Rhinehart fans 14 as Falcons Top North Creek

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Rachael Rhinehart struck out 14 batters and Mikaelie Sullivan had a key RBI double as Woodinville beat North Creek last Monday 5-2. With the win, the Falcons remained undefeated with a 12-0 record.
“We came together as a team and put our bats together,” Sullivan said. “We strung our hits together and worked together as a team.”
It was Woodinville’s 38th win in a row going back to 2016. It was their 44th consecutive regular season victory.
softball1Rachael Rhinehart (right) prepares to pitch while shortstop Charlotte Grover (left) readies herself for action. (Photo by Derek Johnson)The Falcons drew first blood in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Alex Nyberg singled to center field to drive in Rachael Rhinehart. Woodinville led 1-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, North Creek got even. Former Falcon Sierra Hein crushed a pitch over the left field wall to tie things up at 1-1.
But then the Falcons immediately answered in the top of the fifth. Megan “Peanut” Taketa led off with a walk. She was advanced to second base by her sister Molly on a sacrifice bunt. That’s when Sullivan stepped up to the plate.
After falling behind 0-2 in the count, Sullivan laced a double down the right field line, scoring Molly Taketa. Woodinville now led 2-1.
“The previous at bat the pitcher threw me a screwball inside and I got jammed,” Sullivan said. “But I mentally focused and scooted off the plate so I could see the ball better. And I got the job done to get a run for our team.”
“Up to that point, we were wanting the girls to square the ball up and see the ball a bit deeper and stay back and throw the barrel,” Woodinville coach Dani Tachell said. “Peanut did a good job of laying down her sacrifice bunt to get Molly into scoring position. What I love about Mikaelie is that she always goes up swinging hard no matter what. She doesn’t second guess herself. She just goes. To see her square the ball up and put the ball down the line was just what we needed.”
softball2Freshman Brooke Tilson had two hits and scored two runs. (Photo by Derek Johnson) But the Falcons weren’t finished yet in the fifth. Brooke Tilson singled. Two batters later, Jaelyn Cowin singled to score Sullivan and Tilson. Woodinville was now in firm control at 4-1.
The Falcons would add one more insurance run in the seventh, when Rachael Rhinehart doubled to drive in Brooke Tilson.
The Falcons returned home to Woodinville with a 12-0 record and firm control of Kingco 4A. But coach Tachell said the team still hasn’t reached its potential.
“We’re still working to find our groove,” she said. “We haven’t quite settled into our best softball. We’re executing and getting the wins and taking care of business. Defensively we’re very comfortable and our pitching has been fantastic. But I would love to see more relaxation at the plate and more trust in ourselves.
“It’s all about peaking at the right time,” she said.

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