Makayla Stockman struck out nine hitters and gave up one run against Port Angeles. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Makayla Stockman struck out nine hitters and gave up one run against Port Angeles. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

North Kitsap captures first league championship since 2004

POULSBO — The long and winding road for North Kitsap’s senior softballers has finally led them to the summit of the Olympic League.

The season before the core of this team — catcher Lamara Villiard, pitcher Sarah Smith, third baseman Mackenzie Wagner, shortstop Iyreland Lawson and second baseman Alicia Goetz — showed up at North Kitsap, the program had just completed a 2-16 season that included an 0-12 record in the Olympic League.

Slowly but surely, these talented freshman made progress. They qualified for the district tournament as freshmen and sophomores and went to the 2A state tournament as juniors.

Heading into their senior season, two goals had still eluded them. They had never won an Olympic League championship, and, naturally, had not beaten Port Angeles, the perennial title holders.

All that changed on Monday with a help of a freshman phenom.

Makayla Stockman struck out nine hitters and gave up just one run in seven innings as the Vikings captured their first league championship in 15 years, beating Port Angeles 3-1 in front of a raucous home crowd.

“It’s amazing; it’s a feeling you can’t explain,” Goetz said. “We’ve been working for this for four years.”

Lawson went 2 for 3 at the plate and drove in a run, and sophomore Brianna Hoffman picked up an RBI on a bases loaded walk. That was all the offense the Vikings would need in an extremely tight, tense, dramatic game.

“We have not beaten PA in so long, it feels so good,” said head coach Jamie Smaaladen, who was a senior on the 2004 North Kitsap league championship team. “They’re an amazing ballclub.”

Goetz drew a walk to start the game and Samantha Burgh reached on an error. Both runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch and a walk drawn by Villiard loaded the bases. Lawson then drove in the first run of the game with a single.

The next batter, Hoffman, sent a hard grounder to second where Port Angeles’s Hope O’Conner tried to tag Villiard as she ran by, but in the process the ball fell out of her glove. By the time she recovered, Hoffman was safe at first and a second run scored.

Meanwhile, Stockman deftly navigated a dangerous Port Angeles lineup with precision and power.

The freshman fireballer stranded two runners in scoring position in the second with a strikeout to end the inning, and worked around an O’Conner leadoff double in the third. With the bases loaded in the sixth — after Ava Brenkman had finally gotten the Roughriders on the board with an RBI-double — she regrouped and got Zoe Smithson to pop out to short.

Port Angeles mounted another rally in the seventh, getting runners to second and third with one out after a walk and a double. But Stockman reared back and struck out the next batter, and then induced a groundout to end the 15-year drought.

“She was tired the last two innings,” Smaaladen said. “She powered through, it was great.”

Finishing at the top of the league is just one of many goals for these seniors, so before long it will be back to business as usual. The Vikings have two regular season games remaining, and then it’s off to the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey for the 2A West Central District III tournament. This is one group that certainly won’t rest on their laurels.

“We still have more people to prove wrong,” Goetz said.

North Kitsap 3, Port Angeles 1

PA 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 1 6 5

NK 2 0 0 0 1 0 x — 3 6 0

WP: Stockman LP: Watson-Charles

Pitching

Port Angeles — Watson-Charles 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.

North Kitsap — Stockman 7 IP, 6 H, R, ER, 3 BB, 9 K.

Hitting

Port Angeles — Brenkman 1-2, 2B, RBI; Nevaril 2-4, 2B; O’Conner 1-3, 2B; Smithson 1-4, 2B; Clark 1-1.

North Kitsap — Lawson 2-3, RBI; Hoffman 0-2, RBI, BB; Burgh 1-4, 2 R; Villiard 1-2, BB; Wagner 1-3; Smith 1-3; Goetz 0-3, BB, R, SB.

Sarah Smith blasts a single to right against the Roughriders. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Sarah Smith blasts a single to right against the Roughriders. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

More in Sports

Jonas La Tour of North Kitsap was the league MVP last spring. File Photo
Winter prep sports previews

North Kitsap boys basketball; Kingston wrestling

With the strong winds, Viking quarterback Colton Bower (2) was more effective running the ball in the first half. Here Quinn Knivila- Ruchie (52) and Jesus Mares (53) block for him. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photographs
Wind, rain, Lions knock NK out of playoffs

It’s hard enough to beat the second-ranked team in the state playoffs… Continue reading

Viking quarterback Colton Bower was named MVP, again, of the Olympic League. File Photo
Bower MVP, again; 11 others also honored

Gee, wonder who the Most Valuable Player is in the Olympic League… Continue reading

Logan Sloman catches a touchdown pass. Nancy Treder/File Photos
NK gridders advance to 2A state semifinals

North Kitsap High School is on its way to the state Class… Continue reading

Maddie Pryde is one of the standouts on the Viking team. File Photo
Anacortes knocks N. Kitsap girls out at state

North Kitsap’s girls volleyball team stunned Washington in three sets Friday in… Continue reading

Colton Bower. File Photo
N. Kitsap hosts state playoff game Saturday

14th seeded Shadle Park will face No. 3 seed Vikings

The North Kitsap boys basketball team celebrates after pulling off an improbable comeback in the semifinals in the 2A state tournament against Lynden. (File photo)
Krulish: A look back at my 4 years in Kitsap

After a little over four years covering high school sports, and occasionally… Continue reading

Colton Bower’s 299-yard, six touchdown performance on Friday night helped him break the North Kitsap record for passing yards in a season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bower sets NK passing record in win over Kingston

Colton Bower is one of the last players you’ll ever hear talking… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Maddie Pryde tips a shot past two Bainbridge defenders. The Vikings defeated the Spartans on Tuesday night to split their season series and share the top spot in the Olympic League. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK beats BHS to share top spot in Olympic League

The North Kitsap volleyball team never forgot about its first loss of… Continue reading

Review file photo 
The Bainbridge HS girls cross country team, shown here taking off during a league meet at Battle Point Park, took home the Olympic League championship last week.
Spartan girls XC win Olympic League title

The Spartans girls cross country team cooked up the same recipe for… Continue reading

Olympic’s Joshua Gauyan evades the defense of Port Angeles’ Jeremiah Hall on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Prep Football: Week 8 roundup

Sequim 33, Kingston 20 The Bucs opened the game with a successful… Continue reading

Central Kitsap running back Kouper Hall went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season against North Thurston on Friday night. He had 304 yards and four touchdowns in the 61-7 win. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Central Kitsap’s big win over North Thurston helps push for playoffs

The Central Kitsap High football team had a whole lot of time… Continue reading