Sports

Softball's return ticket to glory within striking distance

The Mount Si softball team strengthened its playoff hopes last week with a pair of wins.

Last Monday, April 14, they traveled to Liberty. The bats were hot as the Wildcats picked up what might have been the most important win of the season thus far, beating the Patriots 8-5. Traci Barclay and Kyleen Sweepe both went 3-for-4 at the plate, each with doubles. A double was the hit of choice for the Wildcats, as Melissa Webster and Danielle Covello also had two-baggers for Mount Si.

The win allowed Mount Si to sweep the season series 2-0 against Liberty, key since the Wildcats and Patriots are fighting each other for playoff position within Kingco 3A and head-to-head tiebreakers decide seeding.

Last Wednesday, the Wildcats welcomed Mercer Island. Historically, playing the Islanders allows Mount Si coach Larry White to use the whole bench, which he did in a 14-0 rout of the Islanders in a five-inning, mercy rule victory. White started reserves in the bottom of the order, and they stepped up. Danae Englund hit a double that scored a run, part of a six-run first inning. She also scored two runs. April Saffell reached base twice, once after striking out, and Savannah Maddux hit two singles and scored a run.

Saffell was pleased to have the chance to play.

"I just tried to take the opportunity that I got to try to prove something," the senior outfielder said.

The regulars for the Wildcats also made their mark as well, as Katie Shaw went 3-for-3 with a double and three runs scored; Barclay added two hits, and Webster rocked two more doubles and drove in three runs.

In addition to the six first-inning runs, Mount Si scored six more in the fourth.

Rachel Nyberg started on the mound and gave up just two hits, and struck out nine, only walking one.

"It was good to get some swings in, and work on our fundamentals, and just get out there and do what we do," Nyberg said.

The Wildcats' games at Bellevue - the completion of the suspended game from earlier this season, along with the regularly scheduled game last Friday, April 18 - were both rained out. The earliest those games could be made up is this Thursday, April 24.

This week looks to be a tough one, with games against all three top-tier teams, two of which are at home. The Wildcats are on a bye Friday, April 25. If Mount Si gets just one win this week, considering the remaining schedule they have, it will be all but official for a return to the postseason tradition that has developed under White's watch. In six previous seasons of coaching, White has made postseason four times.

"The girls are starting to believe that we kind of have our own destiny laid out in front of us," White said.

That postseason trail has changed a bit this season as well. The SeaKing district event this season is at Marymoor Park in Redmond. The tournament, which for a number of years had been held at Fort Dent Park in Tukwila, was moved after that facility was demolished by operator Starfire Sports to make way for new soccer fields.

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