POULSBO — Despite a sunny, picture perfect day for fastpitch a black cloud descended on the Poulsbo Junior High Panthers in the form of Marcus Whitman Tuesday afternoon.
The offensively-minded MWJH defeated the Panthers 20-2 in just three innings of play.
Even so, PJH coach Cheryl Foreman was proud of the way her team battled regardless of being clearly out matched early on in the contest.
“Our team showed excellent sportsmanship,” Foreman said. “I couldn’t ask for a team with a better attitude.”
In the bottom of the third inning with PJH trailing 20-0, the Panthers huddled up and shouted out a cheer.
Later in the inning, they satified their appetite by putting two runs on the scoreboard.
Ali Marks got the Panthers going with a leadoff walk. Laura Haelsig walked as well putting runners on first and second with nobody out. After a Panther strikeout, Marks stole third, putting runners on the corners. Lauryn Blevins then connected with a bloop single over the MWJH first baseman’s head, scoring Marks from third base for the Panthers first run of the contest.
The Panthers entire dugout erupted.
Following another Panther strikeout, a Marcus Whitman player attempted to pickoff Blevins at first. After the MWJH’s catcher threw the ball to first base in attempt to pick off Blevins, Haelsig (who was at third) saw the opportunity and hustled down the line toward home plate. She barely beat the throw, scoring the Panthers second and final run of the contest.
“We never gave up,” Foreman said. “Our team always keeps their heads up no matter what the situation is.”
Foreman said her team is much better than they played against Marcus Whitman.
“This game doesn’t reflect on how good of a team we have. We have an excellent group of players,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade them for anybody. We have two more games to go this season, and we’re going to have fun.”