Category Archives: Softball

Metro League changes benefit Bainbridge softball, others

The changes that will take place this softball season in the Metro League has been a long time coming.

The Mountain, Valley and Sound Divisions are now weighted, based on teams’ finishes in the Metro tournament and predictions of their success the next two years. The Mountain is the top division, Valley is intermediate and Sound is the lowest. Mountain teams include Bainbridge, Ballard, Holy Names, Seattle Prep and West Seattle. Valley teams are Blanchet, Chief Sealth, Eastside Catholic, Garfield, Nathan Hale and Roosevelt. The Sound teams are Cleveland, Franklin, Ingraham, Lakeside and Rainier Beach.

Mountain teams will play a 14-game schedule, facing everyone in their division twice and Valley teams once. Mountain teams will not play the Sound division. Gone are the days of Bainbridge softball putting a 15-0 wallop on Beach or a 19-1 pummeling on Nathan Hale. Those games benefit no one and I’m glad to see that go away as I’m sure both teams are as well.

Valley teams will play 15 league games (they play everyone once) and Sound teams will play each other twice and Valley teams once for a 14-game league schedule.

Teams in the Valley and Sound that have the highest division record will move up another division, but will need to meet some criteria first;

  • Head-to-head league record with the last-place team from the higher division
  • Head-to-head in Metro tournament with the last-place team from the higher division
  • Overall finish in Metro tournament with the last-place team from the higher division

The changes toward weighted divisions also meant changes to the league schedule. Here’s how that shapes up;

  • Teams will no longer play the same team back-to-back (Wednesday and Friday)
  • Teams will face division competition once in the beginning of the season and once at the end
  • Mountain and Sound will have room in their schedules to play 6 non-league games while Valley will have 5 non-league games
  • Spring Break league games will be scheduled during their respective breaks. This allows the league to start play later in the season and continue without breaks. The breaks are March 30-April 3 (Bainbridge); April 6-10 (private schools) and April 13-17 (Seattle Public Schools)
  • Games will be played on Mondays and Tuesdays, leaving Wednesday as a rainout day

And lastly, the all-important playoffs.

The Metro will play a 12-team league tournament. Top four teams in Mountain will have the No. 1-4 seeds, Valley has 5-6th seeds depending on their head-to-head record with the No. 5 Mountain team. The 7-11 seeds will be awarded to the Valley teams based on division standings while the 12th seed will be the top team from the Sound. The Metro has nine berths to the SeaKing District tournament and six berths from district to state in 2015 and five berths in 2016.

 

South Kitsap hires alum to coach softball

Here’s the release from the district:

The South Kitsap School District Athletics Department would like to congratulate and welcome Mindi Outhwaite as the new head coach for Fastpitch.

Mindi Outhwaite played for the South Kitsap varsity fastpitch team from 1996-1998. Following high school, she received scholarships from Limestone College in South Carolina and Seattle University. She played as starting pitcher for both schools and completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Seattle University. She served as coach for a 16U Sidewinder team and at Mount Rainer High School.

“I have since been busy with my nursing career and enjoying time with my husband and our three boys. I am very thankful for this opportunity to come back and coach at my alma mater. I’m looking forward to a great season with the 2015 South Kitsap Fastpitch team,” stated Outhwaite. “I believe the success of our team will be based on preparation, teamwork and fun!”

Fastpitch is a spring sport open to all 9th – 12th grade girls, sign-ups are in progress and try-outs will begin on March 2, 2015. If you have any questions, please contact the Athletics Office at 360-874-5731.

Spartans rally around check-in board

Bainbridge center fielder Kate Kinney places her "mental check-in" keychain on the Spartans' board before their elimination game against Liberty of Issaquah at the Class 3A state softball tournament at the RAC in Lacey. The board is a signal to the coaches and players that each one is ready for their game and mentally checked in. (Annette Griffus | Kitsap Sun)
Bainbridge center fielder Kate Kinney places her “mental check-in” keychain on the Spartans’ board before their elimination game against Liberty of Issaquah at the Class 3A state softball tournament at the RAC in Lacey. The board is a signal to the coaches and players that each one is ready for their game and mentally checked in.
(Annette Griffus | Kitsap Sun)

Superstitions might not be the norm in softball like it has traditionally been in baseball, but that doesn’t mean coaches don’t seek out whatever edge they can to give their teams a little extra oompf.

Bainbridge assistant coach Katie Leigh, an Olympic College and Bainbridge grad, drew on some of her college days to give the Spartans that edge.

Leigh created a “mental check-in board.” The board says Spartans Fastpitch and has hooks for all players and coaches. Everyone has a keychain, also created by Leigh, and when they are ready, or “mentally ready to play” then they put their keychain on their name on the board.

Leigh said when she was playing at OC, her coach had little toilets instead of keychains “so if you made a mistake you could flush it.”

“I couldn’t find the toilets, so I improvised and made them little keychains with their numbers on it,” she said. “Once their keychain is up on the board they’re mentally focused and it’s something they can continually look at through the game and see that not only are they checked in, but everyone else is checked in too.”

The check-in board began with the Metro League tournament and head coach Liz McCloskey thinks it’s something that will become a tradition for the program.

 

State softball: Bainbridge seasons ends on first day

The Bainbridge Spartans lost their opener to Ferndale 12-5, then pulled it altogether to beat Liberty 5-0 in an elimination game on Friday at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey at the Class 3A state softball tournament.

The Spartans spotted Ferndale 8-0 by the third inning, added three runs in the fifth and two in the seventh but it wasn’t enough. Against Liberty, Bainbridge pulled ahead with a four-run third inning thanks to a 3-run triple by Riley Gregoire. Alison Reichert pitched a complete game, scattering four hits in the win.

Bainbridge (17-6) will face another elimination game at 6 p.m. against the loser of the 4 p.m. Enumclaw-University game.

UPDATE: Bainbridge lost to University 3-1 in its second elimination game of the day. That ends the Spartans season at 17-7. It’s the second straight year Bainbridge has lost to the Titans of Spokane. Last year, University beat Bainbridge in the opening round, then again in a loser-out game.

All-League softball, boys soccer teams

Here are the all-league teams for Narrows League and Olympic League softball and Olympic League boys soccer:

Softball
All-Olympic League
MVP—Makayla Bentz, Sequim
Coach of the year—Randy Steinman, Port Angeles
Sportsmanship—North Mason, Port Angeles
First team—P: Sarah Steinman, Port Angeles. Emma Keller, North Kitsap. C: Tori Kuch, Port Angeles. 1B: Alexas Besand, Sequim. 2B: Gabbi Garcia, Kingston. 3B: Ashlee Reid, Port Angeles. SS: Kinsey Reed, Bremerton. OF: Carman Smith, Kingston. Madison Wood, Klahowya. Carly Gouge, Port Angeles. Util.: Olivia Kirsch, Sequim.
Second team—P: Taylor Mannino, Bremerton. Allison Hilse, Kingston. C: Mckenzie Bentz, Sequim. OF: Samantha Gorham, Olympic. Shelby Lott, Sequim. Melissa Lewis, Sequim. 2B: Haley Gray, Port Angeles. SS: Mary Lu Clift, Sequim. 3B: Mackenzie Willeford, Bremerton. Util.: Genevieve Polizzi, Port Townsend.
Honorable mention—Olympic: Zoe Roberts, Adia Roberts. North Kitsap: Bree Henshaw, Kristian Reid. North Mason: Makensea Peek, Rylie Mullins. Port Townsend: Baili Shaw, Maili Henderson. Kingston: Madeline Glad, Kaley Bartel. Sequim: Halie Wilson, Tia Bourm. Port Angeles: Nizhoni Wheeler, Alicia Howell. Bremerton: Samantha Reed, Maddy Fergason. Klahowya: Samantha Moore, Amanda Shultz.

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Rain washes out first day of district softball

Softball players and coaches wanted to play but the ever present Puget Sound rain had other ideas.

All district tournaments, the Class 4A West Central/Southwest Bi-District, and the 2A West Central District, were rained out Friday at their respective venues.

The tournaments have been moved back to a Saturday-Sunday schedule. All game times remain the same for the 4A tournament at Kent Service Ballfields and the 2A tournament at Sprinker Rec Center.

4A South Kitsap is scheduled to play Kentridge at 1 p.m. in Kent. In 2A, Kingston plays Lindbergh at 10 a.m in a loser-out game and Bremerton plays Steilacoom, also at 10 a.m. in a loser-out game.

North Mason athletic director and 2A district tournament manager Mark Swofford said he and the West Central District were talking about the possibility of rain causing a delay or postponement to the tournament. Swofford said there are many factors as to why teams do play on Sunday. That not always used to be the case.

“Part of the reason is you have teams from southwest Washington getting a hotel room, then you bring them back for a Monday morning … you just extend their stay,” he said.

The weather forecast is calling for the Puget Sound region on Saturday is calling for 30 percent chance of rain and a high of 64 degrees.

Ericson stepping down as softball coach at Klahowya

Klahowya softball coach Dan Ericson is stepping down after three seasons coaching the Eagles.

Ericson, who is the school’s varsity football coach and JV boys basketball coach, took the coaching job in 2012 when a former coach resigned two weeks before the start of the season.

“We only had 10, 11 players that first season and we made it through,” Ericson said. “This year we had 24 girls and we’ve had a JV team the past two years.”

 

Olympic softball hosting Strike Out Teen Homelessness game Friday

The Olympic softball team will host the Central Kitsap Cougars in a Strike Out Teen Homelessness softball game Friday at The Fairgrounds.

The junior varsity game starts at 5 p.m. and the varsity at 7 p.m.

Donations will go toward the Stand Up for Kids program, which helps homeless and potential at-risk teens. Margaret Rodriguez is the executive director.

A donation of food, such as soup, crackers, granola, snack bars, juice boxes or other items that kids can eat on the go are preferred.

For information contact Rodriguez at 360-204-0365 or email margaretr@standupforkids.org.