Klahowya qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2004

Klahowya qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2004

Klahowya defeats Coupeville to reach state tournament

The Eagles lost to the Wolves in all three previous matchups this season

LACEY — For the first time since 2004, the Klahowya softball team is state-bound.

If you weren’t there to watch the excitement, you might have been able to hear it at the end. A ground ball ricocheted off the turf and back to the pitching circle and into the glove of Amber Bumbalough. She fired to first base to throw out not only the runner but years of frustration.

Bumbalough spun around and let out a scream seconds before the on-field celebration ensued.

Making state was one of the final goals for Bumbalough, an accomplished high school player who will head to the challenging world of Division-I softball in the fall. Since it is the final season at Klahowya for both her and head coach Jodie Gagnon, who is leaving her coaching job after this season, the two talked before the season about getting one more shot at experiencing the state tournament together.

“Her and I talked about it before the season,” Gagnon said. “This was our goal together. I’m stepping down after this year and so I wanted this for her. I wanted this for the whole group.”

And what a sweet feeling it must have been to qualify while handing rival Coupeville a 7-4 loss in an elimination game. The Wolves beat the Eagles all three times they played this year, but Klahowya is the one headed to Columbia Playfield in Richland on Friday, May 25, where they open play against Castle Rock at noon.

Senior Emma Hough broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning with a two-run double down the third base line. The Eagles scored three times that inning to take a 5-2 lead.

“I can’t believe I hit it,” she said. “I just changed my hitting strategy so to know how [well] it works for me is really great — and I’ll be using it for the rest of the season.”

However, with the Wolves scoring an average of eight runs per game this season, Klahowya knew it couldn’t rest on its laurels.

“What was going through my mind was, ‘We need to keep building,’ ” Bumbalough said after seeing her teammate’s tie-breaking double.

And keep building they did.

Klahowya added three more runs to extend its lead. Coupeville did manage two more runs over the final two innings, but it wasn’t enough and the Eagles walked away with the No. 2 seed from the district tournament.

“It feels amazing … to prove Kitsap County wrong,” Hough said. “Some people didn’t believe in us.”

The day did not start out so well for the Eagles. They lost their first game to eventual district champion Bellevue Christian, 11-2. Bumbalough’s two-run homer provided the only offense they could muster.

But Klahowya rebounded and reached the second-place game after thrashing Vashon Island, 11-1. Junior Kayla Hendricks hit a pair of triples in that contest.

— Jacob Moore is a reporter for Kitsap Daily News. Contact him at Jmoore@soundpublishing.com or follow him on Twitter @JMooreKDN.

More in Sports

Bainbridge’s Jacob Dorsey (45) helps bring down Olympic’s Luke Silva (9) during Friday night’s matchup. The Trojans prevailed 28-24. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BHS comeback falls short due to lack of kicking game

The good news from Friday night’s football game is that Bainbridge scored… Continue reading

Bainbridge middle blocker Holley McFadden gets in the way of a Kingston shot during her team’s victory over the Bucs on Thursday. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge beats Kingston for 3rd consecutive win

Three games, nine sets, all of them have gone Bainbridge’s way. The… Continue reading

Sky Henderson (29) rushes to congratulate teammate Avery Pujolar after scoring her third goal of the game in a 5-0 win over Bremerton. (Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review photos)
Pujolar’s hat trick sparks Bainbridge to victory

Bainbridge sophomore Avery Pujolar was flying down the left sideline at full… Continue reading

South Kitsap junior Anna Harvey drops a shot past the Kingston defense. The Wolves defeated the Bucs three sets to two Monday night. (Mark Krulish/North Kitsap Herald photos)
SK comes back to defeat Kingston in 5 sets

South Kitsap was trailing two sets to one late in the fourth… Continue reading

Josh Smith, along with partner Drake Jones, are the top doubles pair for North Kitsap and led the way in Thursday’s match against Bainbridge, winning 6-0, 6-1. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BI wins singles, NK doubles and match

North Kitsap’s seniors are hoping to make the most of their final… Continue reading

Bainbridge running back Matt LeDorze crashes through the line in the Spartans’ opening night game against Garfield. (Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review)
Young Bainbridge blown out in opener

It was a baptismal by fire for Bainbridge’s young gridders on opening… Continue reading

Sophomore running back/wide receiver Jorden Lee should be one of the team’s featured ball carriers this year. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group)
Young Wolves football team is hungry for a full season

PORT ORCHARD — South Kitsap’s football team will feature a mostly “new-look”… Continue reading

Hailey Deese leads the rush upfield during last year’s match against Bremerton. South Kitsap has a number of returners from last spring’s varsity team. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Sports previews: South Kitsap

Girls Soccer 2021 record: 8-2-1 Head coach: Hailey Parker Key players: Rosamaria… Continue reading

Colton Bower was a 2A All-State selection in the spring and he leads an experienced North Kitsap team this season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
All-State QB leads N. Kitsap this fall

Editor’s note: A preview on Kingston football will run in next week’s… Continue reading

Most Read