By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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The faulty piece of equipment was the only thing that went wrong all game long for Olympic League-leading Port Angeles in a solid 5-0 victory over second-place Sequim on Monday.
“It was a great game for us from start to finish,” Riders coach Randy Steinman said.
“We jumped on them early offensively, got phenomenal pitching and didn't make any errors.”
Sarah Steinman and Nizhoni Wheeler combined to toss a one-hit shutout for Port Angeles, with Steinman striking out 10 in her five innings on the mound, and Wheeler coming on to slam the door with four strikeouts in the final two innings.
“Anytime you score runs against Sequim and hold them down to just one hit is tremendous,” Randy Steinman said.
“We came prepared and played very well.”
Reid was unable to use her “baby,” as she called her bat, against the Wolves, instead borrowing Sarah Steinman's and going on to post a 3 for 3 day at the plate with three RBIs.
“It was more of a mentality, Reid said.
“I realized it's not the bat doing the work, it's my hitting, and then I went 3 for 3 so it worked.”
The win also was the first against Sequim for members of the Riders senior class, including Reid and Steinman.
“It feels outstanding, Reid said.” “Waiting this long makes it all worth it.”
Port Angeles started fast, with lefty leadoff hitter Carly Gouge bunting aboard safely and moving to second on a passed ball.
Gouge was sent along to third after a single by Haley Gray, and after Steinman grounded out, Reid wrangled a two-RBI single to score Gouge and Gray.
The Riders added another run with a two-out rally in the third inning.
Steinman walked and Reid singled to center field, sending Steinman to third base.
Wolves center fielder Shelby Lott tried to gun down Steinman at third base, but the throw went wild in the windy afternoon air, going over the fence landing across the street from the Sequim softball diamond to score Steinman.
Seven out of 10
Meanwhile, Steinman was in a grove on the mound, recording strikeouts against seven of the first 10 batters she faced — including a three-strikeout third inning.
The Riders pounced again in the fifth inning, with Lauren Lunt singling between first and second, and Gouge reaching base after tapping a trickler in front of the Wolves pitcher and catcher.
Lunt and Gouge moved ahead after an error on the throw to first base.
Steinman then hit a bloop RBI single followed by another RBI single, this time to short right field by Reid.
“Being the No. 4 hitter, you have to live up to a standard,” Reid said.
“And I knew [Sequim pitcher Makayla Bentz] was going to paint the corners against me so I was trying to take those pitches to the opposite field.”
Steinman's no-hit bid was broken up after a double by the Wolves' Melissa Lewis to open the bottom of the fifth inning.
She got out of the inning quickly, however, after receiving good hustle from freshman first baseman Nizhoni Wheeler on two straight pop outs and a nice snag on a Tia Bourm liner to Gray at second base.
Wheeler was inserted as pitcher to start the sixth, a move that was planned from the start, according to coach Steinman.
“It was all up here before the game even started, Steinman said, while pointing to his head.
“Sarah was doing well but Sequim was at the top of their order. They'd seen her two times already, and we wanted to put Nizhoni in because we knew it would throw their timing off.”
Taken in stride
The Wolves' coach Mike McFarlen took the loss in stride.
“I'm not too worried about this one,” he said.
“We've been pressing a bit at the plate and today we made some bad errors but it will come around.”
The two squads wore uniforms in different shades of pink, with the game serving to promote cancer research awareness.
The event was organized by the Sequim Softball Boosters and Pink Up Port Angeles, an annual campaign organized by Soroptimist International of Port Angeles Noon Club that raises money for Operation Uplift, a Port Angeles-based group that provides help and information for people with cancer.
Sequim visits Olympic today, while Port Angeles hosts North Kitsap.
The two rivals will face off at the Dry Creek Elementary School fields at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, May 8.
Port Angeles 5, Sequim 0
Port Angeles 2 0 1 0 2 0 0 — 5 9 0
Sequim 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 1 2
WP- Steinman; LP- Name Makayla Bentz
Port Angeles: Steinman 5 IP, H, BB, HBP, 10 K; Wheeler 2 IP,
Sequim: Bentz 7 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 7 K,
Port Angeles: Reid 3-3, 3 RBI; Gray 2-4, Lunt 1-3, Steinman 1-3, RBI; Gouge 2-4, R;
Sequim: Lewis 1-3, 2B. Kirsch HBP