POULSBO — Sophomore Heather Case has pitched well for the North Kitsap Vikings this season.
But Monday afternoon, the Gig Harbor Tides had their own super sophomore to send to the mound.
The Tides’ Anna Moergeli helped hold North Kitsap to two runs Monday afternoon, stifling the team’s bid to grab the Tides’ second-place spot in the Narrows League.
Moergeli gave up only four hits in her seven-inning complete game, striking out four and keeping her record pristine at 4-0.
Case struck out eight batters in her seven innings.
But the Tides knocked 13 hits and scored eight runs on their way to an 8-2 victory.
North Kitsap head coach Dan Kolda was disappointed not only with the loss, but the way the Vikings lost it.
“That was our chance to knock them (Gig Harbor) out of second,” Kolda said, “and we let it slip away.”
The Vikings, Kolda said, weren’t mentally ready to face the Tides.
Kolda said, “Gig Harbor was well-focused and well-coached. And we weren’t.”
That was clear early, as the Tides brought two runners home in the first inning with a two-RBI single that right fielder Danielle Atchison dropped in front of Viking counterpart Melissa Allen.
The Tides grabbed the early 2-0 lead and didn’t let go. After they scored one more run, this one on a sac fly by outfielder Hannah Shelley, the Vikings pulled themselves one run closer in the bottom of the third when Brenda Stice’s single to the outfield bounced past the Tides’ center fielder and scored Ashley Stice.
But 3-1 was as close as North would get.
Gig Harbor scored two more runs in the fourth, then three more in the seventh to pull away.
North Kitsap’s lineup had trouble scratching out hits. At one stretch through the middle of the game, Moergeli and the Tides’ defense held North without a hit for three straight innings.
The Vikings finally reached the scoreboard again in the bottom of the seventh, when Lisa Gilbert belted a shot to the outfield, then wheeled around second and third for an inside-the-park home run.
Gilbert slid into home safely for NK’s second run of the game.
But it was Gig Harbor (5-1 L, 7-2 overall) that came away with the win.
“We were aggressive from the get-go,” said Tides head coach Jeff Jones. “I think we kept the pressure on the whole game.”
Jones was proud of Moergeli’s effort to complete the game: “She’s a tough kid, a strong kid,” he said. “She’s been pitching great all year long.”
The Vikings (2-2 L, 6-3 overall) travelled to Olympic Tuesday afternoon for their second league game in as many days. Results were unavailable at press time.
Gig Harbor 2 0 1 2 0 0 3 – 8 13 3
North Kitsap 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 – 2 4 0
Moergeli and Tobin; Case and Brenda Stice. W – Moergeli, L – Case. Leading hitters: Gig Harbor: Atchison 1-3, 2 RBI; Shelley 3-3, 2 1B, 3B. North Kitsap: Brenda Stice 2-3, 1 RBI.