Mount Si softball falls out of contention

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SAMMAMISH - The Mount Si Wildcats softball team returned from spring break looking to get a kick start on the way to a strong postseason seeding.

The week started out, however, on a difficult note as the 'Cats let a winnable game get away thanks to a lackluster offense. Last Monday, under threatening skies at Sammamish High School, the Wildcats had a great outing from sophomore pitcher Kandis Clesson, but the offense only mustered two hits against the Totems in a 1-0 loss. Clesson gave up three hits and struck out seven, but it was a lone run that did the team in. The run was scored on a defensive miscue by Mount Si junior outfielder Emily White. White dropped a routine fly ball with a Sammamish runner on first and then fell, allowing the Totem runner to score.

On Wednesday, right up until game time, heavy rain threatened to postpone the contest at Centennial Fields against the Bellevue Wolverines. Then the rain ended and the game was played. The Wolverines scored seven runs in the fourth inning, all with two outs, and broke open what had been a close game, cruising to a 9-4 blowout of the Cats. Mount Si was resilient, even without Clesson who was ill and unable to pitch. In Clesson's place, White and fellow junior Amy Trenkamp pitched in a tough situation.

"We had some things we had to deal with with our lineup and it was a lot different, but I'm really proud of the girls that were asked to do things they haven't been asked to do before and they did an admirable job," said Wildcats coach Larry White.

Juniors Kayla Jayne and Ashley Svarthumle each went 2-4 to lead Mount Si offensively. Two freshmen had good games as well: Lacey Blais, in her two at-bats off the bench, singled and walked; and Sam Riley, although going 1-4, made a stellar defensive play that kept at least two Bellevue runs off the board in the sixth inning. Riley caught the ball, then threw to first to pick off the Wolverine runner for a double play.

"I didn't even know if I was going to catch it. I just kind of stuck my mitt out there and then people were screaming [at me]to throw to first so I did, and it worked out," said Riley.

The Wildcats' fortunes turned around in a big way Friday when they stunned the Skyline Spartans 3-2 at Skyline in what was the biggest win of the year for Mount Si. Juniors Kayla Jayne and Erika Evans did the damage. Jayne's triple in the fifth scored two to tie the game, then Evans doubled to give the Wildcats the lead. Emily White held her own, then Mount Si brought in their best to slam the door shut in the seventh. Despite still being under the weather, Clesson retired the Spartans 1-2-3 to finish off the courageous performance by the Wildcats on the home field of the best team in the Kingco Conference.

Mount Si is at Cedarcrest Wednesday and at Newport Friday. Game time for both games is 4 p.m. The Wildcats last week learned they have another opponent on their schedule. In what will be their only non-league contest of the year, Mount Si is scheduled to face the 3A Northwest League's Sedro Woolley Cubs at Centennial Fields May 7. The Cubs are considered to be one of the state's top programs, and this matchup comes about a year too late.

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