When Quinn Breidenbach throws her first pitch March 18 against Tahoma, the Hornet hurler will be in her final campaign to show she has the best stuff in the state.
She is one of the most, if not the most, dominate pitcher ever to play for Enumclaw. The Hornet ace has proved she is also at the top of heap in the South Puget Sound League and the state.
The University of Massachusetts took notice and recruited her to play on the UMass fastpitch team when she was a junior. She signed the letter of intent in November 2015.
This season Breidenbach is on a quest to bring a state title to Enumclaw. The team took second when she was a sophomore.
“We have the talent,” she said. “This is a younger team and I would really like to get them a state title.”
Breidenbach said she has added another pitch to her arsenal, the drop ball, to be better prepared for this season and throwing for UMass.
“I have seven pitches and I feel comfortable with them all,” she said.
She may be comfortable, but the batters facing her are certainly not. At the end of last season she had compiled a 30-2 record against SPSL opponents, and coach Mike Eckhart said her last loss was when she was a freshman. Over three years she has struck out 550 batters.
Along with working on her game during the offseason, Breidenbach said she has been coaching pitchers on a 14 and under team in Maple Valley.
“Coaching has really helped me a lot to understand how I am pitching,” Breidenbach said. “I love having the opportunity to work with them.”
Along with working on her pitching, Breidenbach and her sister Logan, who is a freshman on the team, have been working on fielding and hitting.
She said it is “really cool” to have her sister to practice with and work on the game.
Breidenbach said it may not have hit her yet she is going across the country to college after she graduates, but in her final season as a Hornet, “I’m going to make the most out of this year. We are going to make a run at it.”
The Hornets also have a pitcher’s worst nightmare of hitters ready to swing for the fences. Along with Quinn Breidenbach who hit .612 last season, junior Madelyn Carlson gives the team the long ball and a high average. According to Eckhart Carlson led the team last year with six home runs and 37 RBIs. She hit safely in every game last season. She has started every game as a freshman and sophomore in the infield and pitching. She has a 10-0 two-year pitching record with only one earned run.
Hailey Roberts reached base as a leadoff 19 of 19 games last season. She struck out only three times in 68 at-bats and leads the team in stolen bases with 14. In right field she has thrown out two runners at first and never committed an error.
Fiedler conting on team speed to help Hornets pick up victories
Coach Eric Fiedler will be kicking dirt along the third-base for his 20th year when the Hornets run onto Osborne Field Friday to take on Orting.
Fiedler notches his 11th season at the head of the Hornets baseball team. He coached nine years at Federal Way prior to Enumclaw enticing him to come to town.
After two decades Fielder still loves the game and said, “I care a lot of the kids.”
He cares a lot about running, and the Hornets will be running this season. Fiedler said the team has a lot of speed at the top of lineup, right where they should be.
The coach said the club is heavy with seniors, but fans should expect to see some new faces. He said Enumclaw is blessed with burgeoning, young talent.
A senior that will be leading the team is Blake Hildebrand, a four year starter who plays center field and pitcher.
“He has the tools and he can do a lot of things for us,” Fiedler said.
Behind the plate for Enumclaw is senior Casey Harberts.
“He’s a great athlete,” Fiedler said. “He is very versatile and as good as any senior in the league.”
Carson Erwin, who was voted MVP by the team, played leadoff last year at will likely return at that spot.
Fiedler said senior Luke Schafer has been, “turning heads” on the mound and could be the ace this season for the Hornets.
If the weather cooperates the Hornets will play at 4 p.m. Friday.