Woolery leads Edmonds-Woodway past Meadowdale | SoftballWarriors record 1st win against Mavs in 10 years
Junior Mariah Woolery overcame her nerves in the pitcher’s circle and at the plate to lead Edmonds-Woodway to one of its most significant regular season victories in recent history.
Woolery allowed only five hits and struck out seven batters and also had a key hit in the bottom of the sixth inning, as the Warriors edged Meadowdale 2-1 in a Wesco 3A South softball game Monday, March 27, at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
The win over the Mavericks, the defending 3A state champions, was the first for Edmonds-Woodway in at least 10 years.
“Going in I was pretty nervous,” Woolery said. “We’ve never beaten them before and I played select with a few of them and they’re amazing players and I knew it was going to be a hard battle.”
Edmonds-Woodway (3-0 in the league, 3-2 overall) opened the season with back-to-back nonconference losses to Inglemoor and Monroe but then defeated league rivals Mountlake Terrace and Shorewood before beating arch rival Meadowdale.
“It’s definitely a boost for us,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Mike Venable said. “We’ve been playing pretty well lately. Once our South Division games started we’ve been playing better. This will be a really good impetus for the rest of the season.”
Defeating the Hawks and Thunderbirds lifted the Warriors’ confidence after the rough start to the season, Woolery said.
“Winning this game brought it up even more,” she added.
Meadowdale (2-1, 3-2) took a 1-0 lead in the third when Savanna Spratt drove in McKenzie Beavins.
Edmonds-Woodway tied the score in the seventh. Kaitlyn Rust singled and scored on a double by Kendra Cooper. With two outs, Woolery then hit a hard grounder to the second baseman, who stopped the ball and threw to first base. The throw went past the first baseman, which enabled Cooper to score the go-ahead run.
“I wouldn’t say it was the best hit,” Woolery said. “I just knew I had to get there (first base).”
Meadowdale made the top of the seventh inning interesting by putting two runners on base with two outs. Woolery struck out the final batter to seal the victory.
“I was definitely nervous,” Woolery said of the final sequence of pitches.
Catcher Jackie Lovelace twice called for a rise ball, but Woolery shook her off.
Woolery decided against it because she felt the rise ball would be either too high or go right down the middle of the plate. Lovelace then called for a change up and the batter swung and missed it.
In addition to the change-up, Woolery said her curve ball was working well. The Edmonds-Woodway junior added that she wasn’t so concerned about trying to overpower the Mavericks with her speed.
“My biggest priority at that point was getting the ball moving and making them go for it,” Woolery said.
Venable said that Woolery had solid command of her pitches.
“Jackie, her catcher, called a good game and (Woolery) kept the batters off balance quite a bit,” Venable said. “She was a competitor out there. She didn’t back down to anybody.”