North Kitsap broke out the bats early in Friday afternoon’s game against Bainbridge and coasted to victory on the strength of an eight-run outburst over the first two innings.
The Vikings scored four in the first and four in the second, giving more than enough cushion for fireball pitcher Makalya Stockman, who held the Spartans to three hits and one run over seven innings and struck out 16.
But the 9-1 final score may not tell the whole story. Bainbridge pitcher Miranda Grogger held the Vikings to just one run over the final five innings, and the Spartans offense had a couple of chances to cut into the lead.
“I’m never comfortable,” NK coach Clay Blackwood said. “Especially with a good hitting team like Bainbridge.”
NK did most of its damage in the first two innings with two outs. Cerenity Fake opened the game with a single, but then Allison Dvorak hit a hard line drive directly at first baseman Caroline Michaels for an easy double play. Then Makalya Stockman and Mackenzie Phillips reached on singles and Kendall Becker drove home the first run with a base bit. Anna Wetzsteon scored a pair with a hard single to the gap, and Kayla Jarreau followed with an RBI double.
Bainbridge nearly struck a big blow in the bottom of the first as Ruby Raymundo led off with a walk and moved to third on Laura Carrillo’s single. Grace Colburn then sent a long fly ball that nearly went for a home run, but Jarreau tracked it down in left field a couple of feet short of the fence. Raymundo scored on the sacrifice fly.
“We’re a young team, but they’ve got a lot of grit and a lot of resilience,” said assistant coach Brittany Wisner, who was filling in for head coach Haylee Baker.
The Vikings loaded the bases again in the second as Fake doubled to right field, Dvorak singled and then Phillips was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A fly ball that bounced off a glove in the outfield plated two runs, and then Wetzsteon knocked in two more to put NK ahead 8-1. Wetzsteon led the Vikings with four RBI.
“Our bats came alive a little bit, finally,” Blackwood said.
Meanwhile, Stockman settled in after a tough first inning. She didn’t give up another hit until the fifth when Hayden Jobes singled and stole second with one out, but Stockman reared back and fanned the next two batters.
Michaels picked up a single in the seventh with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch, but again Stockman picked up two strikeouts to close the frame.
Grogger didn’t yield much either beyond the second inning, giving up just one unearned run and quieting a powerful NK lineup with good movement and changes of speed.
“We talked about late in the game, we got a little antsy,” Blackwood said. “We got a little out front and starting popping up the ball a bit. We have to sustain our attack.”
Bainbridge is 1-1 to start the season. They beat Central Kitsap 13-5 in their opener.
“I think these girls have worked really hard these past two weeks, and we have a lot more work to do,” Wisner said. “But I’m proud of where we’re at.”
The Vikings improved to 2-1 — they lost their first game to perennial rival Port Angeles 5-4 on a walk-off after leading the Roughriders 4-1 in the seventh inning. But they regrouped to defeat a good Olympic team 4-1.
“It’s a great young group,” Blackwood said. “They’re still learning, still growing.”
North Kitsap 9, Bainbridge 1
NK 4 4 0 0 1 0 0 — 9 14 0
BI 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 3 2
NK — Stockman 7 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 16 K.
Bainbridge — Grogger 7 IP, 14 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 4 K.
NK— Wetzsteon 2-4, 4 RBI, R; Fake 3-4 2B, R, SB; Jarreau 2-4, 2B, RBI, R, SB; Becker 1-4, RBI, 2 R, SB; Stockman 2-4, R; Phillips 2-3, 2 R.
Bainbridge — Carrillo 1-2, BB; Raymundo 0-2, BB, R; Colburn 0-3, RBI; Jobes 1-3, SB; Michaels 1-3.