Cedarcrest’s softball team is carrying the torch for Valley high school baseball and softball as it embarks on another trip to districts. Previewing and picking their opening round game right here, right now…..

Good Friday morning. Soccer on deck, and boy, was it a bitter ending for Mount Si’s boys last night. More soon but we’re going to continue previewing playoff action for you first, and it is a busy day today up at Cedarcrest High School in Duvall. Going on inside the school’s stadium will be the final day of the Sno-King subdistrict track championships, while over on the other side of campus and behind the CHS gym will be a big softball game.

WESCO 2A SOFTBALL
NORTHWEST 2A DISTRICT TOURNAMENT, FIRST ROUND (LOSER OUT)
CEDARCREST RED WOLVES VS. BURLINGTON-EDISON TIGERS
CEDARCREST HIGH SCHOOL, DUVALL, FIRST PITCH 4:00

Tomorrow was scheduled to be the opening day for the district playoffs, but schedule conflicts on Cedarcrest’s end prompted the shift of the game to today, but no matter, the Red Wolves will be ready.

CHS has a number of strong offensive options to rely on, but we’re going to focus specifically on one right now. Senior Michaela Carter is bound for NCAA Division I Fordham in New York this fall, and she is having a season worthy of being Division I material. We had a look at the MaxPreps stats for Cedarcrest this morning for the first time this season (so you know, the Gamechanger app, which CHS uses to scorekeep their games and we use to bring you coverage of those games here, allows users to automatically upload stats into MaxPreps), and we were pleasantly surprised by the numbers.

Did you know she’s hitting .605 on the season? Wow. .605. Probably aren’t too many girls in the Wesco or anywhere in 2A for that matter hitting that well this season, and she’s making things happen. The young lady is leading her team in runs scored (36), total hits (46), homers (seven) and RBI’s (33). And she’s also the ace pitcher, too, and while her numbers there aren’t perhaps as great as she’d probably like them (6-8 record with a 4.59 earned run average and 77 strikeouts over 76 1/3 innings), a lot of that is attributable to the good-sized number of high-scoring games CHS has been a part of in this Wesco this year.

This has been a challenging year for the Red Wolves as was expected with the much tougher Wesco landscape compared to previous years in the far weaker Cascade Conference. But CHS did hold its own and ended up finishing just below .500 at 6-8 in league, 9-11 overall. So yes, the overall performance as you see it on paper perhaps suggests it was not that great a year, but the truth be told, these girls are continuing to make things happen and are continuing to have success at it. The record landed them the seventh seed to the tournament.

Carter is not the only girl delivering. The freshman foursome of Allyson Smith, Madelyn “Mad Dog” Davidson, Kat Townley and Carly Nelson are establishing themselves as a strong core that will serve this Red Wolve program well in the coming years. Davidson’s hitting .464, Smith’s hitting .448 and Townley’s right behind those two hitting a cool .446 on the season. The three have combined to hit seven homers and drive in 61 runs this season, and what about Nelson? She’s second on the team in homers (six) despite only hitting .239. So even with the overall hitting perhaps not being to par, Nelson will still be someone B-E pitching and defense will have to pay close attention to.

Of note, though, today is Townley will not be playing; it’s a rather special weekend for her family. Her dad Brian, a regular reader of this blog and one of our primary Cedarcrest/Lower Valley contacts, especially at this time of year, told us yesterday the clan’s headed to Michigan this weekend, where the family’s eldest child and Kat’s older sister LuAnn, herself a Cedarcrest grad and former basketball and softball player for the Red Wolves, graduates from college at Hillsdale College in Michigan. So a special weekend for them, but perhaps a special weekend as well is on tap for the rest of this team, we shall see. And we do want to offer our congrats to LuAnn on being the first of what we expect will be three Townley’s graduating from that college in the coming years (Kat’s other sister Elaine is a freshman this year at Hillsdale and playing softball for them) and to the family as a whole on this special achievement.

B-E has itself had a challenging season. Not counting the two-games they had scheduled at Blaine yesterday, the team is 3-8 in league and 7-10 overall and landed the 10th seed to the playoffs so with that said, fatigue might be a bit of a factor for the ladies today, having to hop on the bus for a long, 90-minute ride south to play today AFTER spending that amount of time on the road yesterday going north and playing two.

But this is a team from the Northwest Conference, and as CHS fans know, the Red Wolves have had their challenges in past years in this tournament with NWC foes. The Tigers’ non-conference this year was exclusively against Wesco 3A and 4A teams. Their record in those games? 4-2, with a 2-0 mark against the 3A competition (Arlington and Stanwood, who Cedarcrest split their games with this spring, beating the Spartans but falling to the Eagles earlier this week). In their head-to-head, though with Sedro-Woolley, who CHS beat to open the season, the Cubs won that going away 14-6. So, we’ll just have to see what we see.

B-E has five seniors, including what we think may be their entire starting outfield in Katie Hayton, Izzie Laumer and Alyssa Kusluch. Sophomore Izzy Young and junior Katelyn Duvall are the only pitchers listed on the roster, so look for both girls to get work in the circle today for the Tigers and take their best shot with a CHS offense that looks deep and potent and is coming off a 16-0 rout on Wednesday to close out the regular season against Oak Harbor.

So, our closing analysis is this. If Carter can shut down Burlington-Edison enough early with her pitching to allow her to deliver with her bat, and she gets help from the freshmen and others including senior classmate Katelynn Smith (.348 avg., five HR’s, 23 RBI’s) and sophomores Payton Pluschke (.352 avg., one homer and 21 RBI’s) and Jessi Polacek (.321 avg., double and eight RBI’s), this will be all Cedarcrest. Allow the Tigers to stay in this thing long enough and it could end up being B-E’s day ending the Red Wolves’ season. We like CHS in this one, but they should respect this opponent and not take a thing for granted.

CEDARCREST 8, BURLINGTON-EDISON 5

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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