Sports

Oly shows improvement in victory over PA

"As barometer games go, this one was a doozy.We feel pretty good, Olympic High School fastpitch coach Robin Campbell said after the Trojans' 8-2 victory over Port Angeles last Friday, April 27, at the Fairgrounds. They beat us 4-0 the first time we played.Megan Tetzlaff got two innings of relief from Celeste Kajiyama in a combined five-hit pitching performance as the Trojans posted their fourth Olympic League victory of the year, and did it against a Port Angeles team that lost for just the second time in league play.We're like the Mariners, first-year coach Campbell said of Oly. We have to have timely hitting, pitching and defense. We don't have a lot of high-average hitters, so we have to get it done other ways.We're learning how to do that, he said.Exhibit A is last Friday's win over the Roughriders. Oly got its decisive runs in the fourth inning, mixing three base hits, a walk and a wild pitch to ring the bell three times. The Trojans then turned it into a game of minimums and maximums - they minimized the damage when they made mistakes, and made PA pay the maximum for its miscues.Both teams have suffered significant attrition since the first time they met. Campbell can list a half dozen players who have been at best hampered, at worst lost for the year because of injuries. Most recently, starting catcher Sarah Pedroza was felled by a knee injury she suffered playing in a tournament with her Diamond Dusters select team.Likewise, PA has been weakened by injuries to key players, notably starting shortstop Liz Money.Despite the adversity, though, Olympic's barometer is inching upward. Players that have had to move ahead in the learning curve have delivered when they've been needed.Friday, it was Pedroza's replacement behind the plate, junior varsity promotee Roxanne Johnson, who had the first big hit for Troy after three scoreless innings. Her one-out single up the right field line allowed Kara Baumgartner to score the game's first run. She moved up on the throw in, took third on a wild pitch and was one of two Trojans to score on Michelle Gutierrez' bloop single to right center.Kajiyama and Nina Rosario led off the fifth with singles, and both scored on an error.Among the other things Troy showed it has learned this season is a putaway move. Up 5-2 in the sixth, Oly scored three runs on three straight hits - Stacy Stone singled and scored in front of Kajiyama when her clean single got behind PA center fielder Katrina Fraser. Rosario capped things with a booming home run to center.Gutierrez, Kajiyama and Rosario each had two of Oly's 10 hits on the day.Campbell admitted that his team is a long way from being a league title contender, but said that might be a blessing in disguise as the Trojans prepare for the league tournament.We've talked about having a tough time (this season) playing under pressure, he said. Well, the pressure's probably off now, and that might be why we've played more relaxed. You'll execute better if you're relaxed, and today we had some bunts, executed some contact hitting ... we did some small things that helped us win.Tetzlaff might've gone the distance had she not aggravated an injury, more or less forcing Kajiyama - also fighting off an injury - to come in and finish up. She gave up an unearned run in the sixth and two tough-luck singles in the seventh (a blooper to right and a line shot off her own glove) before getting Fraser to fly to center to end the game.The key was, we didn't just rest on the three runs, Campbell said. We kept trying to tack on some more. "

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