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The IssaquahPress



Wednesday March 12, 2014

Young Issaquah softball team finds strength in pitching Eagles welcome Skyline transfers By Christina Corrales-Toy

By Greg Farrar

Jake Henke (24), Issaquah High School senior forward, is called for a foul after Garfield sophomore guard Jashaun Agosto releases a three-point attempt at the end of their game March 7 at the Tacoma Dome. Brian Watson (10) watches the play. Agosto’s two-for-three points from the stripe gave the Bulldogs their 61-59 win. See more photos at

With just two seniors on its 2014 squad, youth is the Issaquah High School softball team’s overriding theme. That’s why, more than ever, second-year coach Ron Hatlen is preaching mental toughness and resiliency. “We’re really going to work on the mental side for these guys,” he said. “I mean, they’ve all played for so long. It’s a matter of trying to turn their brain off when they’re out there.” Last year’s team went 6-14, and at times, Hatlen said he noticed the girls tense up and start thinking too much. He’s hoping a well-oiled approach to practice will loosen girls up during the game. “I’m trying to get them to where they put 100 percent effort into every practice and when they come to games, it’s easy,” he said. With such a young team, the future looks promising for the Eagles, and it all starts in the pitching circle. Pitcher Kylie Bevell returns to the team and is fully healthy, Hatlen said. Last year, the junior was returning from a back injury and

wasn’t at full strength. The Eagles also received a key transfer in former Skyline High School pitcher Winter Ridgeway. Ridgeway, also a junior, and Bevell will provide a solid one-two punch in the circle this year. “With Kylie and Winter, our team is going to see legitimate varsity pitching all the time in practice,” he said. Issaquah returns honorable mention all-league performers Michelle Fowler, Justi Johnson and Sydney Schultz. Fowler, a junior, and Johnson, a sophomore, are also the team’s captains. The Eagles have one other honorable mention all-league performer on their roster, but she didn’t wear the purple and gold last year. Issaquah welcomed another transfer from Skyline in catcher Tia Hedman. Just like the year before, Issaquah did not have the numbers to field a junior varsity team, so the Eagles will carry 16 girls on their varsity squad. Hatlen said he has noticed a great deal of enthusiasm on this year’s team. Girls are already planning team-bonding events and working on coming together. “They’re pretty solid,” Hatlen said of his team. “It’s just a matter of finding the puzzle pieces with 16 girls.”

EAGLES’ WINGS CLIPPED Issaquah suffers third loss to eventual state champ Garfield, settles for third By Neil Pierson npierson@ With the game on the line, the ball got into the right player’s hands, but the result didn’t go the way the Issaquah Eagles envisioned it. Brian Watson’s contested shot from deep in the corner didn’t find its mark, and Garfield escaped with a 61-59 victory in the semifinals of the Class 4A state boys basketball tournament March 7 at the Tacoma Dome. Trailing by two and inbounding the ball on the sideline near Garfield’s basket with 4.5 seconds left, Issaquah coach Jason Griffith drew up a play for junior guard Ty Gibson. Instead, the ball found Watson, who led the Eagles with 17 points,

Photos by Greg Farrar

Above, Jason Crandall (20), Issaquah High School sophomore guard, and Garfield senior guard Zechariah Shepherd fight for a rebound in the first quarter. At left, Ty Gibson, Issaquah High School junior guard, takes a shot against Garfield in the fourth quarter. including three 3-pointers. “To be honest, I was really confident coming out of that timeout,” Griffith said. “I thought we were going to get Ty isolated, or I thought we were going to get a wide-open (3-pointer). Sometimes that’s all it takes, is a second between being wide open and not.” It was a bitter ending

for Issaquah, which gave Garfield its only loss of the season. The Bulldogs (271) captured the state title the following day, beating Richland, 68-59. The Eagles figured there wouldn’t be any surprises between the KingCo Conference rivals, who were playing for the fourth time this season.

Patriots’ coach to rely on youth By Christina Corrales-Toy It’s always easier to do something the second time around, just ask Liberty High School softball coach Zach Bartholomew. Bartholomew is heading into his second year leading the Patriots, and with a year under his belt, both he and the girls have a better idea of who they are and what they need to do as a team to bring the Liberty program back to previous levels of success. “It’s always great coming into something that you’re a little bit used to,” he said. “I’m not brand new to the program, the players are not brand new to me, so it helps me out a lot.” Liberty endured an in-

“I felt like we were able to contain them pretty well for the most part,” said Gibson, who stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. “They made some plays and you’ve got to tip By Greg Farrar

See EAGLES, Page A11

Spartans look to solidify around star senior duo By Neil Pierson npierson@

By Greg Farrar

Sydney Hopper, Liberty High School pitcher, strikes out eight and allows just three hits in a 2013 complete-game win. consistent season last year, which culminated with an early exit from the conference tournament. “As far as last year goes, we preached it all year, we

got to have mental toughness, and we just got beat, it happens,” Bartholomew See PATRIOTS, Page A11

Kylie Bevell, Issaquah High School starting pitcher, throws to batters in a 2013 game against Eastlake.

Chris Tamminen has a lot of questions to answer heading into the 2014 baseball season, but he’s got at least two known quantities to work with. The Skyline High School coach expects big things from ace pitcher Drew Lunde, a senior lefthander who has committed to play at Washington State University. Offensively, Tamminen isn’t sure what his batting order will look like, except for the fact that senior third baseman Jason Santiago will hit

“Hopefully, we can have some guys step up, we can have a couple guys surprise us on the mound a little bit and help us out.” — Chris Tamminen Skyline High School baseball coach

third and be expected to drive in plenty of runs. Lunde will need to be good this year after Skyline lost three workhorses to graduation — Corbin Powers, Arthur Stromquist

and Jacob Gleichman combined to throw about two-thirds of the innings for the Spartans in 2013. “Hopefully, we can have some guys step up, we can have a couple guys surprise us on the mound a little bit and help us out,” Tamminen said. “We’ve got to be able to throw strikes and make guys put the ball in play, and I think defensively we’ll be OK.” The pitching staff will revolve around Lunde, who finished 2013 with a 3-3 record, a 1.73 ERA See SPARTANS, Page A11