Mustangs shut down by Eastlake's Guptil: Redmond manages just three hits in Kingco opener
By TIM WATANABE
Redmond Reporter Sports Reporter
April 8, 2010 · Updated 1:48 PM
The Redmond High School (RHS) softball team started the season with a bang, beating its first three nonleague opponents by a combined score of 32-5.
But the Eastlake Wolves grounded the Mustangs with a 9-0 win in Redmond's 4A Kingco opener at Eastlake High School Tuesday afternoon.
Eastlake team captain Nicole Guptil, a hard-throwing righthander, was in command the whole game, scattering three hits and striking out four in the complete-game win. Guptil finished third in the league in strikeouts last year as a sophomore, sitting down 111 batters over the 2009 season.
"She pitched real well," said Redmond head coach Parris Mamon on Guptil's efforts. "We didn't hit the ball particularly well, and a lot of that is when you're inside since spring break started. But we just didn't hit her. She had good stuff today."
On what was a chilly, windy and overcast afternoon, Mamon and his squad made it clear that they weren't going to swing at any bad pitches.
The Mustangs showed incredible patience at the plate, working a lot of full counts and forcing Guptil to throw 86 pitches through the first four innings.
"It's cold out, and we wanted to make sure (Guptil) was going to throw strikes," explained Mamon. "She did her job, keeping the ball down."
Redmond starter Emily Graves got hit hard early by Eastlake's potent lineup, as four starters – Lindsi Augenstein, Kelsey Dempsey, Lexie Jaeger and speedy leadoff hitter Sammi Stavig – each notched two hits in the rout.
The Mustangs had their chances, earning baserunners on six walks issued by Guptil throughout the game, but couldn't get the key hit to bring in runs. Redmond ended up stranding 10 runners on base.
A lot of solid contact was made, however, including in the third inning when the bases were loaded for left fielder Riley Flynn, who came up to bat with two outs.
Flynn gave Guptil's sixth pitch of the at-bat, a 2-2 fastball, a ride to right field that was slicing away from right fielder Lexie Jaeger, who made a fine running catch to save at least two runs.
"When we did hit the ball, it happened to be right at somebody," lamented Mamon. "But hats off to Eastlake, they brought it to us."
For the Mustangs, leadoff hitter Stephanie Gero went 1 for 2 and reached base three times, while Celina Williams and Christine Ho were the only others to notch hits off of Guptil.
Although Mamon acknowledged that his clubhouse chemistry has been improving steadily in his first year at the helm, he also noted that it has been difficult to get his entire team on the same page with last week's spring break.
"We had one player go to New York, and today we had a girl in France (Louise Chouinard, batting 6-for-9 this season)," said the first-year coach. "Prior to that we had injuries, so we really haven't had a full team work together."
But it's still early, and with all key position players healthy for the Mustangs, the team looks to bounce back and make a splash in 4A Kingco.
"We just gotta step right back up to the plate and do the things we've been working on," Mamon said. "We're going to chalk this off as a learning lesson. They brought it to us today, but hopefully (next game) we're going to hit a little better and go forward from there."
The Mustangs next play on Friday evening in a non-league matchup against 3A Juanita at Redmond High School at 4:30. Redmond's postponed game against Lake Washington, due to two rainouts, is now scheduled for Tuesday, April 13, at 4:30 p.m. also at Redmond High.
To view and/or purchase more great pictures from this game, please visit photographer Matt Campbell Web site at www.sportspixs.comContact Redmond Reporter Sports Reporter Tim Watanabe at email@example.com or (425) 867-0353, ext. 5054.