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Sports Roundup -- Sailors speed to district title/Spartans bust out to snap losing skid/Tennis gives the Bishop a whack/Lacrosse girls trim Greenwood/Bad news,

Sailors speed to district title

Bainbridge sailors won the district championship for double-handed sailing this past weekend in a regatta at Orcas Island.

Six schools were present to vie for the position of northwest representative to the high school national double-handed championship for the Mallory trophy, to be in two weeks at Port Angeles.

Final scores were: Bainbridge Island 47, Orcas 52, North Kitsap 81, Friday Harbor 92, Port Angeles 121, and Anacortes, which borrowed sailors from other schools to make up a team, finished with 111.

Saturday’s racing was in light-to-moderate and “shifty” air, with one 180-degree shift challenging the race committee to reset all the marks.

Carl Shorett – with a succession of crews that included Pat Layton, Andy Freeman and Emma Hartmann – and Molly Jackson with George Fleischfresser and later Pat Layton, exhibited great skill and patience, driving the score for Bainbridge firmly into a winning position.

Sunday offered moderate breezes of a more consistent nature, and all the teams buckled down in the improved conditions to show their speed.

Chief competitor Orcas sailed two very fine pairs and was able to keep the score close, but not enough to threaten the Bainbridge lead.

Despite poor starts, Bainbridge was able to recover to third or fourth in each case. Orcas was over the line early twice, but also managed to recover the deficit by the finish, although these starting errors did make for temporarily distressed coaches and fans.

In general, the racing was closer among all the schools than the final scores showed, and suggested a growth of skill in the northwest district as a whole.

Each school was allowed a maximum of eight kids on the roster for this elimination. Although Orcas chose to sail only two drivers, Bainbridge used five as drivers and sailed all eight on the roster, an exhibition of the depth of their team.

The Bainbridge roster listed captain Garrett Linrothe, captain George Fleischfresser, Molly Jackson, Carl Shorett, Pat Layton, Adrian Mason, Andy Freeman and Emma Hartmann.

Bainbridge sailed an additional 16 kids in the junior varsity fleet where a second place in double-handed and a second place in team were won. Both JV fleets were won by North Kitsap.

Spartans bust out to snap losing skid

Caught up in a five-game losing streak and needing a break, the Spartan varsity fastpitch team got one in the form of the struggling Cleveland Eagles.

The Spartans scored 12 runs in the first two innings and held the winless Eagles off for a 13-7 victory Monday.

The win keeps Bainbridge two games behind fourth place Seattle Prep, with five to go.

“This was the perfect game to get them back in it,” head coach Liz McCloskey said.

Karen Robinson pitched just the first inning, allowing only one hit and striking out one. Kelcee Azure went the rest of the way to pick up her second win of the year, striking out eight in the process.

The Spartans took advantage of six walks by Thea Lidel to get on the board with five runs in the first inning, highlighted by Trinitie Vance’s three RBI triple.

Bainbridge batted around to score seven runs in the second, but slowly let the Eagles back in the game.

Cleveland had a chance to come from behind in the seventh with the bases loaded, but Brittany Richardson made a great catch in right field to close it out.

The win was a welcome relief after Friday’s 10-3 loss to Bishop Blanchet. The Spartans committed six errors and lost shortstop Amanda Szarzynski to a shin injury.

The Spartans scored first in that game thanks to Stephanie Wagner’s two RBI double, but gave up the lead in the third as three errors led to five unearned runs.

Szarzynski went down when she injured herself running out a ground ball. She was held out of the Cleveland game but McCloskey hopes she’ll be ready for today’s game, along with Tabitha Mabrey. She had to sit out of Monday’s game due to illness, so Abby Heller filled in at catcher.

McCloskey also hopes the 10 hits they collected on Monday will help improve their hitting mentality for them today.

“We had a lot of fun out there,” she said. “That gives them confidence as well.”

The Spartans host Eastside Catholic today at 4 p.m., then travel to Eastside Catholic on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

– John Becerra, Jr.

Tennis gives the Bishop a whack

Bainbridge tennis held onto third place in the Metro League by virtue of a 9-2 win over Bishop Blanchet Monday afternoon, prepping for a final match against top seed Seattle Prep yesterday before the postseason begins next week.

Combining a sweep of doubles competition with two exceptional performances in the singles, the Spartans ran their record to 6-3 in the Metro league, 8-3 overall.

Calling the singles wins “exceptional,” coach Mike Anderson was busy pointing his charges to their matchup against Seattle Prep yesterday.

Monday, Daniel Donohue blanked Kevin Codd in two sets to win the No. 1 singles event, 6-2, 6-1, and making up for a close home loss to Codd last month. Hank Hobbs took Miles Hubbard in the number two singles.

“Donohue played perhaps his best match of the season,” the coach said. “He did a good job placing (shots) in the corners, and once he had Codd down, he never let him up and back in the game.”

Whitney Cheng continued her 15 match unbeaten string on the season, winning career victory number 71 by a score of 6-1, 6-2 over Caitlin Stubner.

In the number two girls singles, Molly Donohue beat Katie Whipple in two 6-1 sets.

But it was the doubles victories that made the difference for the Spartan tennis team.

Marietta Crocket and Jenny Trygg posted 6-3 scores in a two set win over Megan Nichols/Breanne Pelkey, while Gwen Gottlieb and Jocelyn Moody were efficient, going 6-1 in two sets over Carly Stubner and Stephanie Caldwell.

In the boys tandems, Gaelen Kelly and Taylor Lea battled through a 7-6 first set in a four-point tiebreaker, then handled Mike Roland and Chris Martin 6-1 for the number one win.

In the No. 2 seeds, Nash Reijnen and Darton Gibbons fought back after losing the first set 5-7, making a straight set run, 6-1, 6-2 to down Kirande Guzman and James Moynihan.

Anna Judson combined with Sean Brachvogel for a 6-3, 6-2 win over Christina Ciridon and Paul Kimerer for the mixed doubles win that capped the doubles streak for the Spartans.

Bainbridge tennis, 6-3 and 8-3 overall, finish their regular season playing against the Metro League leader the Panthers at Lower Woodland Park yesterday and prepare for the Metro Team Tournament set for next week.

– T.F. Smeeth

Lacrosse girls trim Greenwood

The Bainbridge girls lacrosse team got back on the winning track in a 14-3 Monday night victory over visiting Greenwood, who were depleted by their juniors sitting for the SAT exams.

“We were just looking to play our game,” said coach Tami Tommila after talking with Greenwood coach Lynn Hyde, a longtime lacrosse player. “We’re grateful that Greenwood is here. She has to corral girls from eight different schools, so my compliments to her.”

Coming off a tough loss at Lakeside last week, the Spartans were sharp from the beginning of this one. When captain Christen Toepel scooped up a ground ball on the far side of the field, worked it in from the sidelines and fed Anne Kent as she crossed into the middle to score the opening goal, the rout was on. It was 5-0 midway through the first period.

Greenwood, now 2-6-1, has been having a tough year at lacrosse, and it got a whole lot more challenging when they lost their starting goalkeeper to injury halfway through the first half.

Already moving the ball well against an overmatched side, Bainbridge took the opportunity to extend the idea of balance to an extreme.

Leading 6-0 at the half, Tommila moved defender Grace Davis into goal and starting goalkeeper Dimi Lotakis played home, an attacking position.

Lotakis scored her first goal ever. With tallies by sophomores Abby Pearl and Erin Gulbranson, everyone on the varsity roster has now scored a goal this season.

“Dimi had never scored a goal,” said Tommila. “Grace made some excellent saves. And with everyone scoring, that’s fun.”

The Bainbridge girls play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bellevue, then hosts 9-0 Mercer Island May 11 for what Tommila calls “the preview of the state championships.”

– T.F. Smeeth

Bad news, good news for hardball

Needing a win to stay with Metro League Moutain Division leader Eastside Catholic, the Bainbridge varsity baseball team lost a heartbreaker to eighth ranked Bishop Blanchet 3-2 on Friday.

Despite the tough loss and the failure to reach the top 10 in the state polls, the Spartans got some good news on Monday.

Their game against Rainier Beach on March 28 was finally declared a final. The Spartans were up 18-4 in the fifth inning of that contest before play was called due to darkness.

Add to that their win over the Cleveland Eagles on Monday by forfeit, and that brings the Spartans’ record to 9-2 in league play and 10-3 overall, just one game behind the Crusaders.

Coach Jayson Gore also received word that the playoff format for the Metro League had been changed. Usually the league goes by the top four teams in each division, but because Rainier Beach and Cleveland were unable to field teams this year, it will be the top five teams in the Mountain Division and the top three in the Sound Division.

Also new this year, the league will segregate the teams by record instead of where they finished. So as it stands, the Spartans would make the playoffs.

But Gore won’t let his team slack with just five games to go.

“We can’t relax, because we’re playing for our league championship,” he said. “We need to prepare like we’re a league championship caliber team, and we’re going to get it done.”

Bainbridge Island almost got it done on Friday against the Braves. Down 2-0 going into the sixth, the Spartans rallied with doubles by Zach Peach, David Lantz and C.J. Hall.

But a fielding error in the seventh, their first in five games, put the winning run on base. It eventually led to Colin Studzinski’s single and the win for the Braves.

An inability to score early could be the Spartans’ Achilles heel in the last two weeks of the season. In their three losses, they’ve scored just two runs.

Still, he is happy with how his team has performed this year.

“If you had asked me in the beginning of the year if we were going to be 9-2, I would have taken it in a heartbeat,” he said. “It’s outstanding. We’ve had some juniors step up and become leaders and some sophomores step up and give us productive playing time. We’ve also got some seniors with some life left and some hardcore determination to come out and prove themselves.”

Bainbridge Island will play fifth ranked Eastside Catholic for the Mountain Division lead at BHS at 4 p.m. They will play again on Friday at Newport Hills at 3:30 p.m.

– John Becerra, Jr.

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