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Redmond High School fastpitch is off to a hot start | SLIDESHOW
Two games in two days. Two solid pitchers. Two Redmond High victories.
That’s how things went for the Mustangs earlier this week and the girls are elated about how they’ve begun their 4A Kingco season. At the Reporter’s deadline, the team was a spotless 4-0 in the Crest Division and 7-1 overall.
“We definitely are strong offensively and I think we need to be consistent with that and then also work on our defensive end,” said senior Emily Rockhill, who pitched the Mustangs to a 10-5 triumph over Issaquah on Monday. On Tuesday, sophomore Kaija Gibson entered the pitchers’ circle for the first time in three years and earned the win in Redmond’s 17-6 shellacking of Roosevelt.
“It felt good to get back out there, but it was different, I love playing shortstop,” Gibson said. “I remembered what it was like when I was a little girl playing out on the field — my dad was yelling out in the stands … it was kind of the same thing and I just loved it.”
On offense, Gibson had six hits during the two games, including a home run; Rachel Robinson had a homer and Keona Tibbs had two hits against Roosevelt; and Elaine Wang had two hits and two RBIs to go along with Tatyana Forbes’ three hits against Issaquah.
The Parris Mamon- and Allison Mitchell-coached squad is coming off a stellar 2013 season with a 15-8 overall finish, including a 9-5 showing in the Crest Division. The Mustangs capped their season by earning the Tom Rizzuto Award for sportsmanship.
Wang, who plays third base, and Rockhill are the team’s lone seniors and they hope Redmond can sustain its early season success.
“It’s our last year to prove what we can do as a team and our last chance to make it to state,” Wang said of her and Rockhill. “We have a whole bunch of confidence coming in this year knowing that we’ve only lost one senior from last year. We have a really strong team.”
Wang said she was a little nervous moving to the third-base position this year, but she’s starting to find her groove. Rockhill is supportive of her fellow senior, noting that Wang is a hard worker who will shine at the hot corner.
Other solid defenders include outfielders Forbes, Lauren Mars and Amirah Milloy, according to Wang.
They’re a tight-knit group, as well, bonding in the training room, telling inside jokes and acting silly, Wang noted.
“I love my teammates and I love to have them out there on the field, but I also like to just talk to them because they’re really great people all around,” Rockhill added.
While they’re playing in the moment and gunning for state, some Mustangs have college ball on their agendas.
Following her senior season, Rockhill will continue playing ball at Pomona College, Gibson and Milloy have already committed to the University of Washington and Forbes has committed to Appalachian State University.
“It’s a really amazing school,” said Rockhill, who enjoyed meeting with the coach and some of the players during her Pomona visit. “I really like the program and, of course, I love that it’s in Southern California, so it will be nice and sunny for all my games.”
Gibson had her eye on UW since she was 8 years old. She’s attended clinics over the years and remembers coach Heather Tarr yelling at her, “You’re gonna be a Husky someday!”