Mount Si Fastpitch: ‘Youth Movement’ showing promise this spring

[Article by contributing sports writer Rhett Workman, owner of Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal]

Mount Si High School’s fastpitch softball ladies are in a bit of a youth movement this spring, but the early results appear promising.

After their win on Monday over Skyline, the Wildcats are sitting just outside of the playoff picture in KingCo 4A. The win was their second of the season against five losses, and that put them in a tie for the final playoff spot with Eastlake High School, a team that they are scheduled to meet Friday, April 5th, at their temporary home at Issaquah High School.

Mount Si was forced to relocate their home games this spring following the February snowstorm that hit the Valley and left Centennial Fields in Snoqualmie, where they had been playing games while awaiting construction of their new on-campus facilities at MSHS, unplayable.

The team may be struggling in the win-loss column, but there are many bright spots on the horizon for this team. A lot of that is thanks to their youth. Yes, you have a couple of solid senior leaders in Abby Gronewald and Sam Simmons, both of whom are among the team’s top hitters coming into this season (Gronewald will be playing NCAA Division I softball next spring as a collegian, at Fairfield University in Connecticut, the college alma mater of current Wildcat coach, and Cascade View Elementary teacher, Lauren Dumoulin), but the good stuff is coming from the younger players.

Take for example pitcher Kate Gotts. Gotts is one of seven freshmen on the varsity team this spring, and she pitched a complete game four-hit shutout on Monday in the team’s 7-0 win over the Spartans at Skyline High School in Sammamish. They’ve also seen solid contributions during the course of the early part of the season from another freshman, Jackalyn Gates, and sophomores Vera Harrison and Jaclyn Huntzinger both have experience playing with top year-round teams in the travel ball circuit. They also have a full junior varsity program this season, which largely also is dominated by freshmen. So this is a program that in total could be looking at a solid run in a couple of years.

That said, making the ascent to being one of the top dogs in KingCo 4A will be no easy task. The league this year is full of strong offensive clubs, such as North Creek, Inglemoor and Newport, and teams such as Redmond and Woodinville boast top pitching. The Mustangs for one were ranked nationally this week by the FloSoftball website in the top 40 among all high school teams nationally, anchored by ace pitcher – and the daughter of University of Washington football legend Lawyer Milloy – Kiki Milloy.

And if Mount Si happens to make postseason this year, the KingCo will play off with teams from Snohomish County’s Wesco Conference for state berths, and there’s some real good teams and players up there to keep an eye on. Jackson (Mill Creek) pitcher Iyanla De Jesus has a couple of no-hitters already this spring, including against North Creek, and Glacier Peak (Snohomish) slugger Ashley Jacobson hit three homers Tuesday – two of which were grand slams – and drove in nine runs in a Grizzlies mercy-rule win over a Monroe team that also has a pretty good lineup anchored by top hitter Hannah Hvitved. It will be a challenge for sure, then, to beat some of those teams if the Wildcats do make it to the playoffs.

As noted Mount Si plays Friday at their home-away-from-home in Issaquah, and will continue play through the remainder of the month. Consult Mount Si High School’s website for more information about game schedules.

MSHS Fastpitch vs Bothell on 3/19/19

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