Spartans earn spots on AKC team

(Top to bottom) Chelsie Kakela, Cara Thompson and Brittany Wisner were three of the many reasons why the Bainbridge fastpitch team made it to the state tournament this season for the first time since 2002. They also won a game, the first since 1989.  - Brad Camp/Staff Photos
(Top to bottom) Chelsie Kakela, Cara Thompson and Brittany Wisner were three of the many reasons why the Bainbridge fastpitch team made it to the state tournament this season for the first time since 2002. They also won a game, the first since 1989.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photos

Several more make the All-Metro team for their success.

The Bainbridge fastpitch team had one of their most successful seasons in years.

They got big wins over Central Kitsap, Holy Names and West Seattle en route to a tie for second place in the Metro League Mountain Division.

From there, the Spartans overcame a heartbreaking defeat to Holy Names to take third at the Metro tournament, then defeated Ingraham and Issaquah on the first day of the district tournament to make their first trip to state since 2002.

Bainbridge also won a game at state, the first since 1989 when slowpitch softball was still played.

For their efforts this season, seven players were All-Metro selections.

Brittany Wisner was a All-Metro Mountain Division selection, while Karen Robinson and Stephanie Wagner were honorable mentions.

Four Spartans and head coach Liz McCloskey were also selected to the All-Kitsap News Group fastpitch team.

The All-Kitsap County teams are compiled by the sports writers for the Bainbridge Island Review, the Bremerton Patriot, the Central Kitsap Reporter, the North Kitsap Herald and the Port Orchard Independent.

Candidates for the team are nominated by the writers for their respective areas. The nominees are then voted on by the writers, with the top vote-getters making the teams.

Two honorable mentions are selected from each school for each sport.

The teams include the best players from area schools that not only performed well individually, but played a role in the success of their team as well.

The starters

Pitcher: Erika Quint, Central Kitsap – Quint, a senior went 7-2 for CK, striking out 85 in 58 innings while posting a 1.08 ERA. She also pitched in the Narrows League championship a week after her father’s death.

Quint was the heart of the Cougars’ senior core, leading the team back to state for the first time since 2000 after two years of heartbreaking district losses. She was also strong at the plate, hitting .456 with 26 RBI and seven doubles, scoring 15 runs.

Pitcher: Jenneke Oostman, North Kitsap – Oostman finished the regular season with an overall record of 10-1 in the circle for the Vikings.

She was also North’s workhorse, finishing 2007 with a team-high 67 innings pitched for her squad.

Oostman displayed incredible poise for a sophomore and was responsible for striking out 60 batters in the regular season.

Pitcher: Carolyn Cross, Central Kitsap – Cross was the perfect compliment to Quint for CK in both pitching and at the plate.

On the mound, the sophomore, went a perfect 7-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 34 innings.

At the plate, Cross swung at a .417 clip, driving in 11 while scoring 19 times herself.

Pitcher: Kazandra Holliday, Klahowya – Holliday was the textbook workhorse for the Klahowya softball team, pitching 106 innings this season and striking out 114 batters to lead the Eagles within one win of state.

Holliday, a sophomore, was dangerous at the plate too, batting .475, scoring 25 runs and driving in 13 with nine doubles.

Pitcher: Haylee Baker, Bainbridge – This freshman continued in the footsteps of last year’s talented freshmen with a breakout year in the circle, going 7-5 with one save, a 1.32 ERA and 92 strikeouts versus 18 walks in 74 1/3 innings.

She also contributed in the field (four errors in 27 games) and at the plate with a line of a .429 batting average, a .500 on-base percentage and a .670 slugging percentage with four home runs, 22 RBI and eight doubles.

She was named to the All-Metro League team.

Catcher: Caty Lieseke, South Kitsap – Catchers usually are counted on for bottom of the batting order production, but Lieseke is the exception.

She generally hit third for the Wolves and finished with a .474 batting average, two home runs and 14 RBI. She also had three doubles, three triples and a .649 on-base percentage.

“She was one of our hitters who could provide some extra power,” South Kitsap coach Kathy Ballew said. “We could just always count on her.”

Lieseke, who didn’t strike out as a senior and only twice as a junior, started for the Wolves since her sophomore season and never missed a game.

She will play at Whitworth College in Spokane next season.

First baseman: Josie Ball, North Kitsap – Ball was the undisputed senior leader of the Vikings in 2007.

She was a brick wall at first base, but as good as she was defensively, she was even better at the plate, putting forth a .449 batting average and racking up 22 hits for North.

Second baseman: Chelsea Kakela, Bainbridge – This sophomore had a breakout year at the plate, mashing the ball to every corner of the field and posting a line of .420/.475/.784 with six home runs, 33 RBI, eight doubles, three triples, 33 runs scored and 69 total bases.

She’ll be part of a talented returning core to help lead the Spartans back to state next season.

Kakela was a All-Metro League selection.

Shortstop: Brittany Devitt, Klahowya – It was easy to see why this Indiana-bound senior was so heavily recruited.

She hit an astronomical .564 with 26 runs and 17 RBI, blasting three homers in the process. She was also a defensive standout, making a number of great plays by using her ability to read the ball off the bat and with her cannon of an arm.

Third baseman: Lexi Orteza, Olympic – Orteza was an infield bright spot for the Trojans, hitting .345 with 21 runs and eight RBI starting all 16 games.

Patient at the plate, Orteza struck out just eight times in 58 at bats and should help a young Trojan squad continue to improve.

Outfield: Kelsey Anchors, Olympic – One of the best outfielders in the county, Anchors, a junior, has been a highly sought after recruit thanks to her .558 average along with 19 runs and 12 RBI this season.

Anchors also slugged two homers for Oly while speeding around the bases for five triples. Her defense was also strong as she manned center more than adequately all season long.

Outfielder: Jordan Jewett, North Kitsap – Jewett’s ability to make contact with the ball was evident to every player, coach, and opponent this year.

She had the highest batting average (.520) and had the most hits (26) on North’s roster.

Jewett’s sensational speed in centerfield anchored the stellar Viking defense behind pitchers Kendal Peiguss and Oostman.

Outfield: Natalie Peapea, South Kitsap – Ballew inserted Peapea into the leadoff spot to utilize her speed, but found out she was a multi-talented player.

“She actually provided some power, too,” Ballew said.

Peapea, who hit .426 with a pair of home runs and 17 RBI along with six doubles and three triples, also was a defensive standout in centerfield for the Wolves.

She will play next season at Olympic College.

Utility: Brittney Romano, Central Kitsap – Romano was one of the grittiest outfielders in the county, never fearing a dive or leap if it meant helping her team.

Playing through severe hip pain (that required surgery this offseason) didn’t keep her from hitting .467 with a team-high four homers, 26 runs and 14 RBI.

Utility: Kendall Sours, Central Kitsap – Arguably the best defensive shortstop in the county, Sours parlayed an outstanding high school career into a college scholarship, signing to play next season for Central Connecticut State.

With a smooth glove and wide range up the middle, she combined with second baseman Karli Baumgartner to turn many a double play for CK this season.

At the plate Sours was solid, batting .490 with a team-high 28 runs, driving nine in. She also ripped four doubles and had a .690 on-base percentage.

Coach of the year: Liz McCloskey, Bainbridge – A former player for the Spartan softball team from 1996 to 1999, she led a young team to a 19-9 record and a tie for second place in the Metro League Mountain Division.

In the postseason, she guided Bainbridge to a third-place finish in the Metro League tournament, a fourth-place finish at districts and the team’s first trip to state since 2002 – all in just her third year as coach.

There, the team earned its first win since the school played slowpitch softball in 1989.

She was also selected as the coach of the South All-Stars for the KCBAR/Benik Corporation fastpitch showcase.

Also stellar

Pitcher: Lindsay Willmann, Bainbridge – The sophomore was dominant in the circle for the Spartans this season, going 8-4 with one save, a 1.88 ERA and 94 strikeouts versus 38 walks in 78 innings despite suffering from tendinitis in her pitching wrist late in the season.

Opponents hit just .188 off her.

She also did well at the plate with a line of .373/.441/.530, one home run, 24 RBI and six doubles.

Willmann was an All-Metro League selection.

Shortstop: Cara Thompson, Bainbridge – The sophomore continued her strong play in the field and at the plate with a line of .352/.406/.560 with three home runs, 27 RBI, six doubles and 30 runs scored.

Thompson was an All-Metro Mountain Division selection.

Pitcher/shorstop: Kendal Peiguss, North Kitsap – Peiguss was a consistent force in the circle, unveiling a 1.20 ERA in the regular season, the best one on the team.

In addition, she also was an outstanding defensive shortstop and finished the regular season with a .346 batting average.

Second baseman: Karli Baumgartner, Central Kitsap – Baumgartner combined with Sours to form the heart and soul of Central Kitsap’s defense, as the slick-fielding second baseman kept CK in games not only with her glove, but with her .327 average, six doubles, 11 runs and 19 RBI as well.

Baumgartner will continue her career next season at Olympic College.

Pitcher/infielder: Rachel Haas, Olympic – Haas had another standout year for Oly as a junior, hitting .333 with 10 runs and eight RBI at the plate while going a perfect 5-for-5 in steals.

On the hill, Haas finished 3-4 with 49 strikeouts and just nine walks in 44 innings.

Infielder: Meika Bumbalough, Klahowya – Bumbalough carried a big stick for the Eagles this season, as the sophomore bashed at a .387 clip with two homers, five doubles, 19 runs and 15 RBI. She also co-led the Eagles with three triples.

Infielder: Brandy Ball, South Kitsap – Ball, a sophomore, hit .395 with a .535 on-base percentage and added a home run and seven RBI for SK.

Catcher: Hannah McCluskey, North Kitsap – McCluskey was essentially the quarterback of the Vikings defense from her position.

Offensively, she batted clean-up for much the season, compiling a total of 14 RBI.

Catcher: Amy Renfrow, Central Kitsap – Another key senior in the Cougs’ run to state, Renfrow came up with clutch hitting at the right time this postseason after hitting .286 with nine runs and five RBI in the regular season. Renfrow will also be at OC next year.

Utility: Sarah Varady, Olympic – Varady was very versatile for Oly this season, able to play both the infield and outfield with ease.

The senior finished her Trojans career with a strong year at the plate, hitting .367 with 13 RBI and four doubles.

Catcher: Jocylynn Meadows, Klahowya – Meadows, one of the scrappiest catchers in the county, enjoyed her junior season, hitting .344 with 13 RBI and 10 runs, smacking four doubles as well.

Meadows is also one of the best defensive catchers in the county.

Shortstop: Ally Johnson, South Kitsap – The sophomore hit .357 with a .446 on-base percentage and added a home run and 13 RBI.

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