Slowpitch softball, a newer sport at Woodinville High School, has started the season strong with a long list of victories.
Head Coach Kimberly Benedict credited the girls’ passion and comradery to the team’s success, including their 8-0 record.
“We’re not aiming to be undefeated, but our goal is to just go out there, have fun and allow the girls to play a sport that they love,” Benedict said.
Slowpitch softball is different from fastpitch softball, which is typically played in the spring. , Benedict said the biggest change is the number of players on the field; slowpitch requires 10 and fastpitch requires nine.
In slowpitch, the arch of the pitch is also much larger and far slower. The other sport requires a full wind-up with pitches coming in at 50 to 60 mph, she noted.
WHS began the season with a 23-3 win against Redmond High School on Sept. 14. The streak continued as the Lady Falcons beat Inglemoor High School, 17-2, on Sept. 20. The next day, Woodinville overcame Lake Washington High School in a 7-4 win.
On Sept. 23, Woodinville defeated Eastlake High School with a score of 20-13. In the following game, WHS shut out Bothell High School to finish the game 10-0. During a rematch on Sept. 28, the Lady Falcons grabbed the win just in time to beat Bothell, 6-5.
In another 10-0 shut out, Woodinville went on to defeat Redmond on Thursday, Sept. 30.
Benedict said the team is comprised of mostly younger players and a few seniors leading the group.
“The upperclassmen have definitely taken on the role of being the leaders and taking the underclassmen under their wings,” she said.
When it comes to strengths, the Lady Falcons remain consistent for hitting in the batter’s box. Benedict said the pitchers are also strong this season.
“These girls play wherever we ask them to, they are so flexible,” she said. “Just to watch them come together as a team, one Falcon, one family, is the true definition of what the game is all about.”
Bringing slowpitch softball to WHS was a parent-driven effort, Benedict said. Many of the team’s current seniors were freshmen during the first season three years ago. She said the team remained undefeated throughout the first season and playoffs, which ultimately landed them a slot at the state competition.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted sporting seasons the following year. Benedict said the team could only play Bothell High School.
“Record didn’t really matter at that point, so we weren’t playing for anything besides having fun,” she said.
Benedict took on the role of head coach when the sport started at WHS. She is also the junior varsity coach for Woodinville’s fastpitch softball.
She played fastpitch in high school and college, she said. But it wasn’t until after university that she found her love for slowpitch.
When the regular season concludes at the end of October, the King County tournament will determine which top two teams will travel to the state competition.
“We hope to make it to the playoffs and potentially make our way back to state again,” Benedict said.
WHS Slowpitch Softball Remaining Games:
- Monday, Oct. 11 – Eastlake High School (home), 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Oct. 12 – Bothell High School (away), 6: 30 p.m.
- Friday, Oct. 14 – Bothell High School (home), 5 p.m.