Warriors win thriller

  • David Pan<br>Enterprise sports editor
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 10:32am

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Edmonds-Woodway relied on the poise of seniors Emily Dean and Annika Lindberg to pull out a hard-fought victory against district rival Mountlake Terrace.

Dean, who pitched a five-hit shutout, worked out of two difficult jams in the seventh and eighth innings, while Lindberg drove in the winning run in the top of the eighth as the Warriors defeated the Hawks 1-0 in a Western Conference South Division game April 18 at Mountlake Terrace High School.

“The kids turned a big corner today,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Chris Paulson said. “I thought they did a wonderful job with their intensity and they hung in there.”

The Warriors showed resiliency in the face of major adversity. It appeared for a time that the Hawks were going to be the team going home with the victory.

In the bottom of the seventh with the teams tied at 0, Mountlake Terrace freshman Kayla Watson led off the inning with a double to center field. Watson moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lindsay Hendricks. Dean then took matters into her own hands. The next batter grounded out to Dean and then the Edmonds-Woodway senior pitcher caught a bloop fly to end the threat, while colliding with third baseman Lindberg

Edmonds-Woodway’s Desiree Sanchez doubled to right field to lead off the top of the eighth inning. Rachel Romeo then moved Sanchez over to third with a sacrifice bunt. Mountlake Terrace pitcher Alyson Yelenich then fielded a grounder and threw out Kelli Hansen.

With the count 1-1, Lindberg stroked a double to left field to score Sanchez and the Warriors took a 1-0 lead.

“I live for those moments,” Lindberg said. “I love pressure situations. I was excited. I wanted to be there. I wanted to hit. So I stayed relaxed and focused and did what I could.”

Lindberg was intentionally walked in a similar situation against Kamiak and she wasn’t sure if Mountlake Terrace would pitch to her.

“We made the decision to pitch to Lindberg,” Mountlake Terrace coach Kim Stewart said. “She’s a great hitter without a doubt. She did a nice job. That’s a clutch hit.”

The Hawks, however, battled back and had the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the eighth.

Mountlake Terrace’s Stephanie McLauchlan beat out a throw from the catcher with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Kori Seidlitz then drew a walk.

Lindberg fielded a grounder and recorded a force out at third base and then Dean forced Mountlake Terrace to hit a fly ball to center field to end the game.

“I was shaking a little bit out there but I had confidence and knew we could pull through,” Dean said. “We were strong … we stayed focused the whole time.”

Paulson appreciates the poise Dean brings to the mound each time she pitches.

“She’s showing a lot of maturity in tight situations,” Paulson said. “She’s really very strong and mentally tough. We’re very confident in her to get us out of those kids of jams. The kids know they’ve got to rally around her on defense. It was good to see that happening.”

Stewart could find no fault with Yelenich’s performance.

“She’s given us an opportunity to win every single game this year,” he said. “That’s all you can ask from a pitcher.”

What Stewart is looking for is more offense from some different players.

Mountlake Terrace had chances to win the game but didn’t take advantage of those scoring opportunities, he said.

“We’ve got to get a couple more people involved,” Stewart said. “We kind of keep depending on the same old people, but they need some help. If we can get everybody clicking we’ll be OK.”

Paulson also noted that Edmonds-Woodway had some chances to score earlier in the game.

“We had a couple of opportunities earlier in the game but when we got another chance, we made it work,” he said.

The victory enabled Edmonds-Woodway (6-3 in the league, 6-4 overall) to move into sole possession of fourth place ahead of Mountlake Terrace (5-4, 5-6).

“Things are definitely coming together for us,” Lindberg said. “Each game we get better.”