Redmond would end up loading the bases in the seventh, but could not get the clutch hit, thanks in part to Spangler throwing out a would-be base stealer for the second out of the inning.
“I think we can take anybody if we play our game,” Spangler said. “If we keep our heads mentally focused and if we play like we can, we can beat anybody.”
That’s an attitude that the Kangs didn’t have had last year, De Aguilar said.
“They aren’t afraid of anybody,” the head coach said. “Last year they would be intimated by other powerhouse teams, but this year they are stepping up to the challenge.”
Lake Washington proved that in the first inning, thanks to Spangler’s two-run home run to left field.
“It just hit off the bat and I knew I had to start running,” Spangler said. “It’s definitely a head rush, with your teammates all drowning you. It feels really amazing.”
Lake Washington scored two more runs in the third thanks to two Redmond errors, and Spangler hit a key two-out, two-run single in the fourth to extend the lead to 6-1.
Redmond head coach Jackie Bloom said she was proud of the way Redmond battled toward the end, scoring three in the sixth and putting the tying run in scoring position in the seventh. But the team struggled too much in the middle innings.
“(We need to) make sure we are bringing out the same intensity the whole game,” said Bloom, who graduated from Lake Washington in 1994. “I think if the ladies look at this (game), I think they could look back and say we kind of doubted ourselves. Then at the end we started believing ourselves, and we just have to fix that so we start believing ourselves the whole way.”
Believing hasn’t been a problem for the Kangs, who were alone with Woodinville as the league’s only unbeatens as of the Reporter’s deadline. But that doesn’t mean Lake Washington has reached its full potential.
“We still have more to go,” De Aguiar said. “We have a lot more to go. We are still building. We haven’t peaked yet, and hopefully we don’t peak until like May 9 when it’s time to play the playoffs.”
Christopher A. Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext.. 5054.