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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Skyline High School softball team earns first conference win

April 17, 2012

Erika Wolfe, Skyline High School Spartans catcher, slides safely into home to score their eighth run at the bottom of the fifth inning. By Lillian Tucker

The Skyline High School softball team turned its season record on its head with an 11-1 victory over Redmond High School on April 9.

“I was really impressed,” said head coach Alison Mitchell, who explained that the Redmond Mustangs are a team that usually finds a way to hang around and win. “It was nice to get that monkey off our back, because I know our team is much more capable than our record has shown.”

The Skyline Spartans had gotten off to a rocky start of conference play with consecutive losses to Issaquah and Newport.

But their stay at the bottom of the KingCo 4A-Crest standings didn’t last long. The score was tied at zero at the bottom of the third inning when Winter Ridgeway, Skyline’s freshman pitcher, hit a single to secure herself on first. Fellow freshman Tia Hedman followed with another single. With runners on first and second, Natalie De La Garrigue smacked a double to bring Ridgeway home and for the first time this season; Skyline had the lead.

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Youth must rise from limited talent pool in Skyline’s softball program

April 3, 2012

Shannon Heneghan, Issaquah High School senior, is safe stealing home on a wild pitch as Skyline High School sophomore catcher Erika Wolfe returns with the ball to attempt the tag during the fourth inning. Issaquah won the rain-shortened game, 3-2. By Greg Farrar

“Strike three!” yelled the umpire on a questionable pitch that was closer to the dirt than the strike zone.

Groans could be heard from the Issaquah High School dugout after the questionable call. The intensity of the Issaquah-Skyline rivalry could be felt with every pitch as both teams struggled to score runs early in the game March 28.

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