Sports

All-Kitsap softball squad meshes fresh faces with vets

(From left) Olympic
(From left) Olympic's Rachel Haas, Central Kitsap's Carolyn Cross and Klahowya's Kazandra Holliday gave opposing batters more than they could handle for much of the 2008 season.
— image credit: Photos by Jesse Beals and Aaron Managhan

By KITSAP NEWS GROUP

Sports writers

It was another banner year for area softball teams, with Central Kitsap, Klahowya and Olympic all getting a taste of varying degrees of success.

For Central Kitsap, the pinnacle came in a return to the state tournament, no small task following the graduation of several college-bound seniors from the 2007 squad. But led by junior pitcher Carolyn Cross and a host of underclassmen, the Cougs rallied to a second-place finish at districts, their second-consecutive state appearance and a 17-7 overall record. With just two departing seniors, CK will be ready to raise the bar even higher next season.

For the Klahowya Eagles, a trip to state was within hopes, but the Eagles fell shy, falling to Fife and Steilacoom, despite picking up a win against Washington at districts. But with a 13-9 record and a large core of returners, including top pitcher Kazandra Holliday and top bat Meika Bumbalough, the Eagles too will be poised to fly higher.

And while the road also ended at districts for the Olympic Trojans, that was a victory in and of itself. While the Trojans fell shy of state, where they last advanced in 1987, another large core figures to benefit from the experience. While Oly will lose a lot of talent on the field as well in players like Oklahoma State University-bound Kelsey Anchors, they return a lot too.

The All-Kitsap County teams are compiled by the sports writers for the Bainbridge Island Review, the Bremerton Patriot, the Central Kitsap Reporter, the North Kitsap Herald and the Port Orchard Independent. Candidates for the team are nominated by the writers for their respective areas. The nominees are then voted on by the writers, with the top vote-getters making the teams. Two honorable mentions are selected from each school for each sport. The teams include the best players from area schools who not only performed well individually, but played a role in the success of their team as well.

2008 All-Kitsap County Softball Team

P - Kazandra Holliday, junior, Klahowya: Few pitchers fired as many pitches as Holliday this past spring, as the Eagles’ top arm went 101 2/3 innings, recording a whopping 146 strikeouts. She walked just 47 and posted an ERA of 2.34. She was just as impressive at the plate, hitting .404 with three doubles, a homer, 16 RBI and 13 runs. She’ll be back to help lead the Eagles again next season.

P - Carolyn Cross, junior, Central Kitsap: An ace on the field and in the classroom (the CK junior posts a 4.0 grade point average), Cross led a CK team back to state that wasn’t expected to do so after graduating several key seniors. Cross pitched 108 innings for CK, finishing 14-4 with 90 strikeouts to just 19 walks. She also was aggressive at the plate, hitting .386 with 15 RBI while scoring a team-best 24 runs. She hit two doubles, two triple and two homers and will be back to lead CK once more.

P - Lindsay Willmann, junior, Bainbridge: This 5-11 junior loomed large in the ring for the Spartans this season, posting an 11-4 record with 96 strikeouts versus 22 walks in 84 1/3 innings and an ERA of 1.16 and a WHIP of just 0.90 with 13 complete games and four shutouts. She also posted a line of a .435 batting average, a .510 on-base percentage and a .671 slugging percentage with four home runs and 37 RBI with eight doubles and 15 walks.

P - Kendal Peiguss, senior, Kingston: Peiguss is the cornerstone of the Buccaneers. She carried the team this season from the mound, pitching 99 innings for a 1.21 ERA. She’s also got what it takes from the plate with a .383 batting average and a .556 slugging percentage.

P - Rachel Haas, senior, Olympic: Softball success is in Haas’ genes. Her sister Lauren was named MVP of the Missouri Valley Conference this season for Southern Illinois. The younger Haas anchored a Trojan staff and helped get the Trojans back to districts. And while she won’t take her game to the collegiate level, the all-around athlete (she also was a standout soccer player) will take her academic game to the University of Washington.

C - Brittany Wisner, junior, Bainbridge: This junior co-captain has no problem expressing herself — she even got on the Bainbridge fans at the state tournament. But she backs up her words with a relentless work ethic that led to a .434/ .484/.747 line with four home runs, 33 RBI, eight doubles and three triples. She committed just six errors in 29 games and threw out seven runners in 21 tries.

1B - Aubin Duncan, senior, Kingston: Duncan is a lady with the speed for the small-ball game who’s not afraid to take one for the team, as she’s a natural leader. She knocked four over the fence this season, had a .383 batting average and a .723 slugging percentage.

2B - Cara Thompson, junior, Bainbridge: This junior continued her steady presence at the plate with a .536/.552/.680 line with one home run and 31 RBI and nine doubles, striking out just once in 97 at-bats while scoring 52 runs and stealing eight bases. She also was solid in the field, showing off her range and leading the team in assists with 44.

SS - Jordan Jewett, senior, North Kitsap: Jewett is a fierce competitor and even more fierce slugger. She consistently hit the triple in times of need and her vocal strength helped carry the team. She posted five doubles, six triples, seven RBI and had a batting average of .577. Jewett’s diamond career has just begun, as she’s earned a full-ride to North Carolina-Greensboro.

3B - Meika Bumbalough, junior, Klahowya: While primarily a shortstop, Bumbalough’s credentials — and versatility — made her an easy pick to fill the AKC third-base gap. Another talented junior, Bumbalough’s big bat carried the Eagles to several wins, as she finished with a .455 average, smashed five doubles and three homers, drove in 18 and scored 14 times herself. She also had a remarkable .607 on-base percentage and an even more impressive .773 slugging mark.

OF - Kelsey Anchors, senior, Olympic: A three-year varsity starter, Anchors currently holds the school records for hits, runs, doubles, triples, stolen bases and slugging percentage, both season and career. That made her an easy pick for both the AKC team and as an Oklahoma State University recruit, where she’ll continue her career next spring. She was hitting .564 into mid-May this season.

OF - Chelsea Kakela, junior, Bainbridge: This junior made last year’s numbers look like she was in a season-long slump: a .484/.541/.916 line with eight home runs and a school-record 52 RBI. Kakela also added seven doubles, five triples, 50 runs, nine stolen bases and 87 total bases. She moved to center field (after playing second last season) and played the position with ease, committing just one error in 30 games and turning three double-plays thanks to her strong arm.

OF - Naomi Stocks, sophomore, Central Kitsap: Stocks was an instant hit for CK, literally and figuratively. At the plate, she led the Cougars with a .483 average to go with 21 runs and 16 RBI. She also led the Cougs with four triples. Just a sophomore, she’ll only get better.

UTL - Trish Tremper, sophomore, South Kitsap: Tremper, who also plays first base, moved to catcher early in the season when Breann Booher sustained an injury and stayed there throughout the spring. She finished with a .440 batting average, two doubles, one home run and six RBI.

“She is just the kind of person you want on your team — great attitude and effort every day,” South coach Kathy Ballew said. “She is an excellent all-around kid.”

UTL - Haylee Baker, sophomore, Bainbridge: Wherever she was at, this sophomore excelled. At the plate she posted a .505/.549/.854 line with six home runs, 33 RBI, 10 doubles, four triples, 49 runs scored and 88 total bases. In the circle, she was 6-1 with 54 strikeouts and seven walks in 45 2/3 innings. She had an ERA of 1.53 with a 1.02 WHIP and three shutouts. In the field she filled in wherever she was needed and did a great job.

Coach of the Year - Liz McCloskey, Bainbridge: McCloskey has helped her team improve every season and this year was no different. The beloved coach led the way to a Metro League Mountain Division title, a second-place finish at the league tournament, a third-place finish at districts and a .500 record at state, ending with a 26-5 record, the best in school history.

Honorable mentions

Katie Hanten, junior, Central Kitsap, catcher: Hanten did just fine at the plate for CK, batting .311 with 11 runs and 14 RBI. Her real strength however was behind the plate, as Hanten called nearly every pitch this season for the Cougars. With a a strong arm, Hanten too will only get stronger.

Athena Rosario, senior, Olympic, catcher: Rosario may look small, but this Trojan catcher is one tough cookie. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Rosario was a vocal field general for Oly.

Jocylynn Meadows, senior, Klahowya, catcher: A fire ball with no fear of oncoming base runners, Meadows got the job done both at the plate and behind it this season. She hit .320 and tied Bumbalough for the team doubles lead with five. She also drove nine runners in. But her defense and character were her top attributes, as Meadows never met a collision at the plate she didn’t like.

Julie Fergus, junior, Central Kitsap, outfield: Fergus kept improving this year, anchoring down one of CK’s outfield spots as well as a spot in the order with her .340 average. She scored eight times and drove in 11 for the Cougs.

Lexi Orteza, junior, Olympic, infield: Orteza stepped up this season, giving the Trojans a spark at the plate and hope for the future as one of the key returners to next season’s squad.

Kelsey Kobloth and Kim Houde, seniors, Klahowya, infield/outfield: It’s hard to distinguish between these two senior leaders on Klahowya’s squad. While they may look very different, their contributions to the program as vocal leaders and assets are a big reason Klahowya’s team is now a yearly competitor. Houde will play for Grays Harbor Community College next season.

Also: Clara Dunn, freshman, Bainbridge; Ashley Tobin, senior, North Kitsap; Deshante Heggie, senior, Bremerton; Ally Johnson, junior, South Kitsap; Lauren Reichert, sophomore, Bainbridge; Jenneke Oostman, senior, North Kitsap; Britnay Mason, senior, Bremerton, shortstop; Cortney Echternach, junior, South Kitsap.

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