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Former Central Kitsap standout Quint continues to break sister's records
Erika Quint always wanted to be like her big sister.
Jackie Evanson, Quint’s older sibling who changed her name after marriage, pitched at Central Kitsap High School before making a new name for herself as a record-setting standout at Western Washington University. Quint, a senior with the Vikings, followed the same path.
“When I was little, I saw how much heart she put into it,” said Quint, a former Cougar who also pitched two seasons for Olympic College. “To this day, I’m always going to look up to her.”
Now, as the Quint family watches its second daughter throw for Western Washington, they’re also seeing Evanson’s records fall to the one who idolizes her most, Quint.
So far, Quint has set regular-season school marks for strikeouts (244), consecutive victories (19) and scoreless innings (22 1/3) in 2011. She also became the first in team history to record 20 wins April 10, erasing Evanson’s name and earning her own spot in the books.
Evanson wouldn’t want it any other way.
“It’s weird to see the records go, but I wouldn’t want it different for Erika,” said Evanson, a 2007 graduate of Western Washington. “I’m happy for all the things she’s done, and it’s just awesome to see her grow.”
The two sisters share a common bond through softball, having inherited a love for the game from their father, John Quint, a longtime coach in Bremerton and Silverdale, who died in 2007.
Last weekend, they described their sibling rivalry as friendly, but competitive.
“I always wanted that edge with her,” Quint said. “It feels good to break her records and be my own person at the same time. It’s nice to not be known as Jackie’s little sister, but as Erika.”
Evanson, meanwhile, looks on the lighter side when reflecting on their relationship.
“It’s definitely competitive, but we don’t take the whole thing too seriously so it’s just nice to see her do well,” Evanson said.
As for the records themselves, neither sister acknowledges their personal accomplishments on the mound. Their mother, Edna Quint, is the one who keeps track. She doesn’t shy away from reminding both daughters about their record years at the Bellingham school.
“I have no idea about my stats,” Quint said. “I don’t even pay attention, but my mom is the one on top of everything, and she loves calling whenever I break Jackie’s records.”
Evanson agreed with her little sister, adding that their mother has become an unofficial statistician who announces the most recent pitching records over the phone or during the holidays when the family is at their home in Silverdale.
“She’s constantly bringing it up,” Evanson said. “Erika and I have always mostly focused on the team, so we let our mom have her fun with the records.”
Quint, who is 23-5 this year, is enjoying one of the most successful seasons by a softball pitcher in Vikings history, but she stresses that the team comes first, again echoing her sister’s words.
“I’m out there for the team,” Quint said. “I’m thinking about how I’m going to help them win, not about my sister’s records, or any other distractions that get in the way.”
The senior has helped lead the Vikings, a Division II school, to a 31-12 record this season, sitting in second place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings with a 19-9 league mark. The Vikings are currently tied for No. 21 in the most recent top 25 poll by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for D-II teams.
Bruce Welling coached both sisters at Central Kitsap, and he’s not suprised by Quint’s recent success.
“Erika is a perfectionist,” said the longtime Cougars fastpitch coach. “When Erika wants to do something, she’ll accomplish it, and that is what she has done.”
Western Washington has six games remaining before the season concludes May 7, which means Quint could extend her records and lead the Vikings through the NCAA regionals starting May 14.
“We can show people what we can do and what we’re made of,” Quint said. “We want it more this year and we just want to go out there and win.”
Quint, a kinesiology major, will graduate this year from Western Washington. When asked what’s next after college, she replied, “the real life.” She admits that she’ll miss school and sharing the diamond with her closest friends, so in her final weeks with the Vikings, Quint is reminded of a lesson by her older sister.
“Jackie taught me softball is a great game, and that I should be thankful I’m able to play it,” Quint said.