Cougar fastpitch falls to strong Bainbridge team

Central Kitsap players chear from the dugout during the game against Bainbridge Monday. The Cougars lost to Bainbridge during both contests this year. - Courtesy of Bainbridge Island Review
Central Kitsap players chear from the dugout during the game against Bainbridge Monday. The Cougars lost to Bainbridge during both contests this year.
— image credit: Courtesy of Bainbridge Island Review

By Brian Kelly -- Bainbridge Island Review

Sometimes you just can’t get what you want, or so the old song says.

But Bainbridge got what it needed in its regular season finale against Central Kitsap Monday, as the Spartans squeezed five hits out of the Cougars to prevail 2-0 in girls fastpitch softball.

The matchup on Bainbridge was also the final game of the season for Coach Bruce Welling’s Central Kitsap crew.

“Today was a good game for us, we played a very good team. Bruce always brings a competitive team to the field,” said Bainbridge Coach Liz McCloskey.

“We had to play our best to win today,” she said. “We couldn’t put the runs on the board, but we put two on the board, and that was enough to get us through.”

The two teams battled to a draw through three-and-a-half innings before Bainbridge took a one-run lead in the bottom of the fourth.

The Spartans tacked on their insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, and Katie Raben held the Cougars scoreless across seven innings on the mound for Bainbridge.

Raben gave up four hits and struck out seven in the non-league matchup for her ninth win of the season.

The Cougars put a scare into the Spartans early on.

Central Kitsap loaded the bases in the top of the second after a questionable second-out call on a tag at third base that was lost in a cloud of dust. Raben retired the side, however, after the next Cougar batter hit a fly to centerfield for the third out.

The Cougars threatened to score again with two outs and two on in the third, but Central Kitsap was blanked again after the final Cougar batter swung and flew out on a 3-0 pitch.

The Central Kitsap offense was led by Tiffany Ferrell and Anisa McNeal.

Ferrell went 2-for-3 at the plate, and McNeal was 1-for-3.

Sophomore Riley Gregoire led the Bainbridge batters with 2-of-3 batting and an RBI.

Emily Schneider went 1-for-2 and knocked in the Spartans’ other run. Teammate Kate Kinney was also productive at the plate; she went 1-for-2.

McCloskey said the contest against their Narrows League opponents — and Friday’s non-conference 12-7 win against Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) — was good preparation for the playoffs.

Bainbridge, the defending Metro League champions, entered the playoffs this week with a 14-3 record (18-3 overall) against Seattle’s Nathan Hale High.

“After coming off a game on Friday where we had 16 hits and we scored 12 runs, obviously we wanted to come into a game like today and do the same thing. But ...” McCloskey said.

“Our defense did its job, so that was good to see,” she quickly added. “And that’s always helpful for us. If we’re playing that way defensively, we put a couple of runs on the board, our pitcher can hold them — that’s what matters.”


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