Oly senior softballers going out with a bang

Olympic softball coach Rachel Davenport (23) consults her five seniors following Thursday’s 16-0 win against Bremerton, the team’s final home game. - Jesse Beals/staff photo
Olympic softball coach Rachel Davenport (23) consults her five seniors following Thursday’s 16-0 win against Bremerton, the team’s final home game.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/staff photo

Trojans clobber Bremerton 16-0 on senior night.

While cupcakes are usually best eaten, the Olympic Trojans softball seniors found a new use for the delectable delights, smearing each others’ faces with the softball-themed treats in celebration of a big senior night win.

And while seniors Rachel Haas, Kelsey Anchors, Athena Rosario, Amy Howard and Pam Murphy ended up with smears of yellow frosting across their cheeks and noses, Oly coach Rachel Davenport may have gotten the worst of the light-hearted food fight. With her arms pinned behind her by dad and assistant coach Tom, Rosario and her fellow seniors gave her an earful — literally.

“It’s in my ear!” Davenport yelped out in between bursts of laughter.

The scene was a fitting one for this year’s Trojans, as the seniors said they’re having more fun than ever before.

“I think we just all wanted to come out and have fun,” Oklahoma State-bound Anchors said.

“It’s a positive time to be out here this year,” Davenport said of her squad. “Their parents are positive, the girls are positive. Every single game I’m so proud of them.”

The Trojans thumped Bremerton 16-0 at home Thursday, with starter Haas and fellow pitcher Kelsey Strickland combining for a no-hitter after the Trojans scored 12 to kick things off in the first.

Anchors finished the game 4-for-5 at the plate, while Hass was 3-for 4. Murphy finished 1-for-2 and Kiera Varady was 2-for-2.

On the specific effort, Davenport said she was glad her girls played their game instead of playing to the competition.

“It was nice that it wasn’t a step down,” she said. “It was another step up.”

With the Trojans (10-6, 10-5 in league) already locked up for the postseason, Davenport said the team has been having a blast, mixing a light-hearted atmosphere with a desire from the seniors to go out on a strong note. After all, this team didn’t want to miss the postseason again after coming pain-stakingly close last season.

“The truth of the matter is none of them even really asked,” Davenport said. “All we did was go out one game at a time. And it worked out for them.”

With the trio of Anchors, Haas and Rosario have helped the Trojans since their sophomore year, Davenport said she’ll remember the contributions of her core seniors for a long time. Murphy and Howard joined the team this season.

“They’ve meant a tremendous amount,” Davenport said. “The first time I coached them sophomore year was the first time our program had been to the playoffs.”

With the home finale now behind them, Haas said they can’t believe how fast the season has flown by.

“I think it kind of hit us all kind of fast that this really is our last home game,” she said. “I’m glad we’re going out with a good season.”

While the cupcake scene was one the Trojans may not have shared in the past, Haas said it shows how close all the members of the team, from sophomores to seniors, have gelled this season.

“We’ve had zero drama,” Haas said. “No problems at all. We’ve struggled a little bit with that in the past.”

Now Davenport is ready to see what they’ll do at the next level as athletes and students. While Anchors and Rosario (Blue Mountain Community College, Pendleton, Ore.) will continue in softball, Haas will focus on academics at the University of Washington.

“I truly believe they’re going to be assets to their colleges and contribute to society when they’re done,” Davenport said. “That’s so important.”

But for the now, the Trojans hope they still have a lot of season left. In preparation for the postseason, Davenport said she’ll be taking the team back to the basics.

“We’re breaking everything back down and starting over,” she said. “Repetition on ground balls, bag covering, all of that.”

And while the Trojans certainly want to keep winning, Rosario said they also want to keep things in perspective, just like in Thursday’s win.

“Today, like Kelsey said, it’s all about fun,” Rosario said. “It was focus, but it was fun. And we got it done.”

The Trojans travel to Peninsula Tuesday to wrap up the regular season.

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