Photo courtesy of Jim Nicholson Mercer Island pitcher Maddie Rowe delivers a pitch against the Liberty Patriots in the season finale on May 5.

Islanders display determination, heart in season finale on the softball field

Tears were streaming down the faces of a plethora of Mercer Island girls softball players following the final contest of the 2017 season.

The Liberty Patriots defeated the Islanders 18-13 in a high scoring matchup between KingCo teams on senior night on May 5 at the South Mercer playfields. Mercer Island finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 6-14. Mercer Island seniors Kayla Varney and Camryn Steiner, who were on the varsity roster for the past four seasons, were honored prior to the start of the game for their memorable high school careers. Mercer Island head coach Dale Watanabe had nothing but absolute praise for the dynamic senior duo on the softball field.

“Those two are ladies of character. They’re outstanding young women and they are going to go far in life. I’m looking forward to seeing the kind of things they will be doing in the future,” Watanabe said.

The Islanders mental toughness and character was on display against the Patriots. Liberty sent 14 batters to the plate scoring eight runs in the top of the third inning, building a 9-5 lead. In the top of the fifth the Patriots added four runs extending their lead to 13-6. The Islanders weren’t fazed by Liberty’s onslaught of offense in the top of the fifth. Mercer Island scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth, tying the game at 13-13. Unfortunately for the Islanders, the Patriots responded with five runs in the top of the sixth which ended up being the final runs of the contest. The Islanders pounded out 16 hits in the loss. Mercer Island sophomore Angelina Barokas went 4-for-5 with 4 RBI in the loss. Jessica Ramseyer went 3-for-5 at the plate and Steiner went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI in the final game of her high school career. Watanabe was impressed with his team’s resolve despite trailing for most of the game.

“There is a lot of heart here. They support each other and they don’t give up. It has been like that all year. I’m really proud of these players and can’t say enough about their character and their willingness to just keep going,” Watanabe said.

Steiner, who was the Islanders starting shortstop, said the Islanders were a much better than their overall record showed.

“I feel like throughout the years the program has been growing immensely and we are becoming better and better each year. Our scores [record] this year did not reflect how we did as a team. I’m really excited to see how it [the program] becomes in the future,” Steiner said.

Varney said team chemistry is a cornerstone of the Mercer Island softball program.

“This team is like no other team I have ever been on. It is interesting to see a group of girls that you would never expect to come together and form a team,” Varney explained. “This team is representative of all grades and all different types of friends coming together to form a true team. We’ve worked so hard and it is just really awesome to see this team come together. I’m going to remember the team bond.”

Photo courtesy of Jim Nicholson Liberty Patriots senior infielder Alexis Serna hustles to first base as Islanders first baseman Angelina Barokas waits for the ball to arrive. Barokas went 4-for-5 at the plate with 4 RBI in the contest. Liberty defeated Mercer Island 18-15 on May 5.

More in Sports

Ryan Pang (pictured on the far right) poses for a photo with teammates Sam Schroerlucke, Chris Groer and Ross Duncan in Miami. Photo courtesy of Ryan Pang
Pang competes at ITF Young Seniors World Team Championships

Mercer Island tennis coach partakes in an experience of a lifetime.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned a fifth-place finish at the Class 3A state swim meet on Nov. 10 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
                                The 200 IM relay team consisting of Alexandra Williams, Grace Olsen, Cayla Prophater and Elie Bailey captured fifth place. The 200 free relay squad of Annie Pearse, Julia Williamson, Hailey Vandenbosch and Bailey finished in sixth place. The 400 free relay quartet of Pearse, Prophater, Vandenbosch and Williamson captured sixth place as well. Prophater earned fourth place in the 200 IM and third place in the 500 free. Sophia McGuffin registered a third-place finish in diving and Pearse finished in fifth place in the 100 free. Photo courtesy of Allison Nelson
Islanders earn fifth place at Class 3A state swim meet

Mercer Island swim team performs well at state swim competition.

Mercer Island senior midfielder Jackie Stenberg, right, tries to keep the ball away from Bonney Lake midfielder Summer Kober, left, in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Nov. 6 at Mercer Island High School. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders cruise past Panthers in first round of state playoffs

Mercer Island pitches shutout against Bonney Lake.

A Mercer Island based tennis team, representing the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Pacific Northwest Section, captured the national title at the USTA League 40 Over 3.0 Men’s National Championships on Oct. 28 at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama. The Mercer Island team, which is based out of of the Mercer Island Country Club, defeated a squad from San Francisco, California 3-2 in the title match. Members of the Mercer Island squad consisted of John Whipple, Bernard Hensey, Brian Rogers, Christopher Loiselle, Christopher Martin, Dean Martin, Dean Winston, Jeff Omara, Richard Aylen and Ryan Flynn. Photo courtesy of the United States Tennis Association
Mercer Island tennis team wins national title

Team based out of Mercer Island Country Club dominates at coveted tournament.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys water polo team earned a 19-1 win against Kennedy on senior night on Nov. 1. Mercer Island seniors pictured include Jacob Goldfarb, Tyler Robinson, Peter Davis, Cole Brittain, Will Cero, William Lacrampe, Leif Gullstad, Julian Rizza and Nate Robinson. Photo courtesy of Dawn Friedland
Mercer Island water polo team dominates Kennedy

Islanders dominate on senior night.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned third place as a team at the Class 3A SeaKing district championships on Nov. 3 at Mary Wayte Pool on Mercer Island. The 200 medley relay team consisting of Alex Williams, Grace Olsen, Cayla Prophater and Julia Williamson captured fourth place. The 200 free relay team of Ellie Bailey, Annie Pearse, Williamson and Olsen earned fifth place. The 400 free relay team of Hailey Vandenbosch, Prophater, Pearse and Bailey captured fifth place.
                                Islanders’ junior Sophia McGuffin earned first place in the diving portion of the meet. Bailey earned eighth place in the 50 free and 10th place in the 100 free. Sophomore Grace Lennington captured 10th place in the 500 free. Senior Chloe Mark earned ninth place in the 200 free and sixth place in the 500 free. Olsen finished in ninth place in the 200 IM and sixth place in the 100 breaststroke. Pearse registered a third-place finish in the 50 free and third place in the 100 free. Prophater finished in fifth place in the 200 IM and third place in the 500 free. Mira Tang captured ninth place in the 100 back. Vandenbosch earned 10th place in the 200 free and ninth place in the 100 fly. Williams finished in sixth place in the 100 back. Williamson earned ninth place in the 50 free and eighth place in the 100 free. Sophomore Katie Williamson finished in fifth place in the 100 back. Photo courtesy of Allison Nelson
Islanders girls swim team earns third place at districts

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned third place as a… Continue reading

A Mercer Island-based women’s tennis team, which represented the United States Tennis Association Pacific Northwest section, earned a national title at the USTA League Adult 40 Over 3.5 National Championships on Oct. 21 at the Arlington Tennis Center in Arlington, Texas. The Mercer Island team defeated a Cornelius, North Carolina squad 3-2 in the championship match. Members of the championship roster included Carol Gregory, Nancy Smith, Susie Harrington, Diane Panteleakos, Cindy Paborsky, Suzy Skone, Heidi Martin, Hilary Benson, Molly Fort, Ildi Koves, Shawn Wood, Kelly Everson and Leigh Perks. Photo courtesy of Andrew Ong/USTA
Mercer Island tennis team wins national title

Championship squad trains at Mercer Island Country Club.

Islanders player Leif Gullstad (No. 12) makes his fourth steal of the game in a matchup against the Ballard Beavers on Oct. 15. Photo courtesy of Dawn Friedland
Mercer Island loses close contest to Ballard

Islanders lose in home contest against Beavers.

The epitome of a legend

Paul Allen will always be remembered for saving professional football in Seattle.

Islanders water polo team loses to Bellevue, Roosevelt

Mercer Island remains optimistic despite recent defeats.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys tennis team’s No. 1 doubles team consisting of Chris Elliot and Kevin Chen finished the 2018 regular season undefeated. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Dynamic duo dominates at the net

Mercer Island Islanders No. 1 doubles team goes undefeated in regular season action.

Moscow Spartans football players Omari Grinyaev, Michael Levenshtein and Mercer Island head football coach Ed Slezinger pose for a quick photo prior to the start of Mercer Island’s football practice on Oct. 9. Grinyaev and Levenshtein will be in Washington observing the Islanders football programs practices, meetings, workouts and games through Oct. 22. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Islanders football program hosts Russian players

Players from the Moscow Spartans football team make trip to Mercer Island.