Mercer Island fastpitch focuses on winning innings

The 2011 Mercer Island fastpitch captains are Patti Chew, a senior at second base, and Yahnnica Tate, a senior who plays center field. - Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter
The 2011 Mercer Island fastpitch captains are Patti Chew, a senior at second base, and Yahnnica Tate, a senior who plays center field.
— image credit: Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter

Each spring the Mercer Island fastpitch team gathers at the South Mercer Playfields for the season. This year, a young Islanders squad is ready and raring to get things going and win each inning.

It is important to this team to focus on small aspects of the game, not necessarily looking at the whole just yet.

“Our goal is to plan on winning innings,” said head coach Jessica Steinle. “We have a fairly young team, but they are positive and they work hard. Despite the fact that we’ve had maybe one or two dry practices, they’ve been pretty positive.”

Returning captains Patti Chew and Yahnnica Tate agree; they see a hard-working group that is already showing lots of improvement.

“We feel more like we’re going to get some wins,” said Chew, a senior at second base.

“We’re more dedicated, and that only makes us stronger,” said Tate, who plays at center field. “We are more focused and hungry for a win. You can tell they are excited to change the program around.”

Despite a team loaded with sophomores and freshman, Steinle said the Islanders seem to have more chemistry than a team of girls who are mostly playing together for the first time.

“I would say that this team is a little more dedicated and hard-working; more positive energy. I can’t really describe it, but they just fit a little better,” said the coach.

The team returns a pitcher from last season, along with gaining a freshman on the mound, said Steinle, but as always, she said, it would be nice to have a couple more.

“I would say that our defense is definitely going to be stronger and that’s going to help us to stay in games a lot longer than we have in the past. So that’s a good thing,” said the coach.

The team is excited to play Garfield in an early season match up, along with Federal Way, a team the Islanders almost beat last season. Mercer Island will play Federal Way on April 20 at the South Mercer Playfields beginning at 4:30 p.m.

2011 Schedule

3/24 vs. Liberty

3/28 at Lake Washington

3/29 vs. Interlake

3/31 at Mount Si

4/4 at Mount Si

4/5 at Sammamish

4/12 vs. Bellevue

4/14 vs. Juanita

4/19 at Liberty

4/20 vs. Federal Way

4/21 vs. Lake Washington

4/26 vs. Interlake

4/28 vs. Mount Si

4/29 at Garfield

5/4 vs. Sammamish

5/6 at Hazen

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