An Unfortunate Loss for Issaquah Against Rival Skyline 

Jane Harig, Staff Writer

With emotions on a high, and pressure on the pitch, the IHS girls softball team found their way to the field, competition ready for an exciting ball-hurling, base running, and crowd-cheering softball game last Monday, April 25th.  Though the game did end in defeat the team faced it head on and prepared for a night of senior celebration.  

A home field advantage is always a bonus when it comes to competition, and the girls were granted with said advantage, being able to warm up in the sun while waiting for Skyline to arrive. Warming up together as a team is key, motivation bouncing all over the place.  

Junior Megan Polkinghorn, who is on varsity but was playing down for a game, tells us that her favorite part of the game is “the team bonding aspect of it, but also the moment you get out on the field, [when] the adrenaline hits you.” When asked about how she prepares for games, Polkinghorn says, “I mentally prepare myself that morning to the point we start the game. I keep in the mindset.” What followed was what she hoped to get out of that particular game, which was “the team having fun but also being competitive.” 

Mental toughness and positive thoughts are a huge piece to athletics. Sophomore Piper Houck shares “our whole team does stretches and warmups together. And then we have a period where everyone sits and is in their own mental headspace. How they want to play and visualize the game.” 

Coach Brie Baunmann, who played at IHS and has been coaching for the past ten years, has high hopes for the finale, “I want the girls to just have the best end to their softball career ever. Last home meet for the seniors. It is a really special game for them, so I just want it to be a successful game for them.” She states her favorite part of coaching is “All the girls, getting to know the players. All the girls are really special and getting to be part of their lives is super cool.” 

Though the game did end in a loss for Issaquah, the game still proved to be impressive. Junior Myah Tuupo awards the standout moment to Junior Grace McKillop, “who had a solid pitching job with 10 plus strikeouts.” 

But before the girls could retire for the night, there was more to be celebrated. The beloved seniors, who would be concluding their final season of their high school careers that particular Monday afternoon, would be celebrated with speeches given by the underclassmen and juniors. There is always more to a sport than simply the rules of the game. The people, the bond – that is what is important to really have a team function well. And with a portion of the team being honored for their hard work, their talent, their spot on the field, it goes without saying that some tears were shed.  

Tuupo shares that there was “a lot of crying because everyone is going to miss the seniors, but we got to see them put handprints on the shed, receive their speeches and gifts, and spent time together at a barbecue following the game.” 

Hardwork paid off and appreciation was not scarce post game. Even after a loss the team was ready to celebrate key members of their team, sending them off with memories of phenomenal strikeouts and thrilling performances.