Better late than never for Klahowya

"Thursday's 3-2 victory by the Klahowya Secondary School fastpitch team over visiting King's West was more than just a good win.It was a good experience.We've still only played six games, so we needed this, said Eagles coach Jodie Woolf. We're a young team, so we need to play. This was a good, competitive game, and it'll help us with our confidence.Jill Bruins tossed a four-hitter and struck out 12 batters from Class B King's West, a team that might be even younger than Woolf's Eagles. While the bulk of Klahowya's roster is sophomores, coach Rick Nohmy's Warriors lean heavily on freshmen.I think we needed to play a team like this to show what we're made of, said Nohmy of Class 2A Klahowya. I think our youth showed a little today, but the experience will help us later in the season.The Warriors, behind freshman pitcher Susan Cooper, had a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning when Klahowya bunched three of its six hits and took advantage of King's West's only error to fashion the winning rally. Teresa Sjostrom's two-run single to right was the key blast, driving in Karen Sjostrom and Bruins, who had back-to-back singles to start the inning.With runners aboard and nobody out, Woolf said, Klahowya was able to put some pressure on the Eagles.We made them throw the ball, she said. Nine times out of 10 when you can do that, good things are going to happen for you.The Warriors managed to put a little heat back on the Klahowyans in the seventh, despite having Bruins strike out their first two batters. Center fielder Natalie Mansfield beat out an infield single and stole third as Grace Moore was drawing a walk.But Bruins defused the situation by whiffing the Warriors' second baseman, freshman Gitta Rauen, to end the game.The timing couldn't have been better. As the final pitches crossed home plate, the sky opened for a half-hour gully-washer that inexplicably held off during the 75 minutes it took to play the game.Nohmy was appreciative of the opportunity, even if the result left something to be desired.We had them, and we let them back into the game, he said. Still, it was good competition. I'm glad we got it in.King's West got a runner as far as third without benefit of a hit in the first inning. The Warriors touched Bruins for three of their four hits in the third to take a 2-0 lead. Taryn Hanley reached on an infield single and went the rest of the way around on Cooper's double to right. Cooper then scored on Natasha Beals' bloop single to right.When Karen Sjostrom and Bruins singled to lead off the sixth and Sherri Phillips reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with no outs, though, King's West was in a little too much trouble to withstand. We're just late starters, Woolf said of the game's nail-biting nature. We've been that way all season, and it's been frustrating.But I think we showed a lot more aggressiveness later on (in Thursday's) game, and I think that came from being more confident out there, both on offense and defense.Cooper struck out seven batters for King's West. Klahowya's Sjostrom sisters both went 2 for 3 at the plate against her.Klahowya 3, Sequim 2: Bruins struck out 17 and gave up just two hits as her Klahowya Eagles beat Class 3A Sequim for their first league victory of the season.Offensively, Karen Sjostrom was a perfect 4 for 4 at the plate for Klahowya, and scored the winning run on an error in the sixth inning. The Eagles totaled 11 hits, with Bruins and Teresa Sjostrom each contributing two.North Kitsap 5, Olympic 3: The Trojans were ahead of the league co-leaders 3-2 until the Vikings put together a clutch three-run rally in the top of the seventh to claim the victory.Celeste Kajiyama got two of Oly's seven hits against Viking ace Shana McLaughlin and pitched a seven-hitter of her own. "

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