles watched as umpires erased a Ballard home run, after the hitter failed to touch home plate on her way back to the dugout.
April 22, 2014
There wasn’t much offense to support Skyline’s Caroline Bowman or Eastlake’s Mikel Charles in last week’s Class 4A KingCo Conference fastpitch game.
Charles, though, got enough of it to outduel Bowman, and the Wolves knocked off the Spartans, 2-0, April 15 at Skyline High School.
Charles was rarely threatened in leading the Wolves to their fourth KingCo win in five outings. The junior allowed one walk and three hits, all singles, while striking out six in a complete-game effort.
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.”