Early in the game, amid the cacophonous din of the Woodinville dugout, a disembodied voice could be heard shrieking: “Stay hungry Falcons! Everybody get out their forks!”
Laughter and giggling followed the comment. But soon after it became clear that Woodinville wasn’t messing around. Led by Olivia Riener’s two home runs and eight RBIs, the Lady Falcons took over Inglemoor’s home turf and turned it into their own personal banquet hall, winning 16-3.
A reporter asked Woodinville coach Dani Weir for her post-game synopsis.
“My synopsis?” Weir asked with a wry smile. “The girls hit the snot out of the ball.”
The game was slated as an early season showdown. Inglemoor’s Vikings entered the contest undefeated in the KingCo 4A standings. Woodinville was one game back. But the Falcons’ offensive eruption overwhelmed Inglemoor and removed all drama pretty quickly on this cool Tuesday evening in Kenmore.
“Offensively, we started out a little slow early this season,” Weir said. “But we just kept focusing on making good contact and letting the big hits come. If we keep that mentality, then those big clutch timely hits will happen.”
Getting the win was starting pitcher Lauryn Rhinehart, whose accuracy and hard throwing made efficient work of the Lady Viking lineup.
“Everything right now is feeling good, my form is feeling good,” Rhinehart said. “I do think I’m throwing harder than last year. My increased speed is a byproduct from getting stronger, trusting my pitches, trying to hit my spot and getting great movement on it. When I do all that, then the speed will come.”
“Lauryn is definitely throwing harder this year,” Weir said. “I just love her command and her ability to place the ball where she needs to. She’s always been a great player and very consistent.”
Both Weir and Rhinehart marveled at Riener’s two mammoth home runs, both of which reached distances probably surpassing anything ever hit by legendary former Falcon Alyssa O’Farrell.
“We have a number of girls who have stepped up this year to become the best hitter they can be,” Rhinehart said. “And I see Olivia doing that.”
Woodinville now sits with a 4-1 record in KingCo 4A, and 6-2 overall. They’re one game back from the league-leading Skyline Spartans (5-0).
Next up on Woodinville’s menu is a home game against Issaquah (April 11), a road game at Mount Si (April 12) and a home battle against Bothell (April 18).
Weir was asked about Woodinville’s last two games, in which her team outscored their opponents by a combined 27-3.
“In our last conversation [in late March] you asked if we were where we wanted to be,” Weir said. “My answer then was no. But right now, the answer is yes. We’re getting going and the girls are feeling comfortable and really coming into their own. They’re not trying to be anything else but themselves. They have found themselves and we’re going to keep pushing on the gas pedal.”