As the Mountlake Terrace High School baseball and softball teams head into the second half of the 2014 season, both will be looking to solidify postseason tournament berths. The quests to finish the regular season strong and secure district tournament qualifications begin on Tuesday, Apr. 15, when the baseball team travels to take on undefeated Shorewood, while the softball squad hosts last place Shorecrest.
The Hawk boys have had an up-and-down baseball season, winning just four of their first nine games of the year. But Coach Andrew Waters believes his squad is better than their record indicates.
“We’ve had an opportunity to win every game we’ve played,” Waters said. “We’re 4-5 and it’s in our power to play better.”
The 3A Wesco League is loaded with good teams, starting at the top with the state’s #1 ranked 3A squad, the 11-0 Shorewood T-Birds. Other strong schools include 7-1 Marysville-Pilchuck, 7-2 Meadowdale and 8-3 Stanwood. Yet Waters thinks Terrace can stand toe-to-toe against any of their Wesco League competitors.
“We’re capable of competing with everyone in Wesco,” he stated. “I think the kids know that, and we just need to play better.”
The Hawks jump into the second half of the season with their biggest test of the year, a three-game series against #1 Shorewood. The teams battle on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at Meridian Park in Shoreline, Wednesday, Apr. 16, at 4:00 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School, then back at Meridian Park on Friday, Apr. 18, for a 7:00 p.m. showdown.
Waters’ knows that the Shorewood series could be a struggle for his Hawks. “We’re aware of who Shorewood is, and they’ve been a rival of ours all these years,” he explained. “We respect them; they’re good and it’s going to be tough. We’re going to have to play our best baseball to take a game from them, let along talk about the series. We’re just going to try to focus on Tuesday and see how the week goes.”
Terrace currently sits in the #7 seed of the eight-team 3A District 1 Tournament that will take place in early May, but with three-game series against Shorewood and Meadowdale over the next two weeks, holding on to that spot certainly isn’t a guarantee.
While the Terrace baseball team will be fighting to stay qualified for district play, the girls softball team is looking to just get in at this point. Their current 0-2 Wesco League record isn’t good enough right now for even the last spot in the tournament. But Coach Shannon Rasmussen isn’t hitting the panic button just yet, as injuries and scheduling conflicts have prevented her from fielding her entire starting line-up for most of the team’s early season games.
The squad has struggled at the plate this season, scoring more than five runs only twice in their nine games. Rasmussen hopes having her full roster will help alleviate the Hawk’s lack of run production so far. “Now that we have everybody back, we’ll hopefully all come together (and) help our pitchers out a little bit more,” she said.
Terrace has a chance to make some offensive noise this week as the team is facing three teams that have struggled this season. Shorecrest, Shorewood and Oak Harbor, the Hawks next three opponents, have a combined win-loss record of 1-7 in Wesco League play and 6-22 overall this year.
The Hawks will host the Shorecrest Scots on Tuesday, with the first pitch scheduled at 4:00 p.m. The game can be seen live on the Sound Live Sports Network on MLTnews.com. On Thursday, Apr. 17, Terrace will take on Shorewood at Meridian Park in Shoreline beginning at 6:00 p.m. Then on Friday, Apr. 18, the team travels to Oak Harbor to face the Wildcats at 4:00 p.m.