PORT ANGELES — Coming off a loss that snapped a 14-game winning streak, the Olympic League 2A Division champion Port Angeles softball team was all business against Kingston, immediately putting the Buccaneers in a big hole with eight straight hits in the first inning.
The Roughriders didn’t let up at the plate or in the field the rest of the way, going on to win 13-0 Wednesday to complete the team’s fourth-straight year of undefeated play in the Olympic League 2A. The Riders undefeated streak in league is now up to 47 games.
It was also senior night for Riders Callie Hall, Natalie Steinman, Sierra Robinson, Brennan Gray and Erin Edwards.
The players admitted that perhaps they had taken winning for granted before a 6-5 loss Monday against Sequim — that was a nonleague, fill-in game and did not count in the league standings.
Nevertheless, coach Randy Steinman and the team were not happy.
“They didn’t come prepared. I don’t know why. We had a talk about coming prepared for the game. It will never happen again,” Steinman said.
Port Angeles sure was prepared against Kingston. The Riders strung together eight straight hits in the first inning, including a leadoff triple by Sierra Robinson that would have been a double for most kids. But Robinson used her speed and aggressive baserunning to stretch it into a triple. Robinson quickly came in to score when Callie Hall followed up with a single.
“They came out and just pounded the ball,” Steinman said.
Two big blows put the Bucs in a deep hole they could never climb out of. Erin Edwards hit a three-run home run in the first inning and Lucah folden added a two-run double.
“It was pretty cool to hit a home run on senior night,” Edwards said. “A lot of friends were here … I hit it for them.”
Senior Edwards has muscled up for three home runs this season. She said when you really crush the ball, the bat has a unique feel in the hands.
“When you hit a home run, you barely feel it,” Edwards said.
“She just crushed it. As of late, she is really crushing it,” Steinman said.
Fellow senior Natalie Steinman said the team learned from the Sequim loss.
“It wasn’t good, but it was good to remember that in every game, you have to be on your game,” she said.
Natalie said the Riders “went out and relaxed and just had fun and worked hard,” against Kingston.
In addition to Edwards, Robinson and Folden’s fireworks, pitcher Callie Hall had perhaps her best game of the year, going five innings and giving up just one hit while striking out eight and walking four. Hall also was 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Natalie Steinman finished the game 3 for 3 with two runs, while Robinson finished 2 for 4 with two runs and Gray also was 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Natalie also said the Riders are looking forward to beginning postseason and doing some damage like they did last year when they finished second in the state 2A tournament. “I think if we come together as a team, we can be pretty unstoppable,” she said. “All we gotta do is win one game at district [to qualify for state]. Just one game.”
Before district, the Riders do have one home game left. They will host a 3A school, Gig Harbor, at 4 p.m. Monday at Dry Creek. This will be a game between a couple of powerhouses as the Riders are 12-0 in league and 17-2 overall while Gig Harbor is 12-2 in league and 13-5 overall.
“They’re going to really test us,” said coach Steinman. After that, postseason begins with a game at the Class 2A West Central District Tournament at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey at noon Friday, May 18.
As leaguechampion and a No. 1 seed, the Riders will get a first-round bye in the district tournament.
Port Angeles 13, Kingston 0, 5 innings
King 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 1 2
PA 8 0 5 0 X — 13 15 0
Port Angeles — Hall 5IP, 0R, H, 4BB, 8K.
Port Angeles — Robinson 2-4, 3B, 2R; Hall 2-4, 2R, 2RBI; Steinman 3-3, BB, 2R, RBI; Edwards 2-4, HR, 2R, 3RBI; Gray 2-4, R, RBI; O’Connor 1-2, BB, R, RBI; Nevaril 1-2, R, SF, RBI; Folden 1-2, 2B, 2RBI; Holland 1-2, R.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]