BREMERTON — It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
The Knights softball team overcame five errors and scored just once in the first two innings. It looked like it was going to be a long day at the office for the Bremerton softball team when it hosted Kingston on April 9.
But a couple of late runs and a slick double play in the final frame helped the Knights sneak past the Bucs for a close 10-8 victory.
Knights infielder Jessica Linkemyer stepped up to the plate with the game even at 8-8 in the bottom of the sixth and drove a ball up the middle to score two runs.
She nearly touched home plate seconds later. There was no doubt she was vying for home plate, and had it not been for a strong relay by Kingston, Linkemyer would have scored. But she would have to settle instead for giving her team a two-run lead.
Freshman Mia Falotico then trotted back out to the mound looking to shut the door on Kingston in the top of the seventh. This would be no easy task as Kingston recorded at least one run in each frame up to that point.
Junior Jordan Glammeier knocked a hard single into center field to lead off for the Bucs, taking second base on an error.
After a strikeout, junior Paisha Carlon hit a hard line drive that could have easily been a hit. However, it was snagged by Falotico, who then turned and tossed the ball to second base, completing the game-ending double play.
“[Falotico] is a great pitcher,” Bremerton head coach Darrell Clauson said after the game. “What’s really nice is she plays for a multitude of club teams … she’s very talented.”
The third inning was the most productive for the Knights in terms of offense. Bremerton sent all nine batters to the plate, scoring five runs on three hits and taking advantage of a couple miscues.
A shoestring catch in left field by Carlon with the bases loaded and two outs helped her team escape from even more damage. That was off the bat of Bremerton leadoff hitter Precious Stowers, who had two hits taken away by web gems in the field.
Clauson said his team typically does an excellent job of stringing together hits when one or two athletes reach base first.
“We got on a roll, they just kept hitting and it was pretty fun to watch,” he said.
While the Buccaneers were more consistent at the plate throughout the game, Falotico struck out six and stranded seven base runners.
But she didn’t get all the help she needed early on.
Kingston catcher Meghan Fenwick blasted the first pitch of the game into right field for a triple. She came home on a throwing error and the Bucs had a quick 1-0 lead. Two more errors in the first inning and two in the second gave Kingston the early advantage.
The Bucs were more sure-handed in the field early, but a few mistakes helped the Knights begin their comeback.
“There were a couple mistakes here and there, a couple bloopers,” Fenwick said after the game. “But I think we’ve made really big strides since the beginning of the year — especially batting-wise. We put a lot of runs up there.”
The Knights head to Sequim for an April 11 matchup before returning home for a 4:15 p.m. first pitch against North Mason on April 13.