By David Pan Weekly Herald sports editor
LYNNWOOD — The season has started out perfectly for Lynnwood.
Heading into spring break, the Royals kept their unbeaten league record intact with a 4-3 victory over district rival Meadowdale followed by a 9-4 win over Shorewood in Western Conference 3A softball action last week.
Lynnwood (5-0 in the league, 6-1 overall), who remained atop the league standings ahead of Glacier Peak (4-1, 6-2) and Everett (3-0, 7-0), was behind in both contests.
Sophomore pitcher Jessica Gott picked up her fifth and sixth victories of season.
“We’re doing real well as a team,” Gott said. “The defense behind me is picking me up.”
Gott allowed 10 hits against Meadowdale and 12 against Shorewood but was able to keep the runs to a minimum due in large part to the play of her teammates.
All 12 of the Thunderbird hits were singles. The Royals helped themselves by throwing four runners out on base – three throws from the outfield and one from the catcher.
“They challenged our outfielders’ arms,” Lynnwood coach Matt Rockne said. “Our outfielders made the plays.”
“The defense is really helping a lot,” Gott added.
Center fielder Jordyn Berg made a difficult catch and then doubled off a Shorewood runner at first base to end the March 30 game.
“I knew she was going to catch it because she’s so fast,” Gott said. “I saw the girl running from first to second and I knew she was going to get the double play.”
“That play showed the character of our team,” Rockne said. “We are playing hard till the last out.”
Also playing hard and producing much needed offense is Jessica Gott’s twin sister Erica.
She went 3-for-3 with a double, triple and two RBI to spark a four-run third inning against Meadowdale March 26.
“That was a really tight game,” Jessica Gott said. “We played really well as a team.”
Berg made another tough catch in the outfield to end the game.
Lynnwood and Shorewood were tied at 4 heading into the top of the sixth inning when the Royals pushed across five runs to take the lead.
The big blow was a home run by Erica Gott. Berg reached first base on an error and Gott made Shorewood pay for the mistake with a two-run blast.
“She’s been getting a lot of timely hits,” Jessica Gott said of her sibling. “She’s been seeing the ball really well.”
Rockne noted that Jessica Gott isn’t really a pitcher who strikes out a lot of batters. That could be in part to Gott’s confidence in her teammates.
“The defense is so great behind her,” Rockne said. “She trusts them. … They’re going to make the plays.”
Jessica Gott added that she tends to bear down after giving up a hit.
“Once I do give up a hit, I think it changes my mindset,” she said. “It focused me throughout the rest of the game.”
Like most teams, Lynnwood does not have any games scheduled during spring break. The Royals return to action on the road against district rival Mountlake Terrace at 4 p.m., April 10.
To continue winning, Lynnwood needs to keep playing hard, according to Jessica Gott.
“We need to keep up the intensity for the whole seven innings,” she said. “No matter who we’re playing just go in with the same mindset that we can win.”