By David Krueger Herald Writer
LYNNWOOD — With one swing of the bat Meadowdale freshman Emma Helm gave her team an early three-run lead.
Helm’s home run went between the posts holding up the scoreboard in left center field at Meadowdale High School. When that happens, the Mavericks have been promised milkshakes from their coach. Meadowdale continued to add on to the early advantage on its way to a 12-2 win over Arlington in six innings.
Between the runs and the milkshake, Helm knew what she was most excited about.
“Probably the runs today,” she said with a laugh.
It was Helm’s fourth homer of the season and will lead to the third round of milkshakes this year on Meadowdale head coach Dennis Hopkins.
“If they hit it between the scoreboard or over the top of the scoreboard they get milkshakes,” Hopkins said. “It hit the post and went through. It’s kind of like in golf if it hits the edge of the cup and falls in it still counts. They’re getting milkshakes.”
The Mavericks added one run in the second and two in the fourth before blowing the game open with six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The last run — which scored on an RBI single by freshman Kaylee Williams — clinched the victory for Meadowdale because of a 10-run mercy rule.
It was a quick response from the Mavericks after Arlington got on the board with two runs in the top of the sixth.
“Right there in the sixth they started to make a run at it,” Hopkins said. “At any point, they can take care of you. That was nice to see everybody buckle up and finish it off.”
Hopkins said the victory over the defending 4A state champions was a big one for Meadowdale, which placed third at last year’s state tournament.
“It feels pretty good,” Hopkins said of the win. “They’re a very good team. They are well-coached and they play very aggressive. We seemed to step up and play our game. … We just came in prepared to play them, knowing they’d probably be one of our toughest games to play.”
The Mavericks coach has been pleased with the play of several of Meadowdale’s underclassmen, including Helm and sophomore pitchers Julia Reuble — who improved to 6-1 with the victory — and Samantha Gregoryk, who closed the game out in the sixth.
“We’re young. Top to bottom,” Hopkins said. “We’re young, but our strength is we hit all the way through. We never give up.”
Helm finished the game 2-for-4 with the home run and four RBI. Williams batted 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored and Meadowdale leadoff hitter Tiffany DeWayne — one of two seniors on the Mavericks’ squad — went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Hopkins and the Mavericks hope that they can continue their momentum into the district tournament. Meadowdale (9-2 overall) has only lost to Jackson and Kamiak this season — both of which are Wesco 4A South teams.
The Mavericks are first in the Wesco 3A South league with a 7-0 conference record.
“We’re just excited and doing well,” Helm said. “We want to keep going and doing what we’re doing. I think we’re pumped. We’re just doing what we do.”
Arlington, Meadowdale’s most recent 4A opponent, is 9-5 a year removed from winning a state championship in Spokane. Hopkins was thankful for the opportunity to play such a strong opponent and get some good competition before what the Mavericks hope is the start of another deep playoff run.
“Even though it’s a (nonleague) game it’s still a big win because they’re tough competition,” Hopkins said. “It’s nice to see that competition.”
At Meadowdale H.S.
Arlington 000 002 x — 2 5 4
Meadowdale 310 206 x — 12 15 0
Madeline Maclean and Shyne McKay. Julia Reuble, Samantha Gregoryk (6) and Emma Helm. WP–Reuble (6-1). LP–Maclean (5-2). 2B–Katelyn McDonald (A), Kaylee Williams (M). HR–Helm (M). Records–Arlington 9-5 overall. Meadowdale 10-2.