NK junior pitcher Sarah Smith tosses a pitch in the third inning against Bremerton on May 3. She finished the game with 11 strikeouts. Jacob Moore | Kitsap Daily News

NK junior pitcher Sarah Smith tosses a pitch in the third inning against Bremerton on May 3. She finished the game with 11 strikeouts. Jacob Moore | Kitsap Daily News

Vikings softball secures playoff spot with win over Bremerton

North Kitsap will finish as the third-best team in the Olympic League

POULSBO — They’re in.

With an 8-6 victory over Bremerton High School on Thursday, the Vikings softball team stamped their ticket to the postseason for the third consecutive year.

“It feels really good,” NK head coach Jamie Smaaladen said. “Now, if we can keep everyone healthy and going strong, we’ll be OK.”

It was all North Kitsap for six innings of the game. Pitcher Sarah Smith, who was still slightly recovering from the flu, dominated from the mound. At one point, she retired 10 batters in a row and 13 of 14.

“Last week, she was out with the flu, so she’s really tired,” Smaaladen said. “She went out there and did really well.”

That fatigue showed in the seventh inning. Other than the final score, everything changed in the final frame. The Knights sent 11 hitters to the plate, scoring all six of their runs on five hits. That doesn’t blend well with a couple errors, a walk and a hit batter.

But with two outs and the tying run on base, Bremerton’s Lissa Joiner attempted to swipe second, only to be thrown out to end the match.

Not to be overlooked, Bremerton pitcher Mia Falotico had excellent control in the circle. She gave up eight runs, but only five were earned due to seven errors in the field. She didn’t walk any batters and nearly recorded double-digit strikeouts — a recurring theme from the freshman throughout the season.

Viking hitters got to Falotico early with all eight runs coming in the first half of the ballgame. Leadoff hitter Alayna Goulet immediately doubled down the left-field line, setting the tone for a potential offensive inning. Junior Iyreland Lawson doubled a couple batters later to trade places with Goulet.

But Falotico didn’t back down. She struck out the side after a single scored the second run of the ballgame. North Kitsap plated four more to blow the game open in the second inning. That was spotlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Lamara Villiard. She nearly left the yard on that pitch.

Bremerton’s mistakes in the field and at the plate paired with some bad luck in the sixth inning. Trying to get anything going against a lights-out pitcher, senior Divinity Dodge lined a hard-hit ball to center field. Based on the noise the Knights dugout was making, it seemed the question was: how many bases would Dodge get?

Vikings center fielder Kelsey Johnston had other plans, though. The outfielder dove forward and gloved the ball as she went to the ground. Smaaladen penciling her in at center field paid off. Typically, Johnston plays in right field.

“She really would be a [regular] center fielder,” Smaaladen said. “But because we have such strong pitchers … so many balls do go to the right side.”

With the win, North Kitsap will finish third in league, just above Sequim. Although the Vikings have two more regular season games — at Kingston on Monday and at Bremerton on Wednesday — they’ll be going up against the sixth-best team from the South Puget Sound League at 10 a.m., May 18. That contest is scheduled to be played at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.

North Kitsap 8, Bremerton 6

WP: Smith — LP: Falotico

BR 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 — 6 8 7

NK 2 4 2 0 0 0 x — 8 9 4

Pitching

North Kitsap — Smith 7 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 11 K.

Bremerton — Falotico 6 IP, 8 R, 5 ER, 9 H, 0 BB, 9 K.

Hitting

North Kitsap — Goetz 2-4, 2B, RBI, SB, 2 R; Lawson 1-3, 2B, HBP, RBI, 2 R; Villiard 2-2, 2B, 3 RBI, SB.

Bremerton — Falotico 3-4, RBI, R; Urrutia 0-3, RBI; Uhrich 0-3, RBI; Joiner 2-3, BB, RBI, R; Kruger 1-1, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, R.

More in Sports

Bainbridge middle blocker Holley McFadden gets in the way of a Kingston shot during her team’s victory over the Bucs on Thursday. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge beats Kingston for 3rd consecutive win

Three games, nine sets, all of them have gone Bainbridge’s way. The… Continue reading

Sky Henderson (29) rushes to congratulate teammate Avery Pujolar after scoring her third goal of the game in a 5-0 win over Bremerton. (Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review photos)
Pujolar’s hat trick sparks Bainbridge to victory

Bainbridge sophomore Avery Pujolar was flying down the left sideline at full… Continue reading

South Kitsap junior Anna Harvey drops a shot past the Kingston defense. The Wolves defeated the Bucs three sets to two Monday night. (Mark Krulish/North Kitsap Herald photos)
SK comes back to defeat Kingston in 5 sets

South Kitsap was trailing two sets to one late in the fourth… Continue reading

Josh Smith, along with partner Drake Jones, are the top doubles pair for North Kitsap and led the way in Thursday’s match against Bainbridge, winning 6-0, 6-1. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BI wins singles, NK doubles and match

North Kitsap’s seniors are hoping to make the most of their final… Continue reading

Kingston lineman Hugo Hall goes head-to-head with a teammate during a blocking drill at a preseason practice. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Coach finally has time to teach new system

It’s fair to say that few football coaches had a tougher first… Continue reading

Bainbridge running back Matt LeDorze crashes through the line in the Spartans’ opening night game against Garfield. (Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review)
Young Bainbridge blown out in opener

It was a baptismal by fire for Bainbridge’s young gridders on opening… Continue reading

Sophomore running back/wide receiver Jorden Lee should be one of the team’s featured ball carriers this year. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group)
Young Wolves football team is hungry for a full season

PORT ORCHARD — South Kitsap’s football team will feature a mostly “new-look”… Continue reading

Hailey Deese leads the rush upfield during last year’s match against Bremerton. South Kitsap has a number of returners from last spring’s varsity team. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Sports previews: South Kitsap

Girls Soccer 2021 record: 8-2-1 Head coach: Hailey Parker Key players: Rosamaria… Continue reading

Colton Bower was a 2A All-State selection in the spring and he leads an experienced North Kitsap team this season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
All-State QB leads N. Kitsap this fall

Editor’s note: A preview on Kingston football will run in next week’s… Continue reading

Most Read