Meadowdale batters Stanwood, cruises to 13-0 victory | SoftballMavs smack 14 hits in rout of Spartans
Meadowdale’s bats are back.
In an offensive explosion that was reminiscent of last year’s state championship team, the Mavericks battered Stanwood 13-0 in a Wesco 3A softball game Tuesday, April 11, at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
Meadowdale came into the contest having scored in double digits in only one other game this season – a 15-0 victory over Shorecrest on March 22. Last year, the Mavericks scored 10 or more runs in 17 of 20 regular season games. In the last week before spring break, Meadowdale managed only 1 and 2 runs in losses to district rivals Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace.
Senior pitcher Lauren Dent, who shut out the Spartans, described Monday’s game as a potential turning point for the team’s offense, which produced 14 hits.
“We’ve been kind of struggling,” Dent said. “Today we kind of broke through, which is what I think we needed.’
Meadowdale coach Dennis Hopkins saw confidence from the Mavericks, especially the younger players, when they stepped to the plate.
“They started to realize that they can put the ball in play and they didn’t have to try and hit the home run,” he said. “Just put it in play. That’s what we’re trying to get through their heads – just hit it enough and it will find a hole.”
Meadowdale (4-2 in the league, 5-3 overall) found the holes in the bottom of the first inning, pushing across three runs. Freshman Kelci Studioso hit a triple to drive in senior Savanna Spratt and Dent helped her own cause by driving in Studioso and junior Carrie Petersen with a single.
Pitching with a lead definitely is a lot less stressful, Dent said.
The Mavericks scored four more runs in the third to extend their lead to 7-0 Senior McKenzie Beavin drove in three runs with a double and Studioso hit a sacrifice fly to bring home another run.
Monday’s practice was devoted entirely to hitting, Hopkins said. The players are taking the initiative for improving their game, Dent added.
“Every girl knows what she needs to work on,” she said. “It’s taking responsibility individually to work on that and get better.”
The players also talked about supporting each other.
“We need to pick each other up throughout the lineup,” Dent said.
If a player strikes out, the next person goes up with the mentality that “I’m going to pick her up with a hit,” Dent said. “We went over that in one practice for an hour, just talking about what we can do. We applied that to this game and it really helped.”
Meadowdale scored six runs in the fourth and Dent struck out the side in the top of the fifth, as the 10-run mercy rule was invoked.
Senior Kaylee Williams drove in senior Emma Helm with a single to start the inning. Freshman Katherine Houghton hit a double to bring home in two runs and Petersen hit a single to drive in a run. The Mavericks also took advantage of two Stanwood errors to score two additional runs.
The underclassmen and the returning seniors are starting to come together, Hopkins said. A young team is growing up.
“They are doing all the little things that they need to do,” he said. “They are starting to play more like a veteran team. … They’re starting to gel together, get more comfortable around each other. Now it’s not so much the younger and the older. Now it’s kind of the team.”
The seniors, however, did have a talk with the younger players about what it takes to get to the state tournament. Dent remembered that last year’s seniors discussed this with the underclassmen.
“We totally forget that they had had that talk,” Dent said. “So we remembered and said ‘OK, we need to talk to them.’ We actually had a talk before this game of what we need to do to get there (state), what we did last year and what it would take. I think just really applying what we talk about in practice and bringing it to games helps a lot.”
WATERLOGGED FIELD: Monday’s home game was played at Edmonds-Woodway High School’s artificial turf field. Because of the rain, Meadowdale has not been able to play at its home field, which is grass. Coach Dennis Hopkins isn’t sure when or if the Mavericks will be able to play at Meadowdale High School. “The girls are a little disappointed not being able to play a home game on their home field after losing only two games in five years,” he said. “It’s kind of tough to walk away from it. That’s our home and we can’t be on our home. There’s a lot of pride playing on your home field.”