Sparts help lead All-Stars to two wins

(L-R) Chelsie Kakela, Cara Thompson, Lindsay Willmann and Brittany Wisner are introduced before the fastpitch showcase at Fairgrounds Field in Silverdale.  - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
(L-R) Chelsie Kakela, Cara Thompson, Lindsay Willmann and Brittany Wisner are introduced before the fastpitch showcase at Fairgrounds Field in Silverdale.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Willmann strong in the ring as the North All-Stars win two.

SILVERDALE – On a hot, sunny day, four Bainbridge fastpitch players didn’t have to worry about coming through in a pressure situation or agonizing over a bad play.

Instead, they helped the North All-Stars sweep both games of a doubleheader from the South All-Stars by the scores of 4-3 and 4-1 at the fifth annual Benik Corporation/KCBAR fastpitch showcase Friday at Fairgrounds Field in Silverdale.

Spartan head coach Liz McCloskey, selected as the head coach for the North, said she enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere.

“It was fun,” she said. “We didn’t know what to expect, especially me as a first time, never done this before (coach), but it was definitely fun.

“The kids are like, ‘Well, what do we do?’ and I said ‘you’re going to have fun,’” McCloskey continued. “If you mess up, you mess up. Everyone had a good time.”

Chelsie Kakela, who was selected for the second straight year along with teammates Cara Thompson, Lindsay Willmann and Brittany Wisner, said she enjoyed the experience as well.

“It’s a lot more laid back than (an) actual ball(game),” she said. “It’s always fun to meet new people and play with new people.

“Getting to see new people and (see) how they play is always fun.”

Haylee Baker and Stephanie Wagner were also selected, but could not attend due to prior commitments.

Klahoya’s Meika Bumbalough got the scoring started for the South when she just missed a home run – by taking a ¾ golf-like swing on a pitch nearly in the dirt – into the right centerfield gap for a triple in the second inning.

She scored when North Mason’s Melissa Nys hit a ground ball that died quickly in front of the pitching circle as her teammate – pitcher Katie Stanley – slipped in her attempt to field it.

In the second inning, Olympic’s Kelsey Anchors led off with a single, followed by Olympic’s Rachel Haas with a double to score her.

Haas scored when she was driven in on a sacrifice fly by Bumbalough.

Central Kitsap’s Erika Quint got the start for the South and she sailed through the first four innings with no problems, giving up one hit while striking out six.

But in the fifth, the North All-Stars got two runs back off of the new pitcher in Klahowya’s Kazandra Holliday.

Willmann got on board with two outs with a bloop single.

Olympic’s Athena Rosario walked, then Wisner singled to score Willmann.

Kakela followed with a base hit to score Rosario.

In the sixth, Holliday gave up a leadoff walk to South Kitsap’s Brandy Ball. She advanced to third on a double by North Kitsap’s Josie Ball, then scored on a passed ball to tie the game.

Olympic’s Sarah Varady scored the go-ahead run when she struck out, but reached first when the catcher couldn’t handle the ball.

She stole second, then later scored on a single by Willmann.

Willmann also got the win as she pitched the last three innings, giving up two walks, a hit and struck out one.

In the second game, Wisner just missed a home run in the second inning, settling for a stand-up triple. She later scored on a base hit by Ball.

The South got the run back in the third when North Mason’s Katie Anderson gave up walks to Holliday and North Kitsap’s Hannah McCluskey.

McCluskey reached third on a passed ball and scored on an opposite field base hit by North Kitsap teammate Jordan Jewitt.

The North retook the lead in their half of the third when Central Kitsap’s Amy Renfrow tripled, then scored on a base hit by Anderson.

They scored once more in the fifth on an RBI single by Willmann, then in the sixth when Kakela reached on an error, then worked her way around to score on another error.

The South added another run in the seventh, but that was it.

Haas got the win in the second game, while North Kitsap’s Kendall Pieguss threw the last two innings of the game for the save.

Willmann threw two innings, allowing no runs and striking out three.

Despite the different jerseys, McCloskey felt everyone got along.

“Everybody had a good time,” she said. “Everybody was relaxed, (everybody was) working together and having fun in the dugout. That’s what this game is about is having fun.”

The team also had fun with their successful run to state this season, their first time since 2002 and they won their first game at state since the team played slowpitch softball back in 1989.

The three captains – Wagner, Wisner and Karen Robinson – represented the team as they were honored at last night’s school board meeting.

“It’s sad to see the season over,” McCloskey said. “But hopefully we can get into summer league and start practicing a couple days a week – until they can’t stand me anymore.”

But while they prepare for next season, they’ll also have to eventually prepare for a move back to their old turf – the Olympic League – or stay in the Metro League and weather the numerous proposed changes.

Kakela said she likes playing in the Metro League.

“They’ve got some of the better teams (in the area),” she said. “I think it’ll benefit us to stay in Metro.”

McCloskey, who played in the Olympic League when she played fastpitch and basketball for the Spartans from 1996-1999, said she’d like to stay in the Metro League as well.

“I like the competition that we get with Holy Names, Bishop Blanchet, West Seattle and Eastside Catholic,” she said.

“But (if we move) we could play against NK, North Mason – even though they’re 2A, they’re very talented and would be a good challenge for us – and CK.

“(But) I wouldn’t mind staying in the Metro League,” McCloskey said. “I think competition-wise, the teams that we see in KingCo and Metro – we see better competition.”

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