KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS Port Angeles’ Natalie Robinson, left, watches the pitch as Sequim first baseman Sammie Bacon keeps tabs during a May game in Port Angeles.

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS Port Angeles’ Natalie Robinson, left, watches the pitch as Sequim first baseman Sammie Bacon keeps tabs during a May game in Port Angeles.

ALL-PENINSULA SOFTBALL MVP: Port Angeles’ Natalie Robinson records results

Includes All-Peninsula team with Forks, Sequim and Port Angeles players

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles shortstop Natalie Robinson is the softball manifestation of fellow Roughrider Teddy Roosevelt’s famed quote “speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”

Robinson, selected as a back-to-back first-team All-Olympic League team member as a sophomore and junior, is quiet and unassuming off the diamond. But when she’s belting extra-base hits and fielding her position with skill and savvy, her production speaks volumes.

“I dont lead loudly, I lead by example and try to help out our underclassmen a lot and keep the team’s spirits up,” Robinson said.

Coach Morgan Worthington agreed.

“She’s quiet, but she came out of her shell a lot more this year. Natalie is xxtremely driven and she’s going to work extremely hard to get there but not at the expense of her teammates. She wants to see the success of the team as a whole.”

Consistently crushed

Robinson was a main factor in that success, hitting No. 3 in the lineup she had the team-high in batting average at .533 with 12 doubles, 3 triples and tied for the team lead in long balls with Heidi Leitz (nine) nine while driving in 38 runs.

Port Angeles went 20-7, earning second in the Olympic League and West Central District after playing eventual state champion North Kitsap closer than any other team all season and going 3-2 at the state tournament.

For her contributions, Robinson has been selected as the All-Peninsula Softball MVP by the sports staff of the Peninsula Daily News.

“I love hitting No. 3, I got to see Lily [Halberg] and Taylor [Worthington] bat and they always started it off really well,” Robinson said. “And it was especially helpful having Lily come and talk to me about what she saw.”

Robinson points out the district championship game with North Kitsap, a back-and-forth 14-10 loss in which she hit two home runs and drove in four, as her favorite memory from the season.

“Just because it was such an up and down game,” Robinson said. “It was really cool to see how the team came together.”

Coach Worthington described Robinson’s hitting mechanics which produce so many extra-base hits.

“She stays in nice and tight, has fast hands and is very powerful,” she said. “I’m a defensive-minded girl, but everybody loves a great hit. Our girls definitely get fired up by a big hit. There were a bunch of games this season where our rallies started with two outs and she was a big part in starting them or coming through with the clutch hit.”

Robinson said she wants to continue to improve her fielding before her senior season.

“I want to work on not shying away from the ball at all when I’m fielding,” Robinson said. “I go through some phases where I do some random things — take a bad angle to a ball or backhand a ball when I could field it normally — and I want to clean that up.”

Robinson isn’t worried about taking on more of a vocal leadership role that could come along with being just one of two expected seniors on next season’s Riders squad.

“I think it will be pretty easy, I just kind of dialed it back because it was the senior’s year, I think Allie [Money] and I will pick it up just fine,” Robinson said.

2023 All-Peninsula Softball Team

• MVP: Natalie Robinson, Jr., SS, Port Angeles: Hit team-high .533 with 12 doubles, 3 triples and nine home runs. Drove in team-high 38 runs. First-team All-Olympic League pick.

• Lily Halberg, sr., OF, Port Angeles: Hit .425 out of the leadoff spot with nine HR, 26 RBI, 2o stolen bases. First-team All-Olympic League pick.

• Keira Johnson, jr., OF, Forks: First-team All-Pacific League pick is an electrifying player at the plate, on the bases and in center field.

• Taylee Rome, sr., 2B, Sequim: Wolves’ top overall player was a first-team All-Olympic League choice.

• Mia Pozernick, sr., OF/DH, Sequim: Power-hitting outfielder was a leader of Sequim’s offensive attack.

• Taylor Worthington, sr., 3B, Port Angeles: Hit .400 with five homers, five doubles, 23 RBIs

• Cheyenne Zimmer, sr., P, Port Angeles: Riders No. 1 went 13-3 with 86 strikeouts, 33 walks and a 4.80 ERA.

• Heidi Leitz, soph., Utility, Port Angeles: Hit .433 with nine home runs, four doubles, one triple and drove in 33 runs. Also went 6-2 with four saves and 2.04 ERA in the circle.

• Chloe Gaydeski, fr., P, Forks: Freshman pitcher guided Spartans to Class 2B State Championship appearance. Second-team All-Pacific Leaguer.

• Elizabeth Soto, jr., IF, Forks: First-team All-Pacific League selection has a knack for line drives.

• Hannah Bates, sr., SS, Sequim: First-team All-Olympic League was a fixture at shortstop for Wolves.

• Abby Kimball, soph., C, Port Angeles: Second-team All-Olympic League pick hit .390 with eight home runs, eight doubles and 33 RBIs.

• Kyra Neel, sr., C, Forks: Second-team All-Pacific League selection was a multi-year starter for Spartans.

• Kadie Wood, sr., SS, Forks: Second-team All-Pacific League pick for second-place Forks.

• Lainey Wood, sr., P, Sequim: Held down the No. 1 pitcher position for the Wolves and earned first-team All-Olympic League.

• Honorable Mention: Ava-Anne Sheahan, Port Angeles; Michela Green, Sequim; Bailey Johnson, Forks; Lexi King, Sequim; Lexie Smith, Port Angeles;

• Coach of the Year: Forks’ Traci Kratzer guided the Spartans through a thrilling postseason run to the Class 2B State Championship game and second place in state, tied for the best finish in school history in any sport.

________

Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at mcarman@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in Sports

Port Angeles Lefties
WEST COAST LEAGUE: Lefties lose another close one

The Port Angeles Lefties are hanging tough in nearly… Continue reading

Wilder Senior pitcher Rylan Politika throws to the plate as his teammate at third base, Josiah Gooding waits the results of the pitch. Politika was part of a 13-strikeout, four-hit shutout as Wilder Senior won 3-0. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Port Angeles Lefties.
WEST COAST LEAGUE: Lefties give Knights all they can handle

The Port Angeles Lefties gave the defending West Coast… Continue reading

Carston Seibel (No. 7) had a hit and an RBI in the first game of a doubleheader against Whatcom Post No. 7 on Saturday at Volunteer Field. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula Daily News)
AMERICAN LEGION: Wilder Jr. sweeps Whatcom AA

The Wilder Junior Baseball Club won one game easily… Continue reading

Port Angeles lefties
WEST COAST LEAGUE: Lefties lose pair of close ones against defending champion Corvallis

The Port Angeles Lefties gave the Corvallis Knights everything they… Continue reading

East Jefferson's Athletic Director Shelby Box in Shelby, Mont.
EAST JEFFERSON: Rivals athletic director Shelby Box wins InSideOut award

East Jefferson Athletic Director Shelby Box will be presented… Continue reading

PAL
LEFTIES: Port Angeles a call away from a Walla Walla sweep

Umpire disagrees with timing of home plate tag