Sports

Cougars bounced at districts

Central Kitsap right fielder Shannon Sumner made a great diving catch to get an out during the seventh inning of CK’s 2-1 loss to Enumclaw at Spriker Recreation Center in Tacoma on Friday. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Central Kitsap right fielder Shannon Sumner made a great diving catch to get an out during the seventh inning of CK’s 2-1 loss to Enumclaw at Spriker Recreation Center in Tacoma on Friday.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

TACOMA — To say the Central Kitsap softball team was disappointed in the way it exited the 2006 season would be an understatement.

“They’re very disappointed,” CK coach Bruce Welling said. “They wanted to go on. It’s like going out to your car and finding a flat tire. You’re not going anywhere. We had a flat tire.”

Much like their baseball counterparts, the Cougars couldn’t rebound from an opening-round 2-1 loss to Enumclaw, falling 3-0 to Skyview (of Vancouver) in a loser-out contest, ending a season that saw the team claim the Narrows League Bridge Division title on a three-game skid.

In the games, the Cougars simply couldn’t muster up needed offense at crucial times.

“We just didn’t hit,” Welling said. “Our defense was good, our pitching was great. We just couldn’t hit.”

Central Kitsap and Enumclaw were deadlocked through three innings before the Hornets put runs up in the fourth and fifth for a 2-0 lead. CK scored one in the bottom of the seventh but fell just short of the comeback. The Hornets had just one hit in the win.

“The first game, (Enumclaw’s) pitcher was very average,” Welling said of his team’s four-hit effort. “Why we didn’t hit her, I don’t know.”

In the loss to Skyview, the reason for the lack of offense had a name — Whitney Baker, a UCLA-bound player widely considered among the top in the state.

“In the second game, we faced the best pitcher in the state,” Welling said.

While Central Kitsap had state hopes this season, the Cougs will return all but three and add more depth from the junior high level.

But Welling said that doesn’t mean outgoing seniors Shannon Sumner, Porsha Molina or Mae Leung won’t be missed next year.

“You just tell them to hold their heads high when they walk out,” Welling said. “The sun will rise again tomorrow. There’s tears, emotions. You don’t work that hard for nothing. And this is a great group of kids.”

With returners like ace Erika Quint (12-5, 150 strike outs, 22 walks, 118 innings), Brittany Romano (.377, 2 homers, 16 RBI), Kendall Sours (.364, 10 RBI) and more, CK should be just fine in the new-look Narrows League.

“Our side is going to be very difficult,” Welling said. “It’s going to be fun, but it’s going to be difficult.”

Welling also praised the parents of his squad as well as his players, saying he’s going to miss the fun now that the season is over.

“Just kids being kids and coaches being coaches,” he said. “And the parents. That’s so important.”

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