Eastlake fastpitch earns redemption over rival Redmond

Stephanie Fox carried a bitter taste in her mouth for six days.

Slides into second place in KingCo 4A

Stephanie Fox carried a bitter taste in her mouth for six days.

But the Eastlake senior pitcher erased that aftertaste Tuesday afternoon, leading the Wolves to a 2-0 league win over Redmond

“We played them last Thursday (April 17) and we lost, so I felt really anxious,” she said. “I was like, we need to come out strong and I need to have my game because I didn’t feel I was with it the last time we played them.”

Fox, who surrendered two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh during the previous matchup with Redmond, sparked the Wolves with her arm, bat and glove Tuesday.

The Western Washington University recruit pitched four innings, striking out four and allowing two hits.

“I felt confident,” Fox said. “I knew I had my defense behind me.”

Fox was also clutch at the plate, going 2-for-3. Her biggest at bat came in the first inning, when she drilled an RBI groundout to the right side of the infield. The hit scored senior Kimi Pohlman, who reached base on a leadoff single, stole second and was sacrificed to third.

The early RBI proved enough as senior relief pitcher Katie Bunger came in and slammed the door in the final three innings. She struck out three and allowed two hits. She was also helped by a couple of key defensive plays in the fifth and sixth innings. Senior Heather Hammack made a diving snag at second base in the fifth. Fox, who filled in at shortstop, laid out on the ground and flipped the ball to second base for the final out in the sixth. The play came with two runners on.

“I think we had an absolutely fantastic defense,” Eastlake head coach George Crowder said. “Anytime a pitcher knows that she doesn’t have to strike everybody out, that gives those girls so much confidence.”

Eastlake earned its insurance run in the bottom of the fourth inning, when senior pinch hitter Sami Collins drilled a two-out single to the opposite field to score Fox.

“We’ve told the girls every game is a playoff game — treat it that way and play with that kind of intensity” Crowder said. “And I thought the girls were really focused today, probably overall our best game.”

The Wolves improved to 11-2 with the victory and as of press time were in second place of the KingCo 4A. Eastlake faced Bothell on Wednesday and is scheduled to play its next game at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 30 at home against Garfield. Woodinville (9-0) is in first place.

“We’re right where we want to be,” Crowder said.

Issaquah keeps unbeaten record alive

Issaquah improved to 12-0 in the KingCo 3A, winning four games in the last week and a half.

The Eagles defeated Skyline 7-2 April 16, beat Liberty 12-3 on Friday, knocked off Interlake 12-0 on Monday and downed Mount Si 5-0 on Tuesday. Issaquah’s pitching led the way as it has all season, as four different pitchers earned wins. Brianna Bray earned the win over Skyline, Mikinzie Voves earned 12-strike out victory over Liberty, Lauren Naismith pitched a complete game one-hitter against Interlake and Molly Morey earned a two-hit shutout over Mount Si.

A slew of players earned big hits for Issaquah. Kelly Richards had six hits over the four-game span, and Kenna Olsen had five, including a 3-for-3 performance against Skyline.

Issaquah was scheduled to face Mercer Island on Wednesday and hosts Sammamish at 4:30 p.m., today, April 25.

Skyline wins two of three

Skyline won two of three games over the last week and a half, falling 7-2 to Issaquah April 16, beating Interlake 1-0 on April 17 and downing Sammamish 6-0 last Friday.

Lauren Richards led the Spartans in their victory over Interlake, pitching a complete game three-hit shutout. Jordan Mixsell drove in a first-inning RBI for the win. Ashley Smiley and Elizabeth Stromquist combined for a two-hit shutout against Mount Si, while Tia Corrales-Toy drove in two RBI.

As of press time Skyline was 8-4 in league, 9-5 overall and in third place of the KingCo 3A. The Spartans were scheduled to face Liberty on Wednesday and host second place Newport at 4:30 p.m. today, April 25.