In a battle between teams at the top of their game — and the top of the standings — the Meadowdale Mavericks proved they once again belong to be called a champion.
Meadowdale, the 2016 3A state champions, earned a share of the 2017 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference regular season title Tuesday as the Mavs defeated the Mountlake Terrace Hawks 4-2 at Mountlake Terrace High School.
Both squads finished the regular season 14-3 in Wesco League play, 15-4 overall, to be division co-champs.
The Mavs’ Lauren Dent slowed down a potent Mountlake Terrace lineup with nine strikeouts on Tuesday, using all her pitches and primarily working the outside of the plate. The senior also used the outing to help prepare for the upcoming postseason.
“I was really pumped and I’m just trying to get my pitches down for districts, because it’s coming up,” Dent said.” I feel this game was a good way to get ready for it and work on things that I need to work on.”
Meadowdale Coach Dennis Hopkins liked what he saw from Dent on Tuesday.
“She’s starting to come back into it. She struggled a little bit at the beginning of the season; she wasn’t playing with the outside (of the strike zone), but now she’s thrown enough pitches that she feels good,” Hopkins said.
Savanna Spratt led the Meadowdale offensive attack with a double and a home run in four at-bats. Kaitlynn Bridgewater smacked an RBI double in the fourth inning while teammate Carrie Peterson contributed a couple hits and an RBI in the Mavs victory.
Terrace’s two runs came off the bat of Jazz Zenk, who clobbered a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Hawks had opportunities to put more runs on the board Tuesday, but blunders on the basepaths erased several runners in scoring position.
“We made a few baserunning mistakes,” said Terrace Coach Shannon Rasmussen. “Against better pitching and when we don’t have our bats going, we need to clean those up a little bit.”
The Hawks had runners on first and second base with no outs in the fourth inning, but was unable to score either. Jenna Maxfield was thrown out attempting to steal third base, then, after a Sarah Davis strikeout, Kierra Scott tried to swipe second base on a delayed steal but was gunned down by Dent.
The final out of the contest was recorded on a play at the plate; Terrace’s Gabby Calhoun attempted to score from third base on a fielders’ choice, but was tagged out by Spratt to end the game.
Despite the loss, Rasmussen was pleased with her squad grabbing a share of the Wesco League South Conference title. “It’s a pretty big deal to get to (be) co-champs,” she said. “My girls have definitely worked hard to earn it.”
Hopkins was also smiling at the thought of sharing the division title, but also had some thoughts about the upcoming 3A district tournament.
“It’s a whole new game; the season starts over,” he said. “Everybody’s good that’s there and you just play your game and hope you come out on top.”
Prep Softball: Meadowdale at Mountlake Terrace, May 9
Meadowdale 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 — 4 7 0
Mountlake Terrace 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 — 2 7 0
Winning pitcher: Lauren Dent (Meadowdale)
Losing pitcher: Kira Doan (Mountlake Terrace)
Records: Meadowdale 14-3 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 15-4 overall; Mountlake Terrace 14-3 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 15-4 overall
Meadowdale next game: versus opponent to-be-determined, Tuesday, May 16, 4 p.m. at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett (District 1 3A Softball Tournament first round game)
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus opponent to be determined, Wednesday, May 17, time to-be-determined at Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley (District 1/2 2A Softball Tournament second round game)
–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski