KINGSTON — Everything that could have gone wrong during Kingston’s home fastpitch game against the Olympic Trojans on Wednesday did.
The Bucs lost 6-1.
“I told the girls that was one of the ugliest games I’ve seen in a long time,” coach Joe Schiel said. “The weather turned bad and it was like a bad omen on us.”
Half way through the top of the third inning, the clouds broke and rain cascaded on the field, making it virtually impossible for either pitcher to throw a strike let alone hold on to the ball.
During the third and fourth innings the teams spent more time drying off balls and calling for new ones than they did making plays.
The ball consistently slipped from the grasp of Olympic’s pitcher just before she was about to release the pitch.
“When the moisture is out there it makes control of the ball so hard,” Schiel said. “I have to admire the pitchers for getting out there in that weather and still trying to perform.”
Kingston’s dynamite pitcher Kendal Peiguss, who regularly throws the heat, walked three in the third inning and two in the fourth.
“I had strike after strike after strike, but then I couldn’t hold on to the ball because my hand was soaked,” Pieguss was overhead saying as she walked off the field at the midway point of the third inning.
Walks plagued Kingston but benefitted Olympic. A walk in the top of the first inning resulted in Olympic’s first run. Third inning walks allowed the Trojans to score, as a batter walked home and another run came in after Kingston’s outfield didn’t catch a fly ball. Olympic scored its three final runs in the fourth inning.
The Bucs’ foul pitching luck wasn’t just limited to the weather.
Schiel said pitching-wise the team struggled to find its corners and also faced some tough calls.
“Instead of adapting to the strike zone we kept trying to throw what we thought would work and that was a mistake,” he said. “We should have been more flexible.”
To add insult to injury, literally, in the top of the fourth inning second baseman/short stop Jordan Tapp put the stop on a grounder, but the ball bounced and nailed her in the chin, forcing her to leave the game.
She was sent to the hospital for x-rays and was told good news: Her jaw will be fine. But the damage to the Bucs’ spirits had already been done.
“A team injury like that where one gets sent off to the hospital, that hits a team hard,” Schiel said.
Although things couldn’t have gone any worse for Kingston, Wednesday’s game didn’t start or end with bad luck.
In the bottom of the first the combined forces of Tapp, catcher/infielder Hannah Knight and left fielder Aubin Duncan rallied to score Kingston’s sole run.
Tapp got things started with a clean double down the left field line. Knight knocked a sacrifice bunt to advance Tapp to third base and Duncan closed the play with a sacrifice fly that plated Tapp.
“Our goal is to just get one run each inning and that was a perfect example of what they can do,” Schiel said. “It was great team work.”
And once the clouds cleared before the bottom of the fourth, Kingston began to play ball again, as its defense retired Olympic’s batters in order and kept the Trojans scoreless for the remaining three innings.
The outfielders regained their footing and made some picture-perfect catches. In the top of the fifth Duncan made the third out catch. She also made the second out catch in the sixth inning while Katy Mitchell nabbed the innings third out catch. Andrea Cetnarowski caught the game closing out in the seventh.
“Aubin is an excellent player,” Schiel said. “She covers a tremendous amount of ground and she does just about anything I need her to.”
On April 18 the Bucs defeated Bremerton 13-3 in five innings and on April 21 the Bucs lost to Peninsula 5-1.
Schiel said for Kingston to have a shot at advancing to districts it needs to win two of its next three games, which are against Klahowya, Sequim and Port Angeles. The Bucs played an away game against Klahowya on Friday. Results of the game were not available at presstime.