Cougs clinch 11th league title, Oly stays in playoff contention

It was just another day at the office for the Central Kitsap Cougars. Sure, there were smiles, but there weren’t any high-fives or major celebrations going on after slipping past Olympic 2-1 in a Narrows League fastpitch game on Wednesday, April 24, at the Fairgrounds.

“It’s been that way for 10 years. We try not to get the kids too up. Right now, we want to be down here,” CK coach Bruce Welling said, holding his hand about belly-high. “You can’t play at a high level all the time. We just treat every ball game as a big ball game, but it’s not a gigantic event.”

Central took advantage of Olympic mistakes to score two unearned runs and improved to 9-1 in league and 13-1 overall. Coupled with Oly’s 6-5 win over South Kitsap on Thursday, April 25, the Cougars wrapped up its first Narrows League Bridge Division crown. That’s 11 straight, counting the 10 CK won in the Olympic League.

The Trojans became just the third team to score against CK this season when Nicole Strickland doubled in Lauren Haas in the fourth inning, but that’s all the Trojans would get as Jackie Quint scattered seven hits to pick up the win.

“I don’t know what it is that separates us,” Olympic coach Robin Campbell said of the Cougars. “I think it’s just experience. In close, tough games, they just come through. Their seniors have been winning for three years and it just rubs off.”

CK’s Quint and Sheena Stangler combined to strike out a school-record 20 batters and pitch a no-hitter in a 3-0 win over Bremerton on Tuesday, April 23.

Central closes regular-season play by hosting South Kitsap, which handed the Cougars their only loss, on Monday, April 29, and traveling to Bremerton on Wednesday, May 1.

Olympic (4-5, 6-6) rebounded from the tough loss to beat South Kitsap in what was a must-win game for the Trojans. Crystaleann Santos belted a two-run homer and Olympioc took advantage of eight SK errors to move into a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot with North Kitsap and Port Angeles. Those three teams are just a game back of third-place Gig Harbor (4-3).

Olympic hosts Bremerton Monday and plays at North Kitsap Wednesday and still has a makeup to play with Gig Harbor.

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