Photo graphic by Skip Smith: Eatonville High School senior fastpitch players Madison Dunbar, from left, Brooklynn Lucht and Missy Taylor.
Photo graphic by Skip Smith: Eatonville High School senior fastpitch players Madison Dunbar, from left, Brooklynn Lucht and Missy Taylor.
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This is the first in a series of columns that spotlight the Eatonville High School spring sports seniors who have had their seasons cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. A different team will be the focus each week. I chose to recognize these amazing student athletes since they can’t be out there playing the sports they love, and I can’t be out their watching and reporting on them.

This week the spotlight will be on the Lady Cruiser fastpitch team seniors, Brooklynn Lucht, Missy Taylor and Madison Dunbar.

Brooklynn Lucht

Brooklynn is one of my personal favorite female athletes at Eatonville High School. She plays fastpitch softball, basketball and volleyball. Watching her work on the basketball court is a joy. The way she dominates the low post scoring and rebounding is fun to watch. Her physicality cannot be matched. On the fastpitch field, she seems to be a level above everyone else. You must pay attention every time she comes to the plate because the chances of a ball flying out of the yard are very high.

In her freshman year, Brooklynn received first-team South Puget Sound League 2A honors for utility player due to playing multiple positions and playing them very well. Along with receiving league honors, she was also named a 2017 All Area second team corner infielder. Her sophomore year, Brooklynn received 2A SPSL honors for first team outfield. In her junior year, she was named SPSL 2A player of the year. She finished off the year setting many single-season EHS records, a slugging percentage of 1.10, 13 home runs and 67 RBIs.

She will attend Yavapai Community College in Prescott, Arizona, to continue her education and fastpitch career. She plans to study to become a special education teacher.

I spoke with Eatonville High School fastpitch head coach Jen Smith about Brooklynn, and she had many great things to say about her.

“Brooklynn will be a four-year letterer, two-time captain and an all-around athletic beast,” Smith said. “She is our left-handed, cannon-throwing, bomb-hitting, speedster-around-the-bases goofball. Brooklynn has always sat in the three or four hole in the lineup for her power and often bounced between first base and outfield for us. This year she was slated to be our starting center fielder.

“Going into her senior year, the sky was the limit for her, more records to be broke, memories made and teammates to hold dear,” Smith said. “My heart breaks for what could have been. Her accolades speak for themselves, but her true accomplishments are the ones many don't know about unless you know Brooklynn. It is her character as a person and teammate. She expects perfection from herself but is very humble. She leads by example and is very well liked by her team and community”.

I personally want to congratulate Brooklynn on an incredible record-breaking four-year career at Eatonville.

Melissa (Missy) Taylor

I love running into Missy when I go to Cruiser Café where she works. It’s nice to share a short conversation about various things when I am in there.

Missy is not only an exceptional fastpitch player, she also likes to wreak havoc on the court for the EHS volleyball team.

Missy is in Running Start and finished all her high school credits in the first quarter of the school year and is now just working on more college credits.

After she graduates, Missy will attend Western Washington University, where she plans to double major in biology and environmental sciences, both with a marine emphasis. Her plan is to become a marine biologist.

“Missy will be a three-year letterer and all-around utility player,” Smith said. “She has been playing this game her whole life. Her motto is simple, she “just wants to play,” and she doesn't care where. This year, Missy was to be our left fielder. Freshman year, Missy was on (junior varsity) as a pitcher and shortstop. She finished the year as one of the top players on JV. During her sophomore year, she was on varsity and was a true utility player. She popped in everywhere and saw a lot of time as a courtesy runner. For her junior year, Missy split play time with a senior player in left field. She also filled a very important role of keeping team morale up. She is a true team player. Going into her senior year, Missy couldn't be more excited. Coming off a season with so many highs from the year before, it was going to be one to remember.”

It's a shame Missy doesn’t get the chance to create that year to remember. Thanks, Missy, for all your hard work on the field, court and in the classroom.

Madison Dunbar

Madison started playing fastpitch in sixth grade for Ridgeline Middle School in Yelm before moving to Eatonville, where she began playing with the Cruisers her freshman year. She is also a two-sport student athlete who also played with the Lady Cruiser basketball team. I really enjoyed seeing her get more minutes late in the season with the basketball team. She brought a real spark to the lineup that helped them out down the stretch and into the playoffs. Unfortunately, I haven’t really gotten a chance to watch her on the fastpitch field and was looking forward to that this season.

Madison is a very handy person, so after she graduates, she will be joining the U.S. Air Force to become a mechanic.

“(Madison) is a very dedicated and overall team player,” Smith said. “Madison played JV her first three years as the catcher and was the team captain last year. Going into her senior year, she had worked her way into a Varsity spot.  Her perseverance and hard work ethic prevailed.”

I was really looking forward to watching Madison behind the plate the season for the Lady Cruiser fastpitch team. It’s a real shame that can’t happen.

In closing, I just want to say thank you to these three incredible ladies for their hard work in the classroom and on the courts and fields. Whether they know it or not, they have brought a lot of joy to not only me but to the many Eatonville residents who came out every afternoon and evening to watch them play. Good luck in the next chapter of your lives!