Last Monday’s Woodinville-Bothell game would’ve made a lousy screenplay. The Falcons erupted for 15 runs in the first inning, leaving the outcome never in doubt.
The scoring spree removed all drama from this chilly afternoon. It was like Rocky Balboa knocking out Apollo Creed thirty seconds into the first round. It was like Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star during the opening credits.
Woodinville’s Megan “Peanut” Taketa didn’t seem to mind.
“We were hitting the ball really well,” Taketa said. “We came out in the first inning and made a big statement. Then we had some people come off the bench and get the job done, and that was great to see.”
After the first inning, the Falcons led 15-0. After three innings, the score was 19-0. At this point, Woodinville assistant coach Makenna Weir instructed her players to cease taking extra bases. This was to show respect to an opponent having a tough day.
By the fourth inning, Woodinville coach Dani Tachell emptied the bench and got everyone into the game. Bothell managed to score four runs against Falcon backups. The game was called after five innings due to the so-called “Mercy Rule.”
Tachell singled out a couple of young kids who got a chance to play.
“Maria [Ortiz] came out and jumped from right field to first base and was on her toes ready to go with a smile,” she said. “And Brooke Tilson had a couple good hits and played second [base]. She’s a freshman and she’s going to be a big part of this program’s future for sure.”
As of this writing, Woodinville is 3-0 in Kingco 4A and 5-0 overall.
PEANUT COMING UP BIG IN NEW ROLE
In baseball history, the heart of the batting order is populated with nicknames denoting size and brute force. Legends like “The Sultan of Swat” (Babe Ruth), “Big Hurt” (Frank Thomas) or “The Beast” (Jimmie Foxx).
But it’s not often you hear of a “Peanut.”
A year ago, Megan “Peanut” Taketa was hitting ninth in Woodinville’s lineup. The diminutive sophomore was an Ichiro type of hitter. Slap-hitting and using her speed to create havoc on the base paths.
But Taketa has a new role this season. The departure of sluggers Paige Grover and Oliva Riener left a chasm in the heart of the order. Bailey Burger-Moore has embraced the cleanup spot. And Megan Taketa is thriving in the three spot.
“That’s something new this season,” Taketa said. “I’m not used to hitting in the three hole. It’s something different, but I do feel comfortable going up there and getting the job done.”
Woodinville is off to a 5-0 start this season. So far, Taketa is hitting .643 with 7 RBIs. The ball has been exploding off her bat, as she peppers the outfield with scorching line drives.
The junior second baseman likes what she sees from the Falcons this season.
“We’re not leaving a lot of runners on base,” Taketa said. “The energy on the bench is something Woodinville is always known for, and I think that’s helping us this year. I’m excited for this season. We have a lot of spirit and I think we’re going to have a lot of success.”