Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                Issaquah Eagles softball player Athena Benjamin gets caught between the basepaths against the Mount Si Wildcats in a KingCo 4A contest on April 5. Mount Si defeated Issaquah, 6-4.

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Issaquah Eagles softball player Athena Benjamin gets caught between the basepaths against the Mount Si Wildcats in a KingCo 4A contest on April 5. Mount Si defeated Issaquah, 6-4.

Eagles comeback bid falls just short against Wildcats

Issaquah nearly completes comeback.

With the tying run at the plate, Mount Si Wildcats ace hurler Lauren Wilbourne closed the door on the Issaquah Eagles girls softball team’s comeback bid in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Eagles had already pushed two runs across the plate, cutting the Wildcats lead to 6-4 with two outs. With Issaquah runner Cora Erickson on second base, Wilbourne got Issaquah hitter Kelly Hruza to fly out, preserving a Wildcat 6-4 win against the Eagles on April 5 at Issaquah High School. Mount Si improved its overall record to 2-6 while Issaquah dropped to 2-7.

Mount Si head coach Lauren Dumoulin had no doubt Wilbourne would come through under pressure late in the game.

“Lauren is a rockstar. Having her shut it (Issaquah comeback) down in a high-pressure situation is just exactly what we expect from her. She does that pretty consistently. We’re lucky to have somebody with such composure in the circle,” Dumoulin said of Wilbourne. “She throws complete games almost every time she makes appearances and just does hard work for us. We’re definitely lucky to have her on the team.”

Mount Si took control of the game in the top of the third. Hayley Benham connected on a solo home run to left field, giving her squad a 1-0 lead. Before the third inning came to a close, Mount Si led Issaquah, 4-0.

“Hayley is our centerfielder and she has been really hot at the plate lately. The adjustments she has made has been huge for us. Especially at the ninth spot in the (batting) lineup,” Dumoulin said.

In the top of the fifth, Mount Si shortstop Sam Simmons connected on a solo home run to left field, extending Mount Si’s lead to 5-1.

“Sam has just been an absolute stud in the leadoff spot. I think she is batting over .500 right now. It is good to have those two (Simmons, Benham) getting hot at the same time,” Dumoulin said.

Issaquah head coach Ron Hatlen was proud of his team’s effort but said his team continues to drop too many fly balls, which prolongs opposing team’s innings.

“We haven’t figured out how to win yet. That is the bottom line. This team never quits. We had the bases loaded (sixth inning) and the winning run at the plate. We haven’t been out of any game this year. It is just a matter of being young and figuring out how to win,” Hatlen said. “In KingCo (league) all of the eight other teams you play are really good. The season is not over. It kind of sucks being in last place but we can only look up from here.”

Dumoulin was glad to see her team get on track. The Wildcats have now won two games in a row after starting off the season 0-6.

“It is nice to get on a little bit of a streak here. We are going into spring break and will have a little bit of time off. We are going to work on some things over the break that we need to tune up. We want to get ready for Bothell,” she said.

Mount Si will face the Bothell Cougars on April 16.

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