1. What will Woodinville do?
Will there be a new sheriff in town now that Madi Schreyer has taken her pitching talents from Woodinville to Stanford? The Falcons have been an impressive 58-1 in KingCo 4A play over the past four seasons, losing only to Lake Washington (then a 4A member) in 2010. They won the state title in 2012, placed third in 2011 and fourth last season. But remember, Woodinville has had a good thing going well beyond that, going 79-9 in league play the previous five years with another state crown in 2005. Coach Dani Weir expects another solid campaign, but many coaches believe Redmond is the overall KingCo favorite.
2. Look for another trophy run for Tahoma
It took a long time for the Tahoma Bears to take home their first fastpitch trophy. They finished third in last year’s 4A tournament to end that drought. With several key returners back — including pitchers Maddie Scott and Carley Nance and superfast shortstop Mia Corbin — Tahoma could challenge for an even bigger prize this spring.
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3. Holy Names or Bainbridge?
Once again, the road to the Metro League title should go through Holy Names or Bainbridge, who traditionally battle for the top spot in the Mountain Division. Over the past four seasons, those two teams have traded division titles. Since the Cougars won last year, is it Bainbridge’s turn?
4. Unfinished business for hungry Snohomish
Hard-hitting Trysten Melhart (Washington commit) led Snohomish to the WesCo 4A North championship over Arlington last season. But it was Arlington that went on to capture the state title as the Panthers failed to qualify. Melhart, an outfielder who batted .754 last season, hopes to help them take care of some unfinished business this spring.
5. Can Lake Washington take the next step in 2A?
Lake Washington looked as though it might be a big player in Class 2A last season after reaching the 3A state tournament the year before. Things started well as the Kangaroos shared the KingCo 3A/2A championship with Juanita, but they went 1-2 in the Northwest District tourney. The bulk of that team is back and looking for a better showing.