PREP SOFTBALL: Sequim beats Port Angeles for share of Olympic League title; will teams play again?
Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Port Angeles' Cara Cristion, right , swings at a pitch as Sequim catcher McKenzie Bentz waits for the delivery.
By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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Another showdown?SEQUIM AND PORT Angeles are tied for first in the Olympic League.
Sequim athletic director Dave Ditlefsen told the Peninsula Daily News last week that the top seed at next week's 2A West Central District tournament would be decided with a coin flip, should the Roughriders and Wolves finish tied.
However, with 10 days between Tuesday's Sequim and Port Angeles game and the start of districts, a coin flip might no longer be the tiebreaker.
Wolves coach Mike McFarlen and Roughriders coach Randy Steinman both said after Tuesday's game that there might be a playoff for the top seed.
Both schools' athletic directors, Ditlefsen and Port Angeles' Dwayne Johnson, confirmed Wednesday that a playoff game for the Olympic League's top seed is being considered.
“We're working on it,” Ditlefsen said.
“I'm going to work with Dwayne [on setting up a playoff game] since we have a week and a half.”
Johnson said the major question is where the game would be played.
Another question is when the game would take place.
Steinman said Friday is one day that has been discussed and that a coin flip might decide the location, but added, “You might want to double check that.”
Ditlefsen also is the Sequim baseball coach and said he likely wouldn't be able to discuss details with Johnson until today because he would be busy coaching his team at the baseball district tournament in Tacoma.
Sequim beat Port Angeles 8-2 at Dry Creek Elementary to give both teams a piece of the Olympic League softball championship.
“Hey, it's all right. I don't mind,” Sequim coach Mike McFarlen said after Tuesday's game. “If I've got to share it with anybody, I want to share it with them.”
Wolves senior pitcher Makayla Bentz, who tossed a complete game to earn the win, said half of the league title beats the alternative.
“It's better than not having it at all,” she said. “We're happy, we're really excited.
“We've had some struggles this season compared to the past few years, but we've been working so hard and this was our goal for a really long time and it feels really good.”
Of course, not having any part of the championship was a possibility for Sequim. Had the Wolves lost Tuesday, they would have dropped into a second-place tie with Kingston.
The Roughriders were playing for an outright championship. Losing forces them to have to share their winnings.
No big deal.
“To us it really doesn't matter,” Port Angeles coach Randy Steinman said.
“And I'm sure it doesn't to them because both our goals — Sequim and PA — was to be the No. 1 and 2 seed. And right now, we've both locked that up.
“Sequim was in a must-win situation. If not, they had to go play for second and third down at Kingston. So they wanted it a little bit more and they showed it.”
“But either way, there's not a huge advantage between one- and two-seed; we both get a first-round bye.”
The Riders won the first meeting between the rivals 5-0 last month, holding the Wolves' potent offense to only one hit.
Sequim quickly surpassed that output Tuesday.
The Wolves plated four runs in the first inning, including two on a double by Melissa Lewis and another on a single from McKenzie Bentz.
They added two more runs in the third inning when Olivia Kirsch's two-out double brought in Alysen Montileus and Tia Bourm.
That gave Sequim a 6-0 lead and forced Port Angeles to make a pitching change, replacing senior Sarah Steinman with freshman Nizhoni Wheeler.
Sarah Steinman got two of those six runs back for the Riders with a two-run homer that cleared the left-field fence.
“That was good. It was senior day and it couldn't happen on a better day,” Randy Steinman said of his daughter's home run.
“She just got a great pitch to hit and just clobbered it out of there.
“That was her first this year over the fence. So it was great timing.”
Other than that, Makayla Bentz prevented Port Angeles from mounting a rally.
She scattered seven hits and struck out four in seven innings. The Riders' top hitters recently, Carly Gouge and Ashlee Reid, were a combined 1 for 7.
“I just threw the pitches my coach called and I knew I had a great defense behind me,” Makayla Bentz said.
“So I knew that if they hit it, not a big deal, my defense is going to make plays.”
McFarlen said Sequim's defense was the difference in the game.
“She threw great, she did,” he said of Bentz. “But her defense made plays, and that's what won the game for us. Our defense was on it today.”
Port Angeles, meanwhile, struggled in the field, aiding Sequim's offense with four errors.
“Uncharacteristic of us, we made a bunch of errors,” Randy Steinman said.
“You give Sequim five or six outs in an inning, you're not going to win the ballgame. You just can't do that.
“That happens, you know. But I'll tell you, Sequim made some plays. We hit the ball hard but they played some great defensive plays.”
The Riders also didn't have much luck on their side.
Many of Sequim's hits barely missed the gloves of Port Angeles players.
The Wolves had a hit along the third-base line; the Riders hit one along the third-base line that was barely foul.
“Everything they hit had eyes and found holes and everything else,” Randy Steinman said.
“I just tried to tell the girls, 'You know, you didn't play bad, things just went their way. So, it's OK.'”
Rather than run sprints after the game as they typically do, the Sequim players watched and cheered as their coaches did the running.
McFarlen said he and his assistants made a deal with the players that they would run if the Wolves won.
It was just one more thing that was on the line for Sequim, something else added to the already high stakes along with a league title and revenge for last month's loss to Port Angeles.
“We talked about it all week and I told them if they played their level and left it all out on the field, their chances would be a lot better,” McFarlen said.
“And they did, and they played the game of their lives.”
McFarlen added, “Against a good team; that's a good team and a well-coached team.
“It feels good to come back and beat them. I mean, it always feels good when you beat a good team. And they're a good team. You can't take anything away from them. They played good ball.”
Sequim 8, Port Angeles 2
Sequim 4 0 2 0 1 1 0 — 8 12 1
Port Angeles 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 — 2 7 4
WP- Ma. Bentz; LP- Steinman
Sequim: Ma. Bentz 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K.
Port Angeles: Steinman 2 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; Wheeler 4 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K.
Sequim: Kirsch 4-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI; Mc. Bentz 3-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI; Lott 2-5, R, SB; Lewis 1-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI.
Port Angeles: Steinman 1-2, HR, 2 RBI; Howell 2-4; Gray 1-3, R; Cristion 1-3.
Last modified: May 14. 2014 6:11PM