REDMOND — Kiki Milloy wanted to strike out her sister.
For years, each time the Milloy sisters would step into the family’s batting cage, Kiki would pitch. Amirah would hit.
As hard as she tried, Kiki never struck out her older sister. Now years later, with Amirah wrapping up her senior year at Washington and Kiki finishing her final season at Redmond High School, those one-on-one battles pushed the Mustangs’ star to become one of the state’s top softball players.
Those backyard battles put this year’s Star Times Player of the Year on a path toward being the family’s latest Division I-bound athlete, joining Amirah and their father, Lawyer, who was a standout safety at Washington and in the NFL.
“I always tried to win,” Milloy said. “She was older than me, so she would always win and I would always get mad, but that’s what made me a better pitcher and better competitor. I always wanted to beat my older sister.”
When Amirah played for the Mustangs, Kiki watched closely from the other side of the fence. Redmond coach Alison Mitchell said Amirah was playfully competitive during games, dancing in team huddles before making plays in the field.
When Kiki watched her older sister lightening the mood on the field, her reaction was noticeable.
“You would see Kiki on the other side of the fence rolling her eyes,” Mitchell said. “She was just not having anything to do with it, so it’s been kind of funny to see that dynamic.”
While the sisters are “apples and oranges” when it comes to their personalities, Kiki credits her older sibling with helping her get to this point.
“She’s been such a supportive sister,” Kiki said. “She’s helped me go through everything. Through my recruiting process, she was someone to talk to. She definitely has been someone I can watch and take things from.”
Kiki, who will play at the University of Tennessee next season, has propelled Redmond to another successful season, putting the Mustangs in a position to compete for their second state championship in three years.
“We’re trying,” Kiki said. “That’s what our goal is. We’ve just got to keep working, keep grinding, stay hungry.”
Redmond won its first 20 games of the season with Milloy leading the team at the plate and in the circle. Milloy finished the regular season with 14 home runs, including two grand slams. She is hitting .444 with 35 RBI, spending the early portion of the season as the leadoff hitter. In 16 games as a pitcher, she has 2.05 ERA with 185 strikeouts.
“She’s looking really strong,” Mitchell said. “She’s back to a really good form and you can tell all of the work she put in during the offseason with the weight room, working on her pitching, working on her hitting. It’s showing and it’s paying off. I’m excited to see what she does in the postseason.”
As well as Milloy and the Mustangs have played this year, with only one loss in the regular season, the senior was quick to say the defeat was a lesson learned.
“That was kind of tough,” Milloy said. “It’s new ground. We had a lot of pressure to stay undefeated. I think it will be good for us, so we can take a step back and realize some things we can do better.”
When Redmond’s season comes to an end, Milloy will shift her attention to Tennessee. But right now, she is living in the moment. And, when she goes home, now she gets to the be older sister in the batting cage.
“Now it’s going on with my younger sister, Tia,” Kiki said. “She’s trying to beat me and I have to be like, ‘You can’t beat me, because I’m the older sister.’”
2019 Star Times Softball
C Jennifer Cummings, Redmond, Jr.
The senior has been a rock for Redmond behind and at the plate. As a catcher, Cummings has a .987 fielding percentage, committing just three errors all season while handling the Mustangs’ ace, Kiki Milloy. As a hitter, Cummings has been clutch, hitting .530 with runners in scoring position (.600 overall), while driving in 31 runs and hitting six home runs.
INF Charity Sevaaetasi, Auburn, Jr.
Sevaaetasi lands on the team for the second consecutive year after showing off her speed, glove and strong arm at third base. With 38 putouts in 42 chances, she excels in the field, while also hitting third for the Trojans. The junior is batting .589 with eight home runs and 31 RBI.
INF Kaiea Higa, Tahoma, Fr.
Higa quickly made a name for herself, hitting .700 during the regular season, while setting a school record for home runs (10) and adding 15 doubles and 44 RBI. The freshman also played well at third base with an .871 fielding percentage.
INF Kendall Curtis, Glacier Peak, Sr.
The University of Montana-bound senior led the Grizzlies to another successful season, hitting .466 with eight home runs, nine doubles, 29 RBI and 24 runs scored, while committing just one error at second base. She is also a star in the classroom, preparing to graduate with a 3.92 GPA.
INF Hanna Scandiffio, Kennedy Catholic, Jr.
The leadoff hitter and team captain set the tone in practice and during games for the Lancers. The junior batted .521 with five triples, three home runs and 23 RBI during the regular season, and her speed on the bases produced 21 stolen bases and 39 runs scored.
INF Kelly Treves, Bellevue, Jr.
The shortstop torched KingCo 2A/3A this season, leading the Wolverines to their best season since a third-place state-tournament finish in 2010. Treves hit .676 with five home runs over the Wolverines’ first 20 games and leads the team in hits (50), RBI (44) and doubles (13).
OF Nicola Simpson, Garfield, So.
Two years, two appearances on this team for Simpson who, like her sister, had another strong season. At the plate, she is batting .551 with a pair of grand slams and 44 RBI. But, she is also a standout pitcher, throwing three no-hitters and going 6-2 with a 1.28 ERA.
OF Haley Hanson, Redmond, Sr.
From her speed on the bases to her ability to make opposing pitchers work, Hanson is a true leadoff hitter. The Sacramento State-bound senior is hitting .538 (.576 with runners in scoring position) with 20 stolen bases and 22 RBI.
OF Taylor Khorrami, Snohomish, Sr.
Committed to Western Washington University, Khorrami is having a tremendous senior season. She has been a force in the field, saving five home runs with catches made by leaping above the fence, while also making 12 diving catches. At the plate, Khorrami is batting .531 with 21 RBI and 32 runs scored while hitting in the leadoff spot.
UTL Rachael Eichenberger, Lake Stevens, Sr.
Described as aggressive yet disciplined at the plate, Eichenberger has been outstanding all season as the Vikings’ leadoff hitter. The New York University-bound senior is hitting .535 with eight doubles, 11 RBI, nine stolen bases and 14 runs scored.
P Iyanla De Jesus, Jackson, Sr.
Last season’s Star Times player of the year (when she had the last name of Pennington) is having another stellar season for the Timberwolves, going 13-2 with a 0.78 ERA and 203 strikeouts in the regular season. She is also having a dominant year at the plate, hitting .643 with 10 home runs, eight doubles, three triples and 37 RBI.
P Kaia Simpson, Garfield, Sr.
Appearing on the team for the second consecutive season, Simpson is having another impressive year in the circle (six no-hitters) for the Bulldogs. The senior has pitched 66 2/3 innings, going 14-0 with a 0.21 ERA. Simpson helps her cause at the plate, batting .471 with 29 RBI.
Coach: Ken Simpson, Garfield
When Ken Simpson started as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs, the program won six games. Garfield went to state the next season and, after Simpson took over as the head coach last year, the team made its second consecutive trip to state. With Simpson coaching his daughters, Kaia and Nicola, the Bulldogs continue to thrive as championship contenders.