SELAH — The North Kitsap fastpitch team won its first game at the state 2A tournament May 25-26 at Carlon Park, but then dropped the next two, ending the year with a 15-0 loss to Sedro-Woolley.
It was the first taste of the state tournament for this group of girls — North Kitsap had not been to state since 2006 — and the experience of seeing the best teams in Washington all in one place should help prepare the team for a deeper run next year.
Especially with every starter and the team’s top two pitchers returning.
“They set the goal this year to make it to state — and they did,” head coach Jamie Smaaladen said. “They were supposed to have a pow wow and I’m not exactly sure what their goal at state was. I don’t know that they reached it, but I know next year, they definitely can.”
The Vikings got off to a good start, defeating East Valley Spokane, 9-6, in their first game.
Lamara Villiard and Mackenzie Wagner each drove in a pair of first-inning runs and Sarah Smith got the win with five solid innings of work as North Kitsap won its first game at the 2A state playoffs over East Valley (Spokane), 9-6.
Villiard went 4 for 4, scored twice and stole a pair of bases. The junior backstop brought home the first two runs of the game on a bases-loaded single after Alicia Goetz, Brianna Hoffman and Iyreland Lawson all reached base to start the game.
Wagner then followed up with a two-run single of her own and the Vikings were out to a 4-0 lead before East Valley recorded an out.
The offensive onslaught continued with a four-run third inning, highlighted by Wagner and Alayna Goulet, who each got RBI singles.
The team wasn’t so fortunate in games two and three, as fatigue set in and the team made a few too many mistakes against quality teams from Sehome and Sedro-Woolley.
“Our first game was amazing,” Smaaladen said. “I don’t know if our girls ran out of gas, but a lot of our girls aren’t used to playing three games in a day.”
North Kitsap picked up six hits against the Seahawks, but could not manage a run in the 12-0 loss to the Northwest Conference champions. Seven of their 12 runs were unearned. Sehome pitcher Savannah Smith racked up eight strikeouts in five innings.
“We’re young,” Smaaladen said. “We’re just going to keep on going.”
North Kitsap 9, East Valley 6
EV 0 0 1 0 5 0 0 — 6 8 2
NK 4 1 4 0 0 0 x — 9 11 1
WP: Smith LP: Brake
East Valley — Brake 3 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 3 BB; Meyer 3 IP, 3 H.
North Kitsap — Smith 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; Wagner 2 IP, H, BB.
East Valley — Todhunter 1-3, HR, 3 RBI; Harvey 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; Brake 2-4, 2B, R, RBI; Beitz 1-3, 2B, R.
North Kitsap — Villiard 4-4, 2 R, 2 SB, 2 RBI; Wagner 3-4, R, 3 RBI; Lawson 1-3, 2 R, BB; Goetz 1-3, BB, R, RBI; Goulet 1-2, RBI; Keller 1-3.