The North Kitsap fastpitch softball team completed a 25-0 perfect season and won the 2A state title, only one of two teams statewide to go undefeated.
And they could be just as tough next year, returning their three outstanding pitchers.
This season, The Vikings averaged nearly 12 runs per game while giving up 2.3.
At state, the Vikings outscored opponents 35-2, including an 8-1 victory in the championship game over Ridgefield.
“My first feeling was excitement for the team as they had just done something that had never been done in softball at North Kitsap,” coach Clay Blackwood said. “To do it with a perfect season was the icing on the cake.”
Halfway through the season, the Vikings players and coaches tried to be quiet about their undefeated record. However, every win meant the target on their back grew larger. Yet, Blackwood assured his players to enjoy the moment.
“I know the coaches and I kept trying to make sure the players knew to have fun, give their best, love each other, play with heart and go play how they know how to play,” Blackwood said. “The team continued just to have a quiet confidence about how they went about preparing and playing.”
When the Vikings recorded their final out against Ridgefield, a weight on their shoulders was lifted. “It was probably more pressure on the coaching staff than the players at times,” Blackwood said. “It was a great relief to see them finish the way they did.”
The Vikings were led by a trio of pitchers. Olympic League MVP Reese Anderson was the ace as she won four games at state over two days and only allowed two runs. In addition, her bat had some firepower, adding a handful of home runs during the district and state tournaments.
NK also had Cerenity Fake and Hannah Richards on the mound. “It is great to have a solid pitching staff and a big key to being successful,” Blackwood said.
However, NK will lose five key players as catcher Mackenzie Phillips, shortstop and outfielder Anna Wetzseon, outfielders Rachel Martin and Emalee Burgh, and third baseman Julia Schuchart will be graduating.
But NK has a ton of talent returning. Some of the underclassmen include Reyna Blackwood, Coriana McMillian, Campbell Weible, Madeline Syverson and Kasey Wallace. Blackwood is confident in his young players.
“We are working hard to create a softball program at North Kitsap that will compete year in and year out at the highest level possible,” Blackwood said. “There are a lot of opportunities, and we hope all of our student-athletes take the opportunities presented to them and become the best they can be.”