Trojans capitalize on Cougars miscues

Olympic shortstop Hope Hillman couldn’t keep CK’s Jackie Miller from reaching second base in the fourth inning on Monday during Oly’s 12-2 win. - Photo by Rogerick Anas
Olympic shortstop Hope Hillman couldn’t keep CK’s Jackie Miller from reaching second base in the fourth inning on Monday during Oly’s 12-2 win.
— image credit: Photo by Rogerick Anas

When Jennifer Cruz stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning to face Shauna Bernabe, the odds weren’t in her favor. Bernabe, a starting pitcher for the Central Kitsap Cougars thrust into the reliever role in Monday’s game against Olympic, had already gotten past the Trojans’ left fielder once with a strikeout and she was looking to do so one more time to get the Bridge Division fastpitch game into the seventh inning.

Cruz had other ideas. With the sacks filled with girls in Blue and Silver, she flailed out with her bat and made just enough contact to give her a shot for first base as Celeste Kajiyama scrambled in from third base to give the Trojans (1-2) a 12-2 win. The game was ended early because of the 10-run rule.

The outcome came as a shock to the Cougar faithful in the crowd who weren’t used to seeing CK (1-2) falling by 10 runs — especially when ace Jackie Quint starting on the mound.

“It happens,” CK coach Bruce Welling said. “Our kids made more mistakes then they did. We faced a very good pitcher, they faced a very good pitcher, we both hit the ball well but we had more mistakes.”

Taking to the hill for the Trojans was junior ace Lauren Haas who said this was the team’s biggest test in the early part of the League schedule.

“I had this game circled in blue on my calendar,” said Haas, who pitched all six innings for the Trojans, giving up both of the Cougars’ scores on solo home runs by Mackenzie Calliham and Emily Zygmontowicz while striking out three. “We all definitely came out here ready to play.”

The outcome definitely surprised Olympic coach Rachel Davenport who was coaching for the first time against Welling, her mentor in high school.

“You wouldn’t expect this score with those two girls (Quint and Haas) out there. I expected it to be tighter and I told the girls to expect a dogfight,” Davenport said. “Both of them are quality pitchers with a lot of good movement on their balls. We have some good hitters and we strung them together where their hits were very sporadic.”

Quint, who is bound for Western Washington University this fall, worked four innings, striking out five and walking three.

The Oly girls scored a pair of runs in the second inning with Shayla Anchors RBI double bringing in Lauren Johnson and an RBI bloop single by Cruz to bring in Sarah Lake.

Zygmontowicz tied it up at 2-2 in the top of the third with her home run.

The fireworks got started in the fourth inning when the Trojans scored seven runs on the young CK team, capped off by a 3-run home run by catcher Sara Pedroza.

“Everybody stepped up,” Davenport said. “We made a few hits, they made a few mistakes and we capitalized on those mistakes.”

Kara Welling added to the carnage with her 2 RBI single.

“This isn’t a game you win — it’s a game you lose and we lost,” Welling said. “We’re a young ball and we had to play almost errorless ball to do well today and we didn’t do that.”

Unofficially, the Cougars made four errors.

For Davenport, there wasn’t much inner turmoil facing the Orange and Black for the first time in the opposing team’s dugout.

“The girls asked me if I was getting nostalgic looking over there and seeing the Cougars,” said Davenport who coaches against South Kitsap today. “I told them ‘now that I’m back in the district again there’s two teams I support and it’s not basketball season (Davenport is the assistant girls basketball coach at Klahowya), so I’m Olympic all the way.’ I don’t feel anything looking over there except I want to win.

“It was a good feeling made even better because we came out on top.”

The next time the two teams meet (Friday, May 2), Welling said to look for some familiar faces back in CK’s lineup.

“We’re going to get Sheena Stangler (out with an ankle injury) and Nicole Zygmontowicz (decided to play fastpitch this spring after giving track a try) back so we’re going to pick up some good experienced ballplayers,” by the time they face South Kitsap on Monday. They likely won’t be ready for today’s home game against Shelton.

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