Vikings win nightcap 13-9 following 8-4 loss in opener
Vikings rally from six-run deficit to nip SFSU, 8-7, in non-tourney contest
Vikings win opener 4-2, drop nightcap 5-0
Three Viking pitchers allow just three runs
WWU plays host to Montana State Billings, Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington
COLLEGE: National Fastpitch Coaches Association Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges All-American as sophomore in 2012... North Region Most Valuable Player and first-team NWAACC all-star... Helped Bulldogs to 44-5 record, first place (24-0) in North Region standings and fourth-place finish at NWAACC Championships ... Hit .455 (65-for-143) with 60 runs scored and 54 runs batted in ... Also had 13 doubles, two triples and 13 home runs ... Team co-captain ... First-team all-region as freshman in 2011 ... Batted .472 (52-for110) with 36 runs scored and 48 RBI ... BCC finished 38-3 record, placed first (24-0) in North Region and fourth at NWAACC post-season tournament ... Hit .450 and had 11 home runs ... Two letters.
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-time first-team Class 3A all-state and all-Metro League selection at Bainbridge High School ... Metro League MVP as senior on team that placed second at state ... Hit .450 and had six home runs ... Played in state's Senior All-Star Challenge ... As junior, played on state championship squad, missing first half of season after suffering broken neck in car accident ... Helped Spartans place seventh at state as sophomore, batting .614, and reach state as freshman ... Started and lettered four years ... Also earned two letters in soccer ... First-team all-state midfielder as senior.
PERSONAL: Major will be either communications or journalism ... Ball girl for Seattle Mariners in 2011 and 2012 ... Played on The Blaze of Everett club team.
Feb. 16, 2009
By Annette Griffus, Kitsap Sun Staff
Bainbridge's Haylee Baker suffered a fracture at the base of her skull, but will make a full recovery.
POULSBO -- A patch of ice on Miller Bay Road in Poulsbo nearly changed Haylee Baker's life forever.
The 17-year-old junior at Bainbridge Island High School, who is an All-Metro league shortstop and pitcher for the Spartans, was driving to school last Wednesday when she skidded on the icy road near the Poulsbo Marina.
Baker lost control of her 1999 Toyota Camry and spun into oncoming traffic. Baker was hit by another car on the passenger side and the impact fractured her vertebrae at the base of her neck near her skull. The other driver was uninjured.
It is however, a story that will have a happy ending.
Baker's fracture was at an optimal place that it did not leave her paralyzed. Baker will wear a neck brace for a few weeks and is expected to make a full recovery. Haylee is unable to move her neck from side to side. Two people are needed to change her brace as one person holds her head still.
Physical therapy and the loving hands of her family and friends will guide her through her recovery.
"It's amazing, any other way or any other spot I could have been paralyzed," Baker said. "I got really, really lucky."
Baker's close friend and Spartan teammate Brittany Wisner said she's grateful beyond words to have her friend alive and recuperating.
"It's really hard because she's like my little sister and I'm very protective over her," she said. "It was difficult for me to see her like that -- to know something so horrible happened and I couldn't have prevented it from happening."
Baker said she doesn't remember much of the accident, only bits and pieces flash through her mind. She doesn't remember driving to school, only her car first starting to slide on the ice as the road curved and losing control. She remembers she panicked, but doesn't remember the collision itself.
"I remember being in the ambulance and being scared, hearing people talking around me," she said.
What she also didn't know was that her mother, Becky Baker, happened upon the accident as she was going to work. Becky teaches at Suquamish Elementary and had her youngest daughter, 8-year-old Kensey, with her.
Kensey thought the car looked like her sister's and said so to her mother. Becky decided to stop and make sure, so she pulled over near the marina.
"I started walking over (to the accident scene) and rounded the car and saw her license plate and I started screaming, 'My daughter's in there!" Becky said.
"I was hysterical. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. It was scary not knowing (how badly Haylee was hurt)."
A family friend, who witnessed the accident, restrained Becky. Becky went to Harrison Hospital to meet the ambulance and called Haylee's father, Dallas.
Doctors examined Haylee, took X-rays, and then sent her by helicopter to Harborview in Seattle. Becky said by then they knew that Haylee had fractured her neck, and she had been able to wiggle her fingers and toes while she was at the scene. However, doctors didn't know the full extent and weren't taking any chances, considering her car was totaled.
"The entire thing is completely munched except for the driver's seat," Becky said. "It's like she had an angel in there."
Dallas Baker, who is a firefighter for the Seattle Fire Department, and Haylee's older sister, Chelsea, met the helicopter at Harborview.
Becky said all along Haylee's ordeal, she had friends and family at her side and was never alone. Becky took the ferry, with Haylee's boyfriend Justin Roulanaitis, and met her daughter at the hospital.
The fracture occurred at the base of the neck where the brain stem connects and doctors were considering if Haylee needed to wear a halo or have spinal surgery.
"Then they got the team together and really looked at it," Becky said, adding the hospital staff completed more tests and they said it was a miracle the break happened in a place that had the most room for the fracture to happen without causing paralysis.
Dallas Baker believes his daughter's athleticism helped her survive the impact. She also plays soccer for the Spartans.
"I think between that and her physical strength from all of her sports endeavors it's probably been helpful through this that the injuries weren't worse," he said.
Haylee and her family also found out just how much of an impact she's had on others. "By the time I got to (Harborview) there were two coaches, 15 teammates and her friends (with her)," Becky said.
Haylee has also had a countless stream of visitors since coming home, showering her with cards, flowers and attention.
She's already thinking of playing fastpitch this season -- although doctors have said she needs three months to fully recover.
"I'm hoping to be back for at least part of the season," she said. Bainbridge coach Liz McCloskey said she wants Haylee to take her time and not rush into anything. If that means she misses the season, then the Spartans are prepared for that.
"If you ask her she will tell you she will play this month," McCloskey said. "I'd rather keep her healthy for the rest of her life."
McCloskey, who was at home recuperating from sinus surgery, said she rushed to Harrison when she heard the news.
"Obviously I could have lost it," she said. "For the sake of the rest of the team, you kind of keep everything in check."
Haylee would have been an instrumental part of the Spartans state title hopes this season, having helped Bainbridge to a 26-5 record and Class 3A state tournament berth last year.
As a sophomore, Baker led West Sound in batting with a .614 average, a .667 on-base percentage and had an earned run-average around 1.00 for most of the season as a pitcher. Baker, who plays select fastpitch for The Blaze of Everett, has received interest from several colleges, including powerhouses UCLA and Oklahoma.
"She will be with us everyday that she can be and I fully expect her to travel with us," McCloskey said adding she's going to use her knowledge, team spirit and leadership to motivate the team. "She's going to sit on the bucket right next to me (in the dug out)."
"It will be hard," Wisner said of not playing with Baker. "We're not going to blow every team out of the water like we did last year, but we have a core group of motivated girls.
"We're all going to have to push ourselves. Everyone is more than willing to step up."
Baker is disappointed she will miss the season, but is grateful to be alive and well and is looking forward to her senior year.
"I'll definitely be there at all the games and go to practice and do as much as I can," she said. "I'm really glad it's not my senior year, it would have been awful."
"I'm just so thankful that she is alive and OK," Wisner said. "Haylee is an inspiration. She's the strongest person I know it's really a miracle."
Western Washington Vikings Sidebar Links
|Email this article||Printer-friendly format|