Annika Hildebrand goes deep, leads Spartans to next round

May 27, 2014

Annika Hildebrand (center), Skyline High School sophomore third baseman, leaps in the air onto home plate and into her teammates’ arms after collecting three runs with her first-ever high school homerun in the third inning May 20 against Issaquah. By Greg Farrar

Annika Hildebrand (center), Skyline High School sophomore third baseman, leaps in the air onto home plate and into her teammates’ arms after collecting three runs with her first-ever high school homerun in the third inning May 20 against Issaquah. By Greg Farrar

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.

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Spartans subdue Eagles in conference opener

April 8, 2014

The fastpitch rivalry between the Issaquah Eagles and Skyline Spartans always has intensity, and last week’s clash to open Class 4A KingCo Conference play was no different.

Facing off against former teammates Winter Ridgeway and Tia Hedman, the Spartans used a fourth-inning surge and rallied past the Eagles, 5-3, on April 1 at Skyline High School.

Photos by Greg Farrar At left, Caroline Bowman, Skyline High School freshman, retires three Issaquah batters in the seventh inning to round out her complete-game pitching effort April 1 in the Spartans’ 5-3 victory. Above, Lauren Lo (11), Skyline High School freshman shortstop, reaches home on a wild pitch as Issaquah pitcher Winter Ridgeway comes in to the plate in the bottom of the fourth. Senior batter Riley Davidson watches the run come in.

Photo by Greg Farrar
 Lauren Lo (11), Skyline High School freshman shortstop, reaches home on a wild pitch as Issaquah pitcher Winter Ridgeway comes in to the plate in the bottom of the fourth. Senior batter Riley Davidson watches the run come in.

Caroline Bowman, one of six freshmen starters for Skyline, was superb in leading the comeback. She used her fastball and rise ball effectively to strike out 11 hitters, while limiting the Eagles to five hits and no walks.

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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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