August 12, 2002
State championship was a letdown
I have a story of thirteen 9- and10-year-old girls and two fantastic coaches, Dennis Gau and Tim Fenney, who made history recently without one ounce of recognition.
It began on June 20 when these girls were selected as All Stars at the Woodinville Complex.They proceeded to work together and become a fine team by practicing and working hard nearly every day of this summer, many of them giving up their family summer vacations.
They went on and competed with eight other teams to become District 8 Champions on July 8 at Shoreline's Hamlin Park — the first time this has been accomplished in Northshore history. The girls from the second place team, North Kenmore were called out to the pitcher's mound and individually recognized and presented with flowers and a team trophy. Then the same with the Northshore team who also received a District 8 Champion banner.
The next step was state competition. They continued practicing hard in the 80 and 90 degree weather. On July 20 we traveled to Sequim where eight other District Champion teams from all over the state gathered to compete.
After playing and winning Saturday, Monday and Wednesday, the final game was on Friday, July 26. The teams were Northshore and Kent. The teams were good and the girls played hard. It came down to a nail-biting bottom of the 6th inning. There were two outs, bases loaded and a full count on the batter. Then the pitcher threw a strike to end the game.
But what happened next was the most disheartening. A lady from the Sequim Little League came out to the dugout and gave the Northshore team a Washington Champion banner and that's it!
There was no recognition for Kent, who had just won second place in the state. There were no trophies and no media attention except maybe a small blurb in the local Sequim paper. These girls had just worked hard all summer to become the state's best 9- and 10-year-old fastpitch softball players, only to be let down. It was a big disappointment to all.
I write this as a very proud parent and friend of a great group of girls who deserve more.
Vicki Kastning, via e-mail