By David Krueger Herald Writer
Cascade junior Makinlee Sellevold has pitched countless times in several ballparks during her softball career.
Today, she may be throwing her biggest pitch.
Sellevold was selected to throw the ceremonial first pitch before today’s Seattle Mariners’ game at Safeco Field.
“I’m really nervous,” Sellevold said. “I’ve never really tried to throw a baseball before, so it should be interesting.”
A member of Cascade’s DECA program — which teaches students about marketing, business and entrepreneurship — Sellevold was nominated by Bruins’ DECA advisor Jodi Galli and chosen by officials to throw out the first pitch today, which is DECA Day at Safeco Field.
To show their support, the Cascade softball team is heading to Seattle with Sellevold and is hoping to be on the field with her as she throws out the first pitch. The Bruins will be there for the first pitch — before the scheduled 12:40 p.m. start time — with the team heading back to Cascade after the game to practice.
“We’re just thrilled that we get to experience this with her and support her,” Cascade head coach Kelly Ross said. “Everybody’s really excited about it.”
Along with her teammates, Sellevold said that her parents and some other friends will be making the journey to Seattle to watch her first pitch. The Bruins’ pitcher is excited, and said that it’s great timing.
“It’s the day before my birthday too so it’s kind of like an early birthday present,” Sellevold said.
Sellevold is a big Mariners fan and went to the M’s game against Texas on Saturday. A first-team Wesco South pitcher last year, Sellevold said she was going to try to practice with her father before the pitch, which she believes will be with a baseball. There are a few options she’s considering for the pitch.
“It makes me kind of nervous. I was talking about it with a couple of my friends today and I was saying maybe I’ll just throw it into the ground or something. Try to make the top 10 worst plays or something,” Sellevold said with coach Ross laughing in the background. “So I don’t look like too much of an idiot.”
There’s also talk of the old hidden ball trick.
“We did joke about putting a softball under her jersey and she could whip that out and throw that in,” Ross said. “I don’t think she’s going to go that route.”
Sellevold also hasn’t settled on a throwing style. After a game against Snohomish on Monday she was still unsure, saying she was “just kind of winging it.”
Ross does have some advice for the junior.
“Basically just have fun with it,” Ross said. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Just enjoy the moment as much as you can, take it all in and have a great time.”
Sellevold is certainly having a great time for Cascade this season. The Bruins are 5-2 in league play and 10-2 overall and hold first place in the Wesco 4A South.
Cascade’s strong start is thanks in large part to Sellevold, a third-year pitcher with a resume of impressive performances from the pitching circle and at the plate, where she has a .657 batting average, four home runs and 20 RBI.
From the circle, Sellevold is 8-2 this season with five shutouts and opponents are batting just .201 against her. She has struck out 86 batters.
Can she throw a strike this afternoon at Safeco? She’s not sure.
“I need to practice,” Sellevold said.