SILVERDALE — Firing on all cylinders, Central Kitsap High batted around three times in three separate innings to secure a commanding prep softball 17-2 win over Kingston on March 15. This was the second straight game in which the Cougars scored at least 17 runs.
Every Cougar batter touched home plate at least once in the contest as the team sent 10 girls to the plate in the first inning, 11 in the third and 10 in the fourth. And the mercy rule went into effect before the bottom of the fifth.
“We’ve got a lot of great hitters, got a lot of young talent,” Cotter said. “They went up with a more aggressive attitude and it showed. They’re hitting hard ground balls and line drives.”
Senior Calli Frisinger led off the bottom of the first with a single. Central Kitsap then quickly turned to small ball and fundamentals as senior Melina Polzin laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Frisinger over. The following six hitters reached base — four of whom scored. At the end of one, it was 5-0.
Of course, what’s good offense without good defense?
Freshman Paris Agana took the mound for Central Kitsap and, despite surrendering a leadoff single to Kingston’s junior Meghan Fenwick, she recovered strongly by striking out the side. Behind her, the Cougars supported the pitcher with their gloves. For the second straight game, Central Kitsap didn’t commit an error.
Frisinger, who held her own at third base, saw three ground balls tapped her way in the top half of the second inning. She scooped up each one and fired a rocket to first to retire each batter.
“She’s been my third baseman for years,” Cotter said of Frisinger. “She’s also a catcher, so she’s not afraid of the ball.”
Kingston clawed back into the game in the third inning. With three hits, including a double by Mackenzie Twarogowsigi and another single by Fenwick, the Buccaneers scored twice to make it 5-2.
But Central Kitsap kicked it into high gear in the next inning. An error, a couple of walks and four hits — including doubles by Polzin, Zee Young and Megan Weber — extended the Cougars’ lead to 11-2. A few more errors and hits in the fourth made it 17-2.
Meanwhile, Agana continued to shut down Kingston at the plate. The hurler walked her only batter in the top of the fourth, but that runner was stranded. And the freshman got stronger as the game moved forward. Agana didn’t allow a hit, let alone a run, in the final two innings. She finished the game with five strikeouts and two earned runs on four hits.
Central Kitsap is known for having one or two dominant pitchers every season. Cotter had to “create” those pitchers last year, but she said Agana could be a stalwart for years to come.
“She did a great job today,” Cotter said. “She can be for sure. I like to say it’s up to the kids. I can push them, but it’s got to come from within.”
Averaging 18 runs per game so far in the short season, Central Kitsap prepares for a game set for 5 p.m. today against North Kitsap at Linder Field.
— Jacob Moore is a reporter for Kitsap Daily News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.