The Lady Falcons aren’t messing around this year. Oh sure, the girls often giggle in the dugout and have their usual fun -- as it should be for high school sports.
But now a palpable urgency fills the air. Take Bailey Burger-Moore for example. The senior first baseman is the bedrock of this ball club. She was a sophomore two years ago when Woodinville won the 4A State Championship. But ask her about Woodinville getting knocked out of the Kingco tourney last year, and her eyes suddenly grow serious. In those eyes you can see the countless hours in the batting cage from this past offseason.
“Last year it felt like we were living in the shadow of the year before,” Burger-Moore said. “We knew what we could do, but it was a huge expectation. But this year we are really driven. We are very upset about how last season ended. Our senior class doesn’t want to leave on the same note as last year. We felt like we could have accomplished a lot more last year than we did. And because of that a lot of us are really hungry this year.”
Burger-Moore made this statement standing on the field at Lake Washington High School last Thursday. Her Falcons had just knocked off the Kangaroos 8-2. Woodinville completed its brief non-conference schedule with a 2-0 record.
“On the road in our last non-league game,” Woodinville coach Dani Tachell said. “It was a chance to [experiment with] various situations and combinations of fielders out there and try things out. It was nice to see the depth we have.”
It’s an intriguing roster. Loaded with quality seniors, the Falcons feature the likes of Rachael Rhinehart, Mikaelie Sullivan, Maria Ortiz, Linsy Pirollo, Jaelyn Cowin and the Taketa twins, Molly and Megan (aka “Peanut”).
But so too are there younger kids bursting with potential. Junior Charlotte Grover is a burgeoning star at shortstop. Sophomore Brooke Tilson already plays like a smooth veteran at second base. Sophomore pitcher Alex Nyberg is playing a leading role on the mound. And sophomore Natalie Kirstein smacked a two-run homer over the center field fence against Lake Washington. It was the first home run of her young career.
“It’s a lot of pressure when you’re at the plate,” Kirstein said. “You want to deliver for your team and pull through. But I feel like I’m fitting in pretty well.”
“Nat with the home run really engaged us today,” Burger-Moore said. “We were communicating in the dugout in terms of what we were seeing [from the opposing pitchers], and we got locked in and took it from there.”
Woodinville will be busy this week. They will host Newport on Monday, travel to Issaquah on Wednesday, before returning home on Friday to host Mount Si.