Jim Magnuson might have lost a bet, but he was all smiles last Friday — purple hair and all.
“I challenged them, so I paid up today,” said the Issaquah fastpitch coach, grinning ear-to-ear.
Magnuson bet his team they couldn’t go undefeated at the start of the season. The Eagles one-upped their coach, adding on to their 16-0 regular-season record with a 1-0 victory over Newport for the KingCo 3A tournament championship.
“It was a great fastpitch game,” said Magnuson, who also sported a purple mustache to match his hair. “It was probably boring for everybody watching, but all the intricacies that go on during the game — it’s fun for the coaches and players.”
Issaquah struck early on offense and relied on a solid defense and dominant pitching to seal the deal.
Eagle senior Kylei Rosselot came through with a clutch two-out hit in the bottom of the first inning. She drilled an opposite-field single between first and second and raced to the bag just before the right fielder got the ball back in to first base. The hit scored junior Kelly Richards, who led the inning off with a single, moved to second on a groundball and stole third.
“I wasn’t sure if it was going to get through actually, but it got through and then Kelly scored, so it was good,” Rosselot said.
Issaquah sophomore Mikenzie Voves took over from there. After allowing hits in the first and second innings, Voves shut the Knight bats down. She struck out seven batters, forced 11 groundball outs and allowed just one more hit the remainder of the game.
The shutout was Issaquah’s 14th of the season and eighth straight.
“It gives us a lot of confidence, especially going into districts,” Rosselot said.
By winning the league championship, the Eagles clinched a first-round bye in the Sea-King District tournament, which began yesterday at Redmond’s Marymoor Park. Twelve teams — five KingCo and seven Metro — are participating in the tournament. Only four of those teams will move on to state. Issaquah faced the winner of West Seattle-Mount Si in the second round yesterday. The Eagles continue the tournament at noon today.
“It’s going to be a challenge to get to state this year, there’s some good teams,” Magnuson said.
Issaquah continues the district tournament at noon, today at Marymoor Park. The championship game is set for 4 p.m.
No. 3 district seed
Skyline captured the third KingCo seed, beating Liberty 7-5 on Friday. The Spartans battled back from a one-run deficit in the third to earn the win.
Senior Tia Corrales-Toy came up with a clutch hit in the top of the sixth, drilling a two-out, two-run single up the middle. The hit capped off a three-run inning and provided Skyline the victory.
Corrales-Toy ended the game 3-for-4 along with freshman Lindsey Nicholson, who scored two runs. Junior pitcher Ashley Smiley earned the victory.
Skyline opened the Sea-King tournament yesterday in a loser-out contest with Chief Sealth.