The Meadowdale Mavericks suffered just one home loss last season on their way to the 2016 3A state softball title – a one-run defeat at the hands of the Mountlake Terrace Hawks.
On Wednesday, the visiting Hawks tripped up Meadowdale again – by a single run.
Terrace scored three runs in the second inning, then held on to defeat the Mavericks 3-2 in a 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference match-up played at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
With the win, Terrace took over sole possession of second place in the conference at 3-1, a game behind the 4-0 Edmonds-Woodway Warriors. Meadowdale fell to 2-2 in the conference standings.
The Hawks’ Kira Doan scattered four hits, struck out seven and walked two to earn the victory on Wednesday. The senior also had an RBI single in Terrace’s big second inning.
“Kira threw a phenomenal game from start to end,” said Terrace Coach Shannon Rasmussen. “She was on all game.”
The Hawks’ other senior pitcher, Gabby Calhoun, is unavailable for any mound work due to an injury, so Rasmussen has been juggling Doan with a roster of underclassmen pitchers during the early part of this 2017 season.
“Against the big teams we’ve got to make sure Kira is working hard,” Rasmussen explained, “and she came through. She’s been doing really well this year so far.”
Doan, who had also earned the pitching victory in the Hawks’ 8-7 win over the Mavs last year, used a familiar mindset to get through a good-hitting Meadowdale lineup on Wednesday.
“I try to stay more focused but I really like to address each batter the same each time,” Doan said, “and go with the same intensity with each pitch.”
The Mavs were able to score a run off of Doan with two outs in the third inning when Emma Helm doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a Kaylee Williams single.
Meadowdale added an unearned run in the seventh inning when Helm, who had singled again with two outs, scored from first base after Terrace’s Sarah Acheson couldn’t handle a drive to left field off the bat of Williams.
But that would be the extent of the Mavs scoring as Doan worked her way out of jams in the first, second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings when Meadowdale stranded base runners in scoring position.
The Hawks sent nine batters to the plate in their half of the second inning and, with the help of two walks issued by Meadowdale pitcher Lauren Dent, scored all the runs they would need to steal a victory.
Amaya Knapp led off the Hawks’ second with triple to right field, then scored off an RBI single by Sarah Davis. Doan’s RBI single and a RBI base-on-balls issued to Jazz Zenk rounded out the Terrace scoring.
“One bad inning and you’ve got to fight to come back, and we just weren’t on,” noted Mavs Coach Dennis Hopkins.
The combination of losing some key players from last year’s squad to graduation and missing out on some practice time this spring due to the weather has hampered his team’s progress, Hopkins said.
“I think we’re probably a couple weeks behind where we need to be,” Hopkins explained. “We’ve had maybe five days of practice on our field (at Meadowdale High School) since the beginning of the season.”
The Mavs-Hawks tilt was moved to Edmonds-Woodway High School due to the unplayable condition at Meadowdale High School’s softball diamond due to all the rain that has fallen this spring.
Although the loss to Terrace dropped their overall record to 3-3, the Mavs still have their sights set on returning to the 3A state softball tournament this year.
“They’ve got the drive to do it and they’ve just got to make the little hiccups go away and go at it,” Hopkins added.
Despite the Mavericks’ early-season struggles, Rasmussen still reveled in the Hawks’ victory over the defending 3A state champions. “It felt good,” she admitted. “Anytime you can beat a team like that. I know they lost a couple of seniors so they’re not quite the team they were last year, but anytime you can get a win against one of the better teams, that feels good.”
In other Mountlake Terrace sports on Tuesday, both the Hawk baseball and girls tennis teams were rained out and will try to get back into action on Thursday, March 30.
Prep Softball: Mountlake Terrace at Meadowdale, March 29
Terrace 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 — 3 8 1
Meadowdale 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 — 2 4 0
Winning pitcher: Kira Doan (Mountlake Terrace)
Losing pitcher: Lauren Dent (Meadowdale)
Records: Mountlake Terrace 3-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 4-2 overall; Meadowdale 2-2 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 3-3 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Lynnwood, Friday, March 31, 4 p.m. at Lynnwood High School
Meadowdale next game: versus Shorewood, Friday, March 31, 6 p.m. at Meridian Park in Shoreline
Prep Baseball: Mountlake Terrace at Marysville-Pilchuck, March 29
(Postponed to Thursday, March 30, due to unplayable field conditions)
Prep Girls Tennis: Shorecrest at Mountlake Terrace, March 29
(Postponed to Thursday, March 30, due to unplayable court conditions)
–By Doug Petrowski