Amanda and Katie Schnick never developed into elegant dancers, but they still know how to swing.
Both sisters start for Ferris’ young, improving softball team, which has already matched last year’s record of four wins. In a recent game against Lewis and Clark, outfielder Amanda was one of four juniors in the starting lineup and first baseman Katie was one of three freshmen.
“I’ve been on varsity since my freshman year and I can already tell this team’s like 10 times better,” Amanda said.
Before they discovered softball, the Schnicks seemed destined to follow their oldest sister’s favorite pastime.
“We started dancing and it just wasn’t clicking,” Katie said. “So our dad got us into other sports and softball just seemed to be the one that we loved.”
Amanda’s interest in softball came from watching her little sister play T-ball.
The two developed their skills in St. Louis before moving to Spokane with their mother, Sandy, in time for Amanda to start her freshman year at Ferris.
“I love it just because the high school in St. Louis was a 2A school and not very competitive,” Katie said. “I’m glad we moved here and got to play at this very competitive level to prove that we’re good.”
Katie has always been an infielder, but Amanda was converted into an outfielder.
Katie said her big sister offered pointers to get her out of a batting slump this season.
“Yeah, I taught her everything she knows,” Amanda said.
“We were hoping Katie would fit into varsity this year, but we didn’t know,” Ferris coach Laurie Smith said. “But she had a fantastic tryout. Now she’s our starting shortstop and will end up being our No. 4 hitter.”
Sandy rewarded her daughters for both making the varsity roster by purchasing a 42-inch flat-screen TV to replace their antiquated set.
“We’ve played together before, but this is the first time where it felt real because it means something,” Katie said.
Lakeside stands alone
Lakeside (9-0) is the area’s last remaining undefeated team, which frankly surprises 11-year Eagles coach Chuck Moffatt.
“We knew coming into the season that we had good talent moving up from our JV team last year, but for us to predict we’d be 9-0 at this point would be a stretch,” Moffatt said.
The Eagles have averaged 14 runs per game while posting seven blowouts. Their first game was a 4-3 win over Riverside (the rematch was Tuesday) and their ninth win was 9-8 in 10 innings over Medical Lake. In that game, sophomore pitcher McKensie Brittos escaped a no-out, bases-loaded situation in the top of the 10th. Brittos is 9-0 with 50 strikeouts in 52 innings and an earned-run average of 2.42.
“She gets in a zone out there and has that look that she’s not going to lose,” Moffatt said.
The offensive leaders are: Brittos, .429 batting average, four triples, 15 RBIs; sophomore Hailey Lesser, .552, 18 runs; sophomore Taylor Wuesthoff, .429, 19 runs, 12 RBIs; and junior Madi Naccarato, .594, 17 runs, nine doubles, 12 RBIs.
Lakeside’s field does not have a home-run fence. Moffatt estimates that Naccarato would have 10 homers if the Eagles’ field had a fence.
Heading in to spring break, University had outscored GSL rivals 36-0 over 30 innings. In their first two games after the break, the Titans allowed 11 runs to Ferris in a win and eight to Central Valley in a loss.
U-Hi coach Jon Schuh said he wants his players, especially his seniors, to relax and enjoy playing the game.
“Obviously, the time off was detrimental to us because we were playing really well,” Schuh said. “You kind of lose your mojo. We have to get our mojo back.”
On the diamonds
Riverside’s Keelin Hunt improved to 8-2 on Saturday by pitching a one-hitter and a five-hitter during a 10-0, 8-2 Northeast A home sweep of Freeman. … Julianna Hughes is 8-0 for Almira/Coulee-Hartline, which has won six consecutive games and is 8-0 in Northeast 1B play. … All nine Springdale starters had multiple hits Saturday during a 16-6 home win that capped a Northeast 2B doubleheader sweep.