Hawks should challenge for district playoffs

  • David Pan<br>Enterprise sports editor
  • Friday, February 29, 2008 11:31am

The Mountlake Terrace softball team comes into the 2004 season with high expectations.

And rightly so.

The Hawks have advanced to the playoffs the last eight seasons and are poised to make another strong run for the postseason.

“It’s been eight straight years we’ve gone to districts,” said senior co-captain/outfielder Jacque Huden. “We just expect ourselves every year to be there … we have to be there.”

Mountlake Terrace returns five starters from last season but is missing three individuals that played instrumental roles in the team’s success.

Pitcher Michelle Ness, first baseman Chelsea Logan and outfielder Annie Everett were three of the best players Kim Stewart has coached in his eight years at the helm of the Hawks and replacing them is going to be difficult.

“You don’t even think about it,” Stewart said of the three who will all be playing college ball. “You’ve got to move on. As long as there’re other kids eager to play, that’s all we care about.”

Everett and Logan were first-team, all-league selections, while Ness earned honorable mention recognition.

Huden isn’t dwelling on the loss of the three and is more focused on the future.

Team chemistry is a strong asset and may be the best it’s been, said Huden, who noted that she and co-captain/second baseman Brianna Knight have been teammates since the fifth grade.

“This year a lot of us have played together before high school,” Huden said. “I’m just expecting all of us to get along and play our hardest … we’ve had so much experience together. It shows on the field that we have been playing together.”

Huden is exited about the newcomers to the lineup.

“We did lose three really good players,” said Huden. “I think the people we’ve got now we can expect just as much as we did from those other players. They have great potential just to be as good as those players. It was a big loss but I think we’ll be fine.”

As of last week, Stewart had yet to settle on his No. 1 pitcher but felt comfortable with his two candidates junior Lindsey Woodhouse and sophomore Alyson Yelanich.

“Either way they’re both going to be in the lineup either at first base or hitting or somewhere,” Stewart said. “They’re both talented kids.”

Here is a quick look at the three other Edmonds District teams.


It’s a season of change for the Warriors.

The changes started at the top with the arrival of first-year head coach Chris Paulson, a former assistant coach at Edmonds Community College.

Paulson is excited by the response of his players and the high expectations he brings to the program.

“Attitude and work ethic are probably the top two priorities I look at,” Paulson said. “In the past few years, they’ve had some challenges. Hopefully, we can bring structure and discipline to the program and some success.

“It’s early in the season. The kids are doing everything we ask of them. Things are going good so far.”

The biggest change on the field is the departure of first-team, all-league pitcher Tracie Adix, who is now at DePaul University.

The Warriors have a pair of sophomores vying to fill Adix’s role — right-hander Emily Dean and left-hander Annika Lindberg.

“The style of Emily is probably more power and Annika has some good creative throws,” Paulson said. “They’ve both shown some mental toughness on the mound. They’ve shown some strength.”


An up-and-coming Royals team is looking to turn its love of the game and willingness to learn and practice hard into some victories this season.

Like its 3A crosstown counterpart Meadowdale, Lynnwood struggled through the 2003 season and finished last in the Western Conference 4A South Division.

The Royals have five returning varsity players including co-captain Brittany Roden, who coach Jayme Horn said could be one of the top pitchers in the league this season.

The Lynnwood lineup has a pair of lefthanded batters, something Horn has never had before this season.

“I can add some new looks at bat,” Horn said. “Speed is average. All the players like each other and are willing to practice hard. This is our strength this year.”

Some new faces will be patrolling the infield and outfield.

“A lot of my outfielders are JV infielders,” Horn said. “So they are making changes and doing a good job at it.”


Despite finishing second to last in the Western Conference 4A South Division, Meadowdale actually was quite a competitive team that just didn’t get the breaks.

“We played really well. The kids really got along,” Culver said. “I really enjoyed my time with them. We lost four games by one run. We were in there close with people.

“They were such a positive team last year. They never got down on themselves. They supported each other through the losses. It was such a pleasure to coach them. It looks like we’ve got the same thing again.”

The Mavericks graduated only two players and have nine players back that started at one point or another during the season.

Meadowdale already has made significant strides both on offense and defense, according to Culver.

The Mavericks’ offense has had its share of problems in recent years but came on strong toward the end of last season.

“We’ve struggled with hitting for a number of years,” Culver said. “It was getting better toward the end of last year.”

But Meadowdale seems to have picked up right where it left off.

“We’ve got the kids that are going to hit,” Culver said. “They need to show that they can and I think they will.”

With so many returners, the Mavericks’ defense also has excelled during a 3-0 loss to Stanwood and a 4-2 victory over Bishop Blanchet last week. Meadowdale committed only two errors, both of which were inconsequential.

“Our defense is real close to where we left it last year just coming in,” Culver said.

Culver also returns a strong pitching staff with three players vying for mound time.

Sophomore Jessi Williams saw action as a freshman last year. Juniors Kathryn Mataya and Cassie Hopkins also will figure into the rotation.

“The pitching should be reasonably strong,” Culver said. “They all throw a little bit differently off the mound. Each one kind of has their speciality pitch that they like the best.”

Meadowdale advanced to the Northwest 3A District playoffs last year by virtue of its second place finish among the three 3A teams. The top two 3A teams will again advance to the postseason.

“We should be in the hunt,” Culver said.

But Culver is looking for more success against the 4A schools this season in preparation for a possible extended playoff run. Last year, the Mavericks won one of three games at districts.

“If we can’t show some strength against the 4A teams, and get some wins, we’re never going to go anyplace,” Culver said.

Here is a look at Edmonds-Woodway and Lynnwood:

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