NK defeats Klahowya, prepares to defend title

Coming off a state championship last year, North Kitsap softball began its season with a 9-3 victory at home against Klahowya March 15.

“I was a little nervous today because it was our first taste, and Klahowya played great,” NK coach Clay Blackwood said. “They had a solid defense and pitching but we just picked up some runs here and there. It was fun to get that first win.”

Both teams got off to a slow start at the plate with a scoreless first inning. Viking Serenity Fake pitched all seven innings while Bailey O’Brien pitched the first few innings for Klahowya.

Fake was dominant in the first four innings, allowing a couple of hits and walks. However, Fake’s stamina faded in the fifth when she walked Eagles Kiersten Youtsey and Rachel Cole. Fake then gave up a two-run double to Autumn Corey.

“I was excited I got to finish my first game,” Fake said. “I’m not used to pitching the seven innings” because she also plays on a select team, and her coaches want to keep her arm strong.

Blackwood said, “It is a slow build and proud of them continuing to fight. Cerenity had to dig through because her legs got a bit tired.”

However, the Vikings offense began to pick up a handful of runs each inning. In the second, Kendall Becker picked up a two-run double and Fake smacked an RBI triple to make it 3-0.

In the third, Fake struck out three of the four batters while her offense scored three runs. “Our defense is really good ,and we have really aggressive base running,” Fake said. “Our hitting needs a bit of work but it is getting better.”

Reese Anderson earned an RBI from a sacrifice fly, and Kendra Hawkins earned two RBI with a double. The Vikings added four more runs in the fourth. Anderson and Hawkins earned a few more RBI with singles.

Although the Vikings handled their first game, it is a long road before they are ready for another state title. “We still got to find some pieces,” Blackwood said. “There will be some different hitters for us throughout the lineup as the year goes on and little things we have to continue tweaking. We just need to produce runs.”

Fake is confident her squad can win another title because, “We have almost the whole team here so I’m excited to see how the season goes.”

Eagle outfielder McKenna Sullivan makes a throw to the infield.

Eagle outfielder McKenna Sullivan makes a throw to the infield.

Viking Kendra Hawkins knocked in three runs against Klahowya.

Viking Kendra Hawkins knocked in three runs against Klahowya.