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Miller mystifies Bremerton as CK opens league play with a win
"BREMERTON - It took the Central Kitsap High School fastpitch team a while to get going against Bremerton in the two teams' Olympic League opener Thursday afternoon at Lions Park.But with Jackie Miller on the mound, it seemed the Cougars had all the time in the world.CK, the nine-time defending league champion and No. 3 state Class 4A finisher last spring, broke a scoreless deadlock in the fourth inning - its second time through the batting order. The Cougs bunched five of their nine hits in the inning, including sophomore Nicole Zygmontowicz' booming triple to left center which drove in the first run.The Cougars added two more runs that inning and three later, but one would've been plenty for Miller. The junior hurler was a mystery to the Knights all game, striking out 12 and allowing only one hit.She pitched well, said CK coach Bruce Welling of Miller, one of three pitchers he plans to use regularly this season. She moved the ball around well, she threw hard, she kept them off balance. She seems to get stronger as the games go on.Bremerton actually had the game's first hit, when Shanna Satterfield laced a double to right in the bottom of the third. But Miller responded by whiffing the next two batters to end the threat.Then the CK bats went to work. Stephanie Brown led off the fourth with a single up the middle, and Zygmontowicz followed with her three-bagger. Pinch-runner Lindsay Poss scored on Miller's hit, and Miller eventually plated on a blooper behind second base by catcher Melissa Ryan.Zygmontowicz and Miller each had two hits for the Cougars. And, though Zygmontowicz' was the only one that was struck with real authority, the others - be they grounders or bloopers - were right where they needed to be.They were all right there, said Bremerton coach Shawn Perkins, pointing to the area between the second-base bag and where his shortstop, Stina Blockhus, was stationed. You have to play (the outfield) deep so they don't hit it over you, and then they just find the spot. You can't defend that.We showed some power, and we had some chinkers, Welling agreed. We hit 'em where they weren't.For the first three innings, nobody was hitting much of anything. Miller and Bremerton sophomore Jordan Bushor each allowed only one baserunner in that time - Bushor was battled to a walk by Jackie Quint, and Miller was touched by Satterfield's double.But CK's second time through against Bushor was different.After we've seen them once, we know what to do, Welling said of his veteran team. It took us a while to warm up. We've never blown Bremerton out. Their kids do a good job. They don't make mistakes. They didn't give it to us today, we had to earn it.Indeed, there was only one error in the game, which resulted in the Cougars' final run in the sixth inning after Sheena Stangler walked and stole second.That's the way we have to play, Perkins said. We have to play the short game, make the other team make mistakes. They only had one real good hit, but we didn't get anything going ourselves. We didn't hit very well, we didn't bunt very well.Of course, Miller had more than a little to do with that. "