Cougars remain unbeaten, unscored upon

Kristi Baumgartner couldn’t remember if it was a 1-2 count or what kind of pitch she hit.

“I think it was inside,” the Central Kitsap sophomore shortstop said. “I don’t remember. It all happened so fast. I just know it felt good and I know I was real nervous.”

Baumgartner was talking about her two-out double to the fence in right center. Baumgartner then scored on Melissa Ryan’s bloop single to shallow right.

It turned out to be the only run as the Cougars held off Olympic 1-0 in a Narrows League Bridge Division counter on Thursday, March 28 at Linder Field. It was the seventh straight shutout in as many games for the Cougars (4-0 league).

Central Kitsap senior pitcher Jackie Miller struck out nine, walked none and allowed just three hits to outduel Olympic sophomore Lauren Haas, who allowed just four hits and struck out four.

“We’ve been best friends for a long time,” Baumgartner said of Haas. “I’d never gotten a hit off her.”

Haas said she got the pitch to Baumgartner up a little higher than she wanted.

“But she’s a good player,” Haas said. “And I would rather have her score than anybody else. She’s a good friend.”

The back-to-back hits by Baumgartner and Ryan were the only ones in the well-played game.

“I didn’t hit it very hard, but I was just hoping it would drop,” said Ryan, the CK catcher who had two hits. “It worked out.”

The Cougars have now outscored opponents 24-0 in their seven victories. Only one opponent (Gig Harbor) has even managed to get a runner to third base and that was against a group of mostly backup Cougars.

“I’m not sure if we can continue to do that,” Ryan said of the scoreless streak. “But that’s not our focus. We just want to play well and win.”

Miller threw 83 pitches against the Trojans, 62 of them strikes.

“I felt kind of slow,” she said. “My rise ball wasn’t working like it usually does, but we mixed it up well.

“We had a good game plan. We knew what to throw to who and when. I’ve played against three-fourths of those guys for years and we’ve got a good scouting report.”

When Ryan was told that Miller didn’t think she had her best stuff, the CK catcher said, “Usually whatever Jackie pitches, it’s good enough.”

Olympic ended CK’s 19-game winning streak a year ago, but Central coach Bruce Welling said he didn’t use that as motivation.

“I never mentioned that once,” Welling said. “It wasn’t brought up. We didn’t lose that game anyway. We gave it away.”

Central was mistake-free on this day. The key defensive play came in the fifth inning.

After CK had taken the 1-0 lead, Olympic’s Hope Hillman hit a leadoff single, but Miller got the dangerous Sarah Pedroza to hit into a 1-6-3 double play. Miller fielded the comebacker, and threw to Baumgartner, who made the relay to first.

Olympic (0-3, 2-4 overall) is still looking for its first league victory, but coach Robin Campbell felt good about how his girls competed.

“It’s a fun game when you play like that,” Campbell said. “I really enjoyed it.

“It was a great game. We felt good they won it with a couple good hits. It wasn’t that we threw it away or anything.”

Campbell said the difference between CK and Olympic is that the Cougars have “been there before and believe they can win and come in knowing they’re going to win. As soon as we start believing we’re going to win, I think we’ll be tougher.”

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