In another thrilling year for prep sports, Redmond area athletes scored four state crowns in May.
Here’s a recap:
Redmond High softball
Haley Hanson said the trophy was heavy, but she still kept it in her possession for a bit.
After clutching the 3A state softball hardware with a glove on top for pictures, the Redmond High softball player passed it on to a teammate and shook her arms.
A few seconds later, Hanson chuckled and said she could have probably run around the bases with the award if given the chance.
Every Mustang player likely would have done the same if called upon, that’s how fired up they were after defeating Yelm, 9-5, to win the championship at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey. Redmond finished 23-4 overall.
“It feels really good to hold it,” Hanson said of the trophy. “We worked all year to get to this point, and it’s the best feeling in the world.”
Redmond’s powerhouse from the mound and at the plate Kiki Milloy led off the game with a towering homer in the top of the first.
“It was important. I wanted to start us off since we were hitting first. We needed to have the energy first, so just getting that, it just really hyped us all up,” Milloy said.
Other highlights were Lindsay Tsujikawa’s two-RBI single in the third to put Redmond up, 3-0; Hanson’s infield RBI single; Mara Kipnis’ two-RBI double down the right-field line; Jen Cummings’ RBI double to the center-field fence; and Lauren Lund’s RBI groundout.
After intentionally walking Milloy in the sixth, Yelm pitched to the Redmond slugger in the seventh. Milloy’s bat exploded with another homer and Redmond padded its lead to 9-5.
Redmond High boys golf
Connor Golembeski, Sean Kato and Michael Cummings shot Redmond to the top of the team table at the 3A state boys golf tournament at Columbia Point in Richland.
The Mustangs finished first with 80.50 points and Capital took second with 61.00 during the two-day event.
Golembeski finished tied for third with 68-74-142, Kato tied for eighth with 71-75-146 and Cummings tied for 29th with 74-81-155.
Highlights for Golembeski were five birdies on the first day and chipping in on a par five for an eagle on day two; Kato finished strong on day two with a birdie, par and a birdie on the last three holes; and Cummings played steady, solid golf.
”Well, it was a tremendous accomplishment and honor to win the state championship. So proud of the way we played this year and it’s awesome that this team of 2016-2017 will go down in the history books,” Kato wrote in a text to the Reporter. “We couldn’t have done it without the new coaches, Steve Wiebe and Spencer Burnstead, who took over this year and did a fantastic job. Coming home to Redmond and all of the attention and the recognition was super cool to come back to.”
Overlake girls tennis
Overlake added a girls doubles tennis champion to its state list.
The Owl duo of Amanda Lin/Maria Russinovich beat Okanogan’s team of Shelby Walker/Megan Patrick, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, at the 1B/2B/1A tournament in Yakima.
Russinovich felt the junior team was well prepared entering the final because they had seen their opponents play and knew what they were set to face.
The Owls rolled from the start.
However, Russinovich said the Owls’ mental game took a hit during the second set and they played timid. It came down to a third set for the state crown.
The Owls’ coaches got the girls back on board and offered advice about shot placement and more.
Overlake bounced ahead, 5-2, but dropped two points and were engaged in an intense match. With Russinovich serving at 5-4, she told Lin, “We are gonna fight this out. We’ve come this far and we’ve earned it.”
So, the Owls dug in and Lin powered a high forehand shot that fell at one of their foe’s feet and the title went to Overlake.
Overlake boys soccer
Overlake was 1A’s top soccer school for 2016-2017.
The girls won the state title in the fall, and the boys secured the two-fer with a 1-0 victory over Wahluke at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
Nathan Cunningham provided the scoring punch off a corner kick from Esty Sanchez in the 38th minute. Cunningham flicked the ball in with the outside of his right foot.
Earlier in the season, Overlake (15-1-4 overall) beat Wahluke, 1-0, so the Owls were familiar with their final foe and Cunningham said they watched them the day before and felt confident in their matchups.
Cunningham said scoring against Wahluke was, “the greatest feeling of my life. That ended up being the only goal of the game and we won state!”
Overlake’s defense battened down the hatches in the second half. Joseph Raymond headed away high balls, Kirby Wetherbee and Bryce Goldman shut down Wahluke’s wide attack and Cunningham directed the defense and made key stops.
Goalkeeper Lucas Rojas made some crucial saves to seal the deal.