Amidst the tulips and maybe with some pretty important people on hand, CHS’ softball ladies compete for chance to go to state. Previews and picks right here right now…..

Busy Wednesday for you and we have previews and picks. Mount Si boys’ soccer on deck but let’s roll first with Cedarcrest and their softball team as they make another trip to familiar ground – Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley – to meet people they know a lot about already in the Northwest 2A District Tournament.

WESCO 2A/3A SOFTBALL
NORTHWEST 2A DISTRICT TOURNAMENT
CEDARCREST RED WOLVES VS. LAKEWOOD COUGARS, 4:00
CEDARCREST RED WOLVES VS. MOUNTLAKE TERRACE HAWKS OR LYNDEN LIONS, 6:30
JANICKI FIELDS, SEDRO-WOOLLEY

Cedarcrest High School’s softball ladies are back in action today, with two games at the Northwest 2A District Tournament in Sedro-Woolley, against a lot of familiar foes.

The Red Wolves, seeded seventh and coming off a district-opening 10-0 win last Friday over Burlington-Edison in which pitcher Michaela Carter fired a one-hitter, take on Lakewood to open at 4:00 then face either Mountlake Terrace or Lynden at around 6:30 up at Janicki. And CHS may have some pretty high-profile folks in attendance watching. With Fordham University’s team assigned to the Seattle sub-regional this weekend for the opening round of the NCAA Division I tournament, if their coaching staff is smart, they’ll already be in town and take the 90-minute drive north to not only see the tulips, but also see their signee Carter get to pitch a little bit.

Scouting the Red Wolves
Carter not only dominated on the mound last Friday, she did so with the bat, too, homering and driving in four runs in that victory over the Tigers. The senior, as noted signed with Fordham for her college softball starting next season, upped her already torrid batting average to an even hotter .612 which makes her among the best perhaps in the state this season. She’s leading the team in homers (eight) and RBI’s (37) and has received accolades, not only from us this week but last week as well from the Scorebook Live folks as the result of a fan vote.

Those Fordham folks, if they’re there watching, should also take good notes on freshman Allyson Smith. Smith went 2-3 last Friday with a double, driving in three runs, and is hitting .459 this season with two homers and a solid 28 RBI’s. Smith will be playing this summer – with the Snohomish Shock as part of a Valley trio on that 14U club squad – so this is a girl that certainly aspires to go places. Do well today if the big-name eyes are watching and she may be getting a letter or two from them down the road.

Other players to keep an eye on today include freshmen Madelyn “Mad Dog” Davidson (.483, homer, 14 RBI’s, went 3-4 with three runs scored last Friday) and Carly Nelson (homer last Friday, hitting .265 with seven HR’s and 20 RBI’s). Same deal by the way for these two – do well if the big-name eyes are there and they, too, might see a letter or two in their future mail. But in “Mad Dog”‘s case, she’ll probably also want one from the Fordham women’s soccer people, just saying……

Scouting the opponents
Red Wolves vs. Lakewood, 4:00: The Cougars are 17-3 on the season and are seeded second. And these two teams met back on March 27, a game won by Lakewood 6-4 at CHS. And while there’s others on the team doing some things, too, for Cedarcrest, Lakewood is about one girl, and one girl only: Riley Mae, Riley Mae. Riley Mae Swanson is the Cougars’ sophomore ace pitcher and has a solid 10-3 record on the spring, with a solid 2.18 earned run average and 127 strikeouts in almost 84 innings of work. She’s also leading the team in hitting, hitting close to .600 (similar to Carter’s average) with a homer and 15 RBI’s. Swanson has been a known factor for the Red Wolves in playoffs past, so she’s not going to be much of a mystery to this CHS senior group and their coaches. She went the distance in that March 27 game, striking out 10 but walking six, and also walked twice offensively, had a hit and scored two runs.

Freshman Natalie Krueger has been among the top freshmen this season in the Northwest Conference. Krueger’s hitting .522 this spring, also with a home run, but leads the team in RBI’s with 35. She went 2-4 with a run scored and two RBI’s for Lakewood in that win back in March.

Sophomore Brittani Boortz is also having a fine season. She had three hits including a double against Cedarcrest earlier this season and is hitting .404 on the year with 16 RBI’s.

This Lakewood crew is a young one, with only three seniors. But this Cedarcrest crew is also a fairly young one, too, and as you know, a lot of the Red Wolves’ youth has also shined this season. Of note, freshman Kat Townley (.446, four HR’s, 22 RBI’s) is back today after traveling with her family back to Michigan over this past weekend for older sister LuAnn’s, herself an ex-Red Wolve softball and basketball player, college graduation. Again a congrats to the Townley’s on that and we wish Kat luck today.

Red Wolves vs. Lynden (6:30*): The Saturday prior to their game with Lakewood back in March saw CHS head up to meet the Lions, and it wasn’t pretty, as Lynden rolled. The Lions are seeded third in this tournament and have a solid 13-6 record. Blakely Dorge is the name to watch. She went 5-5 back on March 23 in Lynden’s 16-6 home win over the Red Wolves, with a homer, two doubles, two RBI’s and five runs scored. Dorge is one of several seniors on the team this season, a veteran group that also features senior ace pitcher Breanna Swendt, another name that should be familiar with CHS fans. Swendt allowed six runs on 11 hits in a complete game effort that day but has been a potent force for the Lions in NWC play. You know, if the Fordham people are up there watching Carter, this Lynden group is a team that they might want to pay some attention to as well, see if perhaps there’s some of these seniors still looking and if there’s room available, perhaps talk to them and their parents maybe?

Red Wolves vs. Mountlake Terrace (6:30*): The Hawks took the regular season Wesco head-to-head 13-10 back in April on the 24th also at CHS’ home field, and a number of players stood out that day. Take Jamie Bingaman for example. She went 3-5, all three hits being doubles, had three runs scored and three RBI’s and has been one of the big hitters all spring for Mountlake. You’ve seen her name plenty in our score cuts this spring, and there’s a reason for it. She’s good. But she’s not the only one. Jenna Maxfield also had three hits that day, and scored three runs, and what about Charis Jones? She homered, also as part of a three-hit effort, and like Bingaman scored three runs and drove in three more. Or Kennedy Cooper? 4-4 that day with a double, three runs scored and an RBI.

Fact of the matter here folks is that Cedarcrest today will play teams they’ve seen already this season, so there’s going to be no mystery for them against any of these opponents. They’re all going to be a challenge, they’re all going to be good tests. But there’s a reason why coach Gary Damron scheduled those NWC’ers in non-conference. Today is why.

Final analysis
For the opener, if Cedarcrest can get its offense rolling early and Carter can shut things down, we like the Red Wolves to pull the upset. Likewise, if Lakewood gets its offense out of the gate strong and Swanson does the bidding in the circle, Lakewood gets it done. The first couple of innings will tell the tale. We like Lakewood here, but it will be another close one.

With that, that drops CHS into a loser-out at 6:30. Lynden to open their season routed Mountlake, so we like the Lions to advance against the Cougars in the winner’s bracket game meaning CHS takes on the Hawks to keep their season alive. Same deal here. Whoever gets their offense rolling the quickest will deliver. Another close one here but we take Cedarcrest on neutral ground.

Picks: LAKEWOOD 7, CEDARCREST 6
CEDARCREST 12, MOUNTLAKE TERRACE 9

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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