Last week was tough for the Mount Si girls’ softball team, but it’s still early, and their chances of making playoffs are still as good as ever.
Last Tuesday, they traveled to Skyline to take on a tough Spartans team. It was a difficult game from the moment the girls got off the bus at Skyline, as they fell 7-3. Traci Barclay went 3-3 with a double and a run batted in to lead the Wildcats, but several Mount Si errors proved to be costly. All three Wildcat runs were scored in the third inning.
Mount Si was affected by several factors. First, the bus problems that have been mentioned previously in the Valley Record once again affected the Wildcat softball team; while this time they were able to get a bus, it arrived late to Skyline, right away disrupting pregame preparations. Then the weather, which was cold and wet, and the Field Turf field affected Mount Si defensively. Skyline’s field is the only Field Turf field within Kingco 3A. Most high school teams are used to grass.
Last Thursday, the Wildcats came home to host league favorite Newport. The Knights are favorites to win because they have a player considered to be the league’s top pitcher this year, senior Stacey Hagensen. Hagensen showed why she has earned that distinction as she dominated Mount Si hitters in an 8-0 shutout win.
Mount Si’s offense was as cold as the weather as they were held to just one hit by the Knights’ star pitcher; that hit came in the bottom of the seventh off of Danae Englund’s bat. Further making the day difficult for the Wildcats were costly defensive mistakes; Mount Si made three errors, leading to several of the Newport runs. “Against a team like Newport, [with] Stacey [Hagensen], you can’t afford to give them runs,” said Mount Si coach Larry White.
Katie Brett had a nice outing; the Wildcat senior pitcher went six-plus innings, giving up eight hits and striking out six. Most of the runs she gave up were unearned.
“KB definitely pitched her heart out and she gave it her all, which is always appreciated,” said fellow pitcher Rachel Nyberg, who relieved Brett on the mound in the seventh. After walking the first hitter she faced, Nyberg retired the next two Knights, striking out one.
Though the two losses are a concern, they really do not matter much yet. The way the league appears to break down at this point, Kingco 3A can be divided into three distinct groups of teams. Issaquah, Newport and Skyline are predicted to be at the top, while the Wildcats, Liberty and Sammamish make up the middle group, and Interlake, Mercer Island and Bellevue round out the bottom. If Mount Si were to sweep all of the games against the Patriots, Totems, and all of the teams expected to be at the lower end of the standings this season, the Wildcats would finish 10-6 in league, making the postseason.
This Thursday’s game against Sammamish is critical, since the Totems appear to be a decent team this season even though their ace from last year, Sarah Minice, graduated and is playing ball at Fairfield University in Connecticut this spring. They will likely fight the Wildcats for a good postseason seeding. “We really need to get a win to bring everybody’s spirits up,” said Mount Si senior catcher Katie Shaw. First pitch is 4:30 p.m. at Mount Si.