Mavericks rebound with big win after two league losses | SoftballFreshman pitcher shuts out Thunderbirds
Meadowdale is back on the winning track.
After suffering consecutive losses to two league opponents for the first time in at least five years, the Mavericks pounded out 12 hits and a freshman pitcher allowed only one hit in a 9-0 victory over Shorewood in a Wesco 3A South softball game Friday, March 31 at Meridian Park in Shoreline.
Senior catcher Emma Helm was glad to see Meadowdale string together some hits against the Thunderbirds after struggling offensively in a 2-1 loss to Edmonds-Woodway and a 3-2 defeat to Mountlake Terrace earlier in the week.
“We could have done a little better, but we’re doing fine,” Helm said. “We’re still building. … We got a few more clutch hits this game, which we needed and what we talked about. We need to keep working on our offense and keep getting it going like we did tonight.”
The Mavericks (3-2 in the league, 4-3 overall), the defending 3A state champions, took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a single by senior Lauren Dent. Meadowdale added four more runs in the third with junior Carrie Peterson and Dent each driving in two runs with hits.
Shorewood pitcher Bonnie Paulson then held the Mavericks in check for the next three innings before Meadowdale scored a run in the sixth on a ground out by Savanna Spratt and then the final two runs in the seventh on 2-run single by pitcher Katherine Houghton.
“We hit a lot stronger,” Houghton said.
The freshman right-hander was making her first start of the season. Houghton said she was a little nervous.
“I got over it,” she said.
Helm called a variety of pitches and all of them were effective against Shorewood (0-6, 0-8).
“I thought she did really well for her first full game,” Helm said. “She shut them down. She was really confident. … I was calling everything and she was hitting her spots.
In the sixth inning, Houghton struck out the leadoff hitter and then issued back-to-back walks. She then struck out the next batter and got out of the inning on a grounder to the shortstop.
Meadowdale coach Dennis Hopkins was interested to see how the freshman pitcher would respond to adversity.
“She got herself in a little bit of a bind there and worked her way out,” Hopkins said. “That’s what we were looking to see – if she could do that. That’s a tough thing for a young pitcher.”
Helm liked what she saw from Houghton, who finished with 12 strikeouts.
“We were all wondering what would happen, what she would do,” Helm said. “I think she did really well.”
Hopkins said that he’s seeing progress on the offensive end for Meadowdale. It’s going to take a little more time for some of the younger players to become comfortable to varsity pitching.
“We’re still a ways away, but we’re getting there. Baby steps,” Hopkins said. “We’ve still got a few holes in the lineup to patch up.”
The Mavericks left 19 runners on base in the two losses.
“That’s why our offense is struggling,” Hopkins said.
Meadowdale pitched well enough to beat both Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace, Helm said.
“Our pitching has been super great,” Helm said. “We just, like I said, need to get our offense down.”