Lady Patriots make a push into the postseason

Boston Munro, Senior Writer

The girls’ softball team has had a season full of ups and downs thus far. They’ve had several quality wins against teams like Mercer Island and Interlake, as well as falling in some key close contests to Sammamish and Juanita. They have also experienced multiple 20+ run slugfests.
With postseason fast approaching, the team must be able to make the changes necessary to succeed.
“Our approach is to get better each week and hit our peak around playoff time and get ourselves in the district tournament and the state tournament,” varsity head coach Jon Kinsley said.
The squad has had a good amount of proven veterans to help lead, as well as a good mix of younger talent to contribute for the first time.
Four year Varsity catcher Maddy O’Connor, who is committed to play softball at Binghamton University in New York next year, said that this year has been a little different than in the past.
“The focus this year is more on trying to have fun,” she said.
Defense is also going to be a major focus from here on out.
“Going into playoffs, we need to make sure we are coming at balls, instead of sitting back,” Kinsley said.
A big part of what the team has done thus far to try and develop success has been relying on their hitting and the people who set the table for the middle of the lineup hitters.
“Anna McMullin as our leadoff hitter is on base all the time and that’s definitely important,” Kinsley said. “Then, Madi Jones sets the table for Kendall Kauzlarich, Maddy O’connor and Sarah Abraham, our big hitters in the middle of the lineup. We also recently brought up Taylor Thatcher from JV and through just a few games into the middle of the season; she’s had quite a year, hitting .571.”
Since early season, the Patriots have focused their efforts upon improving pitching and look to continue to do so for the rest of the season.
“Our pitching is getting better. We were extremely inexperienced to start the season but the pitchers are coming along as the season moves on. Hopefully if we continue in that direction, than come playoff time, we’ll have a chance to do some positive things,” Kinsley said.
The team has also been emphasizing reducing the amount of walks pitchers give up in order to prevent the fielders from losing focus, causing them to make errors.
“There has been a direct correlation between reducing our walks and our fielding getting better,” Kinsley said.
If the Patriots can continue to improve pitching and continue their hot hitting, there’s no limit as to what they can do in the playoffs.