Kitsap is sending three fastpitch teams to district tournaments this year and they all have one thing in common — plenty of thump in the lineup.
South Kitsap completed its regular softball season last Thursday with an 11-1 win over Graham-Kapowsin and received some good fortune. A coin flip gave them the No. 2 seed in this weekend’s 4A West Central/Southwest Bi-District softball tournament.
The Wolves finished their season tied with Rogers at 13-3. Normally, a tie would be broken by head-to-head records against the rest of the league, starting with the top team. However, both teams had the same record against every other team, necessitating the coin flip.
Their postseason run begins at 4:30 p.m. on Friday with a game against Kentwood. If the Wolves win, they play again at 7 p.m. against the winner of Todd Beamer-Battleground playoff contest. If they lose, they play an elimination game against the loser of the same matchup. The tournament wraps up on Saturday, May 18.
The Wolves have averaged nearly nine runs a game this season, thanks to its talented lineup. The bats will certainly be counted upon to help them through to a 4A state softball berth.
Leading the way is sophomore Kaitlynn Johnston, one of their top all-around threats with a .540 average to go with seven doubles, five triples, three home runs and 27 RBIs. Senior first baseman Jordynn Lawrence of South Kitsap also comes equipped with a .569 average, having driven in 28 runs.
Third baseman Naioki Marion is the top long-ball threat with a team-best five home runs and 35 RBIs. Leadoff hitter Marisol Bergstrom has raised her batting average over 100 points from last season to .458. She has a .523 on-base percentage.
Lynden Wolf (.388) and Teanna Lathum (.358) are also quality bats who play extremely well at the all-important middle infield positions. Freshman Sarah Hoyt has made a big impact with a .413 average in 51 plate appearances.
Junior Piper Jacquemart, who serves as the main catcher, has deftly handled her two freshman pitchers — Jessica Fessenden and Maya Nehus. Fessenden, the more velocity-oriented of the duo, has struck out 57 batters in 52 1/3 innings while Nehus, a deception master, sports a shiny 2.84 ERA in 61.2 innings.
North Kitsap, Olympic set for 2A West Central District III tournament
The Vikings are fresh off a league championship and ready for more.
Their road back to the state tournament begins this weekend at the 2A West Central III District Tournament, which takes place May 17-18 at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey. They finished the regular season with a 15-4 record after beating Shelton, 7-4, in a non-league game on Tuesday.
The team is led by a slew of sluggers including catcher Lamara Villiard (team-leading .541 average and 30 RBI), shortstop Iyreland Lawson (.458, two home runs, 16 RBI), second baseman Alicia Goetz (.560 on base percentage), third baseman Mackenzie Wagner (.356, two home runs, 23 RBI), corner outfielder Samantha Burgh (.303, two home runs, 13 RBI) and pitcher Sarah Smith (.416 average, 75 strikeouts in 68 innings), who also teams with freshman Makayla Stockman (56 strikeouts, 2.45 ERA in 45 innings) as a potent one-two punch in the circle.
By virtue of winning the league championship, North Kitsap gets a first round bye and does not play until 2 p.m. Friday against the winner of the Franklin Pierce-Orting game. Should they prevail, they get an automatic 2A state tournament berth and would play two games Saturday at 1 and 5 p.m. to determine seeding.
North Kitsap’s side of the bracket has Fife, the No. 2 team out of the SPSL and a familiar foe in Port Angeles, which beat Sequim earlier this week for the No. 2 Olympic League seed. A possible rematch between the Roughriders and Vikings would take place on Saturday with a shot at playing for a district title on the line if Port Angeles gets past Fife.
The Trojans will start a little earlier than the Vikings. They open with a game at noon against White River.
Olympic has no shortage of pop in its bats either. Juniors Molly Gates and Vanisa Ivie have put up ridiculous numbers this season.
Gates lead the Trojans with an off-the-charts .759 batting average with 13 home runs, 11 doubles, five triples and 34 RBI. Ivie leads the team with 14 home runs and has hit .642 with eight double, four triples and 29 RBI.
Junior Morgan Kroesser is another hitting threat with a .554 average, five home runs and 21 RBI. Senior infielder Saide Chipley is hitting .522 with three home runs and 13 RBI. Alannah Mitchell (.452), Cayla Richmond (.422) and Elissa Turnquist (.407) help round out this potent side.