Central Kitsap’s Shannon Sumner walks off the field disappointed after the Cougs’ Narrows League title loss Friday.  - Photo by Aaron Managhan
Central Kitsap’s Shannon Sumner walks off the field disappointed after the Cougs’ Narrows League title loss Friday.
— image credit: Photo by Aaron Managhan

TACOMA — One bad inning.

That’s all that kept Central Kitsap from the 2006 Narrows League softball crown.

Cougar pitcher Erika Quint gave up just four hits and struck out six, but an uncharacteristic two errors in the third inning let Wilson score all five of its runs.

“It was just that one inning,” Quint said. “I think that just put some of us down.”

Essentially, it proved exactly what CK coach Bruce Welling told the team following its final regular-season game: The only team that can beat CK is itself.

“We beat ourselves,” Welling said. “Wilson is a good ball club, but we gave them those runs. They didn’t earn them.”

With Wilson’s 5-4 win, the Cougars will head into the 4A West Central District Tournament Friday as the No. 2 seed, which means they’ll battle Enumclaw in a first-round contest.

CK jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after Lauren Johnson ripped a first-inning RBI triple and Shannon Sumner singled home Brittany Romano in the third.

In the bottom of the third however, things got ugly.

A dropped ball, three walks and an error contributed to the Rams’ runs.

But as players and coaches said, the best thing CK can do now is shake it off.

“Everyone here wants to make it to state and do well,” Quint said. “I think we’ll come back and do good. I don’t think this does anything to us.”

Johnson agreed, saying the team simply learned “the hard way.”

“It was just that one inning,” Johnson said. “But it’s good to lose every once in a while so you know how to take it. We’ll come back and learn the hard way.”

Welling said he’s not worried about the team maintaining bad habits.

“I think that’s our first infield error in 12 games,” Welling said. “So we’ll take the weekend off and come back to practice (yesterday). It’s a new game, new day. We don’t give up. We don’t quit.”

Romano led CK offensively, nearly hitting for the cycle in the game. Romano, who moved to CK from Florida before the start of the season, went 3-4 with a single, triple and two-run homer, also scoring three times.

“She hit the ball hard,” Welling said. “Just hard. She did well.”

Whether the Cougars win or lose its 1 p.m. match-up with Enumclaw, the No. 6 seed out of the South Puget Sound League, they’ll play again at 5 p.m. against either the winner or loser of the Capital-Skyview game. Eight teams move on to the state tournament out of the West Central District.

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