The Olympic Trojans are headed back to state for the second time in three years and with their lineup of hitters, they could make history.
The Trojans (17-6) face the Lynden Lions (23-1) in their first game Friday at 10 a.m. at the Class 2A state softball tourney at Carlon Park in Selah. Their second game has them playing either Woodland or Fife. Olympic has yet to win a game at state, and their draw isn’t the easiest but it is state. It’s never easy if you’re one of the last 16 teams still playing
The good news for Olympic is the return of freshman Kaira Cabato. Cabato missed the WCD tournament due to a concussion but has been cleared to play this weekend. Cabato batted .631 in 14 games to lead the Trojans and had a 1.289 slugging and .702 on-base percentage with 26 RBIs. Adia Roberts leads the team with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs. She is batting .603 (1.245 slugging/.587 on-base) while sister Zoe has a .597 average and .758 slugging and .634 on-base and drove in 29 runs.
Over at the 3A tourney, the Central Kitsap and Bainbridge softball teams could see each other one more time before the season ends on Saturday.
It’s been a fun, friendly rivalry the last several seasons as the two non-league teams meet for what’s been a pretty good ballgame each time. It’s usually followed with players, coaches and parents getting together to enjoy some fellowship and food following the game.
Central Kitsap and Bainbridge are both in the bottom half of the bracket, which means if the two teams win twice on Friday CK and Bainbridge will play in Saturday’s semifinal at 9 a.m. at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey. Central Kitsap (17-7) opens against Everett (23-1) at noon on Field 4 while Bainbridge (16-6) takes on Edmonds-Woodway (17-7) on Field 1, also at noon. Win or lose the Spartans face either North Thurston or Kamiakin. That’s not an easy draw. Kamiakin is the state favorite as the Braves are looking to win their fourth straight championship. Second games start at 2 p.m. in the losers bracket.
If CK and Bainbridge go 1-1, then they play in the 6 p.m. loser out games. If they both win that game, guess what? They play each other at 9 a.m. Saturday in a knock-out game.
Right now I’d give the edge to Central Kitsap. Admittedly I’ve seen more of CK than the Spartans this year and the Cougars have a potent lineup — Narrows League 3A MVP Marissa Adams is batting .563, Sam Wallace and Elise Freund, first-teamers are hitting .426 and .458, respectively — a strong defense and great pitching from Hope Lawrence.
Not to be outdone, Bainbridge has all the weapons a team needs to succeed in the final weekend, including one of the best coaches in 3A Liz McCloskey, and assistant Nicole Hebner. OF/SS Riley Gregoire, an Oregon State signee, is the Metro League MVP, batting .527 with 29 RBIs, six home runs and about 15 stolen bases, is a phenomenal defender, has killer speed on the base paths and the softball IQ to make it all work. But the Spartans aren’t a one-woman show. Pitcher Deahna King has been to state three years in a row and has a .404 batting average with 18 RBIs and two home runs. Megan Spray has driven in 22 runs while batting .373.
Bainbridge also has state experience. The Spartans are making their ninth straight appearance, a run that included winning it all in 2009 and finishing runner-up twice. Central is at state for the first time since 2012 when it was still a 4A school. And at this level, you can never overlook how important it is to have veterans who know what it means to play under pressure.
In their earlier meeting on March 26, Central Kitsap beat Bainbridge 11-10 in a thriller.
CK coach Courtney Lacock said the games against Bainbridge are fun because they are two great teams going head to head.
“You get a little more fire out of it because you’ve seen them before,” she said.
Oh, and the tie that binds them all together?
Former CK head coach and now Bainbridge Little League coach and island resident Bruce Welling who lives just a stones throw from the softball field at Bainbridge.