Interlake Saints senior pitcher Nick Bentsen will anchor his team’s pitching staff during the 2018 season. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Interlake Saints senior pitcher Nick Bentsen will anchor his team’s pitching staff during the 2018 season. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Senior leadership exuded by the Saints baseball squad

Interlake softball team focused on taking the next step

Seniors lead a youthful baseball squad

Interlake Saints will be fielding a baseball team that is equal parts experienced and youthful.

“We’re heavy with seniors and sophomores this year,” said head coach Kyle Skinner, noting that five slots in his lineup are now held by the younger players. “Lucas Allen will be our catcher and No. 3 hitter. He is a returning first-team, all-KingCo league catcher. Adam Jacques will be our leadoff hitter and shortstop. Those are our two anchors for the senior class,” .

In all there are seven seniors, including right-handed pitcher Nick Bentzen, who will be the team’s ace on the hill.

“The senior leadership has been phenomenal so far. This is my third year with the program. I have been able to delegate a lot of responsibility to the seniors. They lead by example and lead verbally too. It has been really nice to see them guide the younger guys,” Skinner said.

Skinner said his squad is equally talented across the board and doesn’t have any weaknesses.

“We’re pretty balanced all-around. We have a really nice pitching staff. It is just a matter of them executing. We have a solid defense and we are going to be more fundamentally sound and we have a lot of good hitters too,” Skinner said. “It just comes down to situational hitting for us and executing at the right time.”

Head coach: Kyle Skinner

Last year: 10-10 overall; finished in seventh place in the KingCo 3A/2A Division during the regular season

Key players: Nick Bentsen, P; Adam Jacques, SS; Lucas Allen, C

Softball aims to continue ascent

Continued improvement is the goal for the Interlake Saints sofbtall squad.

The Saints, who finished with six wins during the 2016 season, won eight games in 2017. Interlake second-year head coach Scott Dillinger believes his team can eclipse last season’s win total in 2018.

“We won eight games last year with three freshman and four sophomores. We are a year older now and are more experienced. I think we are going to improve on that,” Dillinger said.

Dillinger said Lexi Martin earned first-team all-league honors last season as an outfielder and will be a vital piece of the Saints offense and will see some time in the pitching circle in 2018. Ren Watanabe, who earned second-team all-league honors last season as a utility player, will also get plenty of innings in the pitching circle. Dillinger also expects freshman second baseman Kaitlyn Welnick and pitcher Kiana Gregorich to make an impact at the varsity level.

Dillinger, who coached the Skyline Spartans boys basketball team this past winter, literally had one day between the final day of the basketball season (Feb. 24) and the first day of practice (Feb. 26) with the Interlake softball team. Skyline lost to Glacier Peak 50-49 in a winner-to-state, loser-out regional playoff game on Feb. 24.

“Those first few days were really tough,” Dillinger said. “I was grieving for awhile. It was probably Wednesday (Feb. 28) where I was to the point where I got into the mindset that it is now softball season. We’re looking forward to having a great season.”

Head coach: Scott Dillinger

Last year: 8-12 overall; finished in fifth place in the KingCo 3A/2A Division during the regular season

Key players: Lexi Martin, OF/P; Ren Watanabe, P/UTL; Rachel Lotzkar, 3B/DH; Cassidy Turta, 3B/DH; Kiana Gregorich, P; Kaitlyn Welnick, 2B; Katherine Gortner, OF; Anna Satagaj, 1B

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