Sports

Central Kitsap High School fastpitch climbs to second place in Narrows League

After posting a .500 record through eight games, the Central Kitsap High School fastpitch team won three games in as many days this week to climb toward the top of the Narrows League standings.

The Lady Cougars (7-4 overall, 6-3 league) defeated Shelton, Olympia and South Kitsap high schools behind three productive performances at the plate, averaging eight runs a game.

“We’re hitting the ball very well and we’re feeling more confident, getting more consistent,” coach Bruce Welling said. “I like where we’re at right now.”

It was the best week of the season for Central Kitsap, which is at full strength now after playing shorthanded early in the season. The team defeated Shelton 6-0 Monday and Olympia 9-0 Tuesday behind the pitching of senior Kim Chase.

The Lady Cougars built a 9-2 lead through six innings Wednesday against South Kitsap, but allowed five runs in the top of the seventh before escaping with a 9-7 win.

With the three victories, Central Kitsap climbed to second place in the Narrows League Bay Division, trailing Stadium High School (12-1, 9-1).

“We’re in a groove now, but there are always areas to shore up,” Welling said.

The performance of the week came from junior Jenna Bartlett, who went 4-for-4 Tuesday with five RBI, hitting two home runs. She hit a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning to break open what was a five-run game.

Bartlett’s performance was part of a nine-hit effort from the team Tuesday, which scored 24 runs in the three wins this week. Bartlett and Welling agreed the team is hitting the best it has all season.

“We were a little shaky in the beginning, but we’ve come a long way,” Bartlett said.

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