Dominant Panthers softball team ending season on bittersweet note
Doug Ramsay photo, dougramsayphoto.photoshelter.com
The "Fab Five," from left: Katlyn Purvis, Bailey Seek, Trysten Melhart, Jennie Winston and Lilly Paschal sit in the team’s dugout prior to a game last week.
SNOHOMISH — The “Fab Five” seniors from Snohomish High’s varsity girls fastpitch softball team are looking to go out with a bang.
The team went undefeated until last week, and are still poised to be a resonating force in the district championships.
The “Fab Five” is comprised of pitcher Bailey Seek, Jennie Winston, Trysten Melhart, Lilly Paschal and Katlyn Purvis. The rest of the team is running strong, too.
Last year, the Panthers made it to the district championship, just losing out to the then-dominant Arlington Eagles. (Arlington went on to win the state championship.)
“I think this season is different for us because it is our senior year,” Winston said. “I think it’s because we’ve all been playing together since we were really little, and it’s our senior year and we want to go out with a bang, and we know we deserve this because we’ve been so close the last few years.”
Snohomish girls softball season so far
vs. M-Gatchell - Won 11-0
vs. Oak Harbor - Won 18-0
vs. M-Pilchuck - Won 7-1
vs. Monroe - Won 12-7
vs. Mt. Vernon - Won 19-0
vs. Glacier Peak - Won 11-0
vs. Stanwood - Won 15-1
vs. Lake Stevens - Won 5-3
vs. Arlington - Won 9-0
vs. Everett - Won 5-1
vs. Edmonds - Won 14-1
vs. Cascade HS - Won 4-0
vs. Mariner HS - Won 10-0
vs. Lynnwood - Won 3-0
vs. Kamiak - Won 12-0
vs. Kamiak - Won 3-2
vs. Monroe - Won 7-2
vs. Mt. Vernon - Won 10-0
vs. Lake Stevens - Lost 7-8
* Arlington game May 14
Her teammate, speedy base runner Melhart, agreed. “It’s kind of like our ‘last chance,’” Melhart said. “We came so close last year.”
The girls already shut out Arlington once this season and face the Eagles again for their last regular season game Wednesday, May 14. The girls, though, already have their eye on the district playoffs that start next week.
As the “Fab Five” sat together beneath a Panther sign, talking about their popular “Slurpee runs” to 7-Eleven and group slumber parties, an air of nostalgia hung over them, as they all seemed to realize that the end of high school was all too near. Their season was coming to a close.
“We’re going to miss each other,” Purvis said and all the girls agreed. “We’re all really close.”
“And the coaches, we really love our coaches,” Winston jumped in. “They’ve been good to us. They’re very supportive, and don’t get down on us if we do something wrong, and they kind of talk through what we did wrong, or didn’t do wrong. And they kind of let us seniors lead the way.”
After summer, the five from Snohomish will disperse to colleges near and far.Seek will be pitching at Weber State University in Utah. She had just pitched a no-hitter that day against Mount Vernon.
Winston will go on to play at Colorado Christian University. Melhart may have a shot at the starting lineup at the University of Washington as a freshman because she can run the bases in 10.9 seconds (12 seconds is considered impressive at the collegiate level).
Paschal will go on to play for Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho, while Purvis will be playing for Kent State.
Each of the graduating seniors earned a college scholarship in the sport.
As for saying goodbye to his girls, with graduation just a month away, softball coach Lou Kennedy is reluctant but proud of them. For his 10 years with SHS softball, plus another 15 coaching select team softball, Kennedy said he has grown used to the idea of helping players, teaching them, and letting them go on.
Kennedy said the depth of his lineup made a dominating team this year.
He said he’s been lucky to have the “Fab Five,” but them graduating doesn’t worry him about the team’s future. Although next year’s team will be “young,” he said he has full confidence in their abilities.
“I think overall, what’s happening that helps us this year is the depth of our lineup,” Kennedy said. “What’s happening further down the line is, we’ve got a junior who’s driving the ball like crazy, Morgan Greenlee, and sophomores that are great. The depth of the lineup is what is different than it was a year ago.”
Apart from their coaches, the girls all said they’re thankful for their parents’ support, as well as their school and community.
“We wouldn’t be where we are without our parents,” Purvis said.
“I love all these girls, we’re like a family, and I’m thankful to my friends and family,” Melhart said.
“For me, I thank my parents and friends. And Snohomish - Snohomish is such a great school, a great community, I feel really blessed to have gone to this school and to play for this program,” Winston said.
Senior Night on May 14 will be hard, they said.
“I’m going to cry so hard on Senior Day, it’s going to be a no-makeup kind of day!” Melhart exclaimed as the rest of the girls loudly agreed.
“Yeah, nooooo makeup that day!” another said.
“We’re all probably going to go get dinner afterwards together,” Melhart said.
They all agreed: dinner after Senior Night. And maybe a Slurpee, too.