Wilson edges Cougars for Narrows crown

TACOMA — Overcoming a slow start can be easier said than done.

And while the Central Kitsap softball squad did just that in the Narrows League Championship game on Friday, it simply wasn’t quite enough.

CK pitcher Erika Quint, whose father John passed away Sunday, pitched a complete game in the 8-inning, 7-5 Wilson victory at South End Recreation Area.

“Erika pitched an outstanding game for us,” CK coach Bruce Welling said. “She did very, very well.”

Quint, along with her sister Jackie, a pitcher at Western Washington University, took the mound Friday to honor their father’s memory. Erika Quint responded, striking out six batters in going the distance.

And while CK lost, coach Bruce Welling said he was encouraged by the team’s fight in rallying back from an early 3-0 deficit.

“They scored three in the first,” Welling said. “Take away that first inning...”

The Cougars rallied back, cutting the Rams’ lead to 3-2 in the fourth. Wilson got back on the board in the sixth and seventh innings however, building a 5-3 lead heading into CK’s final at-bats.

The Cougars responded as Erin Curtis led off with an infield single on a ball rolling foul that Wilson’s third baseman picked up before it touched the line. Brittany Woolford came up big with a clutch pinch-hit double to put runners on second and third. Brittney Romano then popped up before Kendall Sours drove in Curtis on a sacrifice grounder. With two out, Cougar Carolyn Cross came up with another clutch connection, singling home pinch runner Julie Fergus to tie the game.

“They fall down but then they get right back up,” Welling said of the comeback. “That’s the sign of a successful team.”

Wilson was able to score two more in the top of the eighth, putting CK in a tough spot again. Again, CK responded.

Quint helped her own cause by ripping a lead-off double. Katie Hanten then doubled, putting runners on second and third with just one out. CK’s luck came to an end however, as a grounder and liner ended the game.

“It was a good game,” Welling said. “We started out a little slow, they started out a little quick.”

The Cougars got an injury scare when Romano was practically clothes-lined by a tag from Wilson’s Amber Roberts. Romano stayed on the ground at second base for a short while before walking off slowly under her own power. Scheduled to have surgery this offseason, Romano did return to the game.

“She’s going to do well,” Welling said of Romano, the team leader with 4 homers this season. “She does what she can so she doesn’t aggravate it. She does what she can because she’s a good ballplayer.”

While CK had hoped to win, the game meant little more than seeding to the Cougars, Welling said. As for coming back at districts, Welling said he’s not too worried about it.

“I know the kids can do it,” he said.

CK begins the 4A West Central District III Tournament at 10 a.m. Friday at Sprinker Recreation Center in Tacoma.

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