Mavericks claim district championship | Softball

Junior pitcher Houghton leads Meadowdale to 5-1 victory over Snohomish
By David Pan | May 23, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Meadowdale’s Brynn Webster (center) and her teammates celebrate the Mavericks’ 5-1 victory over Snohomish in the 3A District 1 championship game Thursday, May 16, at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett.

About the only thing that could slow down Meadowdale’s Kate Houghton was Mother Nature.

The junior right-hander allowed three hits and struck out 10 to lead the Mavericks to a 5-1 victory over Snohomish in the 3A District 1 softball championship game Thursday, May 16, at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett.

Houghton was cruising along with a no-hitter when the light drizzle that had been falling throughout the contest turned into a downpour in the top of the sixth inning.

The Panthers took advantage of the wet conditions to score one run on three hits before Houghton recorded the third out as Meadowdale celebrated its third district title in the last four years. The game was called after the sixth inning due to the rain.

“She did amazing considering the conditions of the game,” Meadowdale coach Dennis Hopkins said. “Snohomish is the hardest team to play. They’re right with us all the time. It was a battle all the way through.”

Both team already qualified for this week’s 3A state softball tournament. Meadowdale (19-4) faces Holy Names Academy at noon, Friday, May 24, at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.

“I feel really confident, especially with how we played together,” Houghton said. “I’m just excited to see where it goes.”

Houghton kept the Panthers off balance with a mix of pitches.

“My riseball was working really well. So was my screwball,” Houghton said.

Houghton kept her composure in the sixth inning.

“I was just trying to keep my hands dry and spin the ball as best as I could,” she said.

Meadowdale took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on an infield single by Taylor Eskew. The Mavericks pushed across two more runs the next inning on a single by Zoey Morris. A Snohomish error and a single by freshman catcher Sophia Ward led to two runs and a 5-0 lead in the fifth.

“We did just enough to get it done,” Hopkins said. “A few errors by them in the field helped. You take advantage of it in these type of games.”

With only one senior, the Mavericks head to state as one of the younger teams in the tournament. Almost half of the roster are sophomores or freshmen.

Meadowdale will rely heavily on its seven-member junior class.

“A good portion of the team has been there (state) when they were freshmen,” Hopkins said. “It’s not totally new to them. They should be able to overcome some of the nerves. Hopefully, we’ll get in there and do what we’ve been doing the last few games.”

SHOWING THEIR SUPPORT: The Mavericks were wearing orange ribbons to show their support for Snohomish coach Patti Lande and her family. In a Facebook post, Lande shared the news that daughter Emma one-year cancer scans came back positive, indicating that her cancer has relapsed. Lande wrote that Emma is scheduled to have biopsy surgeries this week to determine her treatment plan. “We decided to support her by wearing orange ribbons,” Meadowdale coach Dennis Hopkins said. “We made a poster for her. It’s tough. They’re all part of the softball family.”

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