Wildcats add two more to win column

MERCER ISLAND - The Mount Si Wildcats fastpitch softball team opened the week last Monday on the road with a big 8-0 win over the Mercer Island High School Islanders.

Sophomore Kandis Clesson and junior Amy Trenkamp combined on a two-hit shutout, as the Wildcats reached .500 for the first time this season.

Junior Emily White went 2-for-4 with a triple to lead the Wildcats offensively, but it was a breakout night for Tricia Coccia. The sophomore first baseman went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Clesson was strong at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs.

The shutout was preserved largely because of a stellar defensive play by Clesson.

Playing the outfield after being relieved by Trenkamp to open the bottom of the sixth, Clesson made a perfect throw to junior catcher Erika Evans to nail the Islanders' baserunner at the plate to end the inning.

The season has been full of ups and downs to date and last Wednesday was down.

The Wildcats, riding high from the previous night's victory, were chopped down by junior pitcher Brenda Bray and the Issaquah Eagles. Thanks to only one Mount Si hit - a seventh-inning shot by Clesson - Bray finally out-dueled Clesson for the first time in four tries in a 2-0 home win. Bray went 0-3 last season against Clesson, including a loss in the Sea-King District championship game.

Last Thursday, the Wildcats scored a huge win to close out the first half of the schedule against Liberty. Mount Si scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning en route to a 9-1 victory of the Patriots that allowed the Wildcats to finish 5-5 in the first half.

"We executed everything that we wanted to do. We did everything. We only [made] one error," said freshman Lacey Blais. "The outfield's great [and the] infield's great. Everything is good."

Clesson and junior infielder Kayla Jayne scored twice each, and Trenkamp added two hits. But it was Blais who was the star.

The outfielder hit her first-ever high-school triple in the bottom of the fifth. While it didn't affect the outcome of the game, as she was run down by Liberty after overrunning third base, the fact that she hit it was special in its own right. Blais was humble.

"It was cool to finally get my bat on the ball," Blais said.

Junior infielder Ashley Svarthumle, however, offered praise for her teammate.

"She needed a hit and she did, and she's going to hit more. She got her bat going today and I'm really proud of her," said Svarthumle.

The midseason stats show the team's offensive struggles. As of the April 7 game with Issaquah, the team was hitting .185 as a unit.

Clesson is playing well. In addition to her stellar 1.02 earned run average, the sophomore pitcher is hitting .400, tops on the team in hitting. Of the new players, junior catcher Erika Evans is doing the best with a .208 average.

The Wildcats now are on spring break. They will not return to action until Monday, April 19, when they travel to Sammamish. First pitch for both games is 4 p.m.

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