It’s a new season for the Mountlake Terrace softball team with changes that not only can be seen but can be heard.
The team regularly practices to a soundtrack of popular music coming from a boombox placed near the field. But after a couple years of country music blaring from the box’s speakers, this year its hip hop, rap and pop.
“Unfortunately it was the seniors last year that liked the country music so I’m a little bummed,” said Terrace Coach Shannon Rasmussen.
While Rasmussen heads up the Hawk softball program, she doesn’t have the final say in what the team listens to during practice. “I’m a country girl. It was on for about 10 seconds a couple of weeks ago, but within those 10 seconds one of the captains – they get to pick the music – came running over and changed it,” she said.
Rasmussen has more pressing issues to be concerned with than what music plays during team practices as the third-year head coach prepares her squad for the 2015 season. The Hawks open the year against 2014 3A state tournament participant Ferndale on Friday, Mar. 20, at Mountlake Terrace High School; first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The music playing during team practices is just one of the changes for Terrace this year as the squad lost to graduation three starters from the 2014 team.
“We definitely got a few girls in different locations,” Rasmussen said. “We lost three big key seniors, so we’re trying to build on what we have (left) from last year. We got three new freshmen on the team and new sophomores, and they’re going to do a nice job filling in the holes that we have.”
The new additions to this year’s team are a blessing in one way, Rasmussen said; “We’re able to move a couple girls back into their more natural positions.”
Returning senior Ashley Fitzgerald is one of the Hawks moving to a different spot on the diamond for 2015. “She was playing first base for most of last year but she’s going to be a catcher quite a bit for us,” Rasmussen said. “She’s going to deal with our pitching staff because our pitching staff is still pretty young.”
Rasmussen has four pitchers, all with limited experience, on the squad – two sophomores and two freshmen. One of the sophomores, Kira Doan, saw limited action last season due to injury. “Kira was out for some of last year and was only able to play half of the season,” Rasmussen said. “She tore her ACL, but she’s back and ready to go.”
Replacing graduates Amanda Aversano, Hannah Baisch and Maddy Kristjanson from last year’s squad that was one win from qualifying for the state championship tourney will be a tall order for the Hawks. All three are now playing college softball: Aversano and Baisch at Shoreline Community College and Kristjanson at Seattle University.
While expectations may not be as high for this year’s team, Rasmussen is still enthusiastic as the games are ready to begin. “I just want them to go out there and play their best,” she said. “I’m excited to see what they can do when they get on the field against other teams. I’m pretty happy with what they’ve done so far.”
To view the entire 2015 Terrace softball schedule, click https://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?league=3&page_name=game_schedule&school=40&sport=15.
– By Doug Petrowski