Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

SPORTS: Sequim blanks Port Angeles 9-0 in softball

PORT ANGELES — Makayla Bentz shut down Port Angeles’ bats and Bailey Rhodefer smacked two home runs to lead the Sequim softball team to a 9-0 win over rival Roughriders at Dry Creek Elementary.

Win the win, the Wolves (11-0, 12-0) opened up a two-game lead in the Olympic League standings over second-place Port Angeles (9-2, 10-2).

Bentz pitched a complete-game shutout with four strikeouts, and held the Riders to five hits.

It was the eighth time in 11 league games that Sequim has held its opponent scoreless.

Bentz was the least impressed with her performance.

“Actually, I feel like I struggled today,” she said.

“I had a really hard time locating my pitches, but I had an awesome defense that backed me up.

“I feel like it is one of those really weird off-days that everyone gets.”

Not everyone has off days that go that well.

And not everyone agrees with her self-assessment.

“‘Muck’ threw another good game, another zero on the board,” Sequim coach Mike McFarlen said.

“She hits her spots really well. She’s a good pitcher. I wonder it every time she pitches how she does it, but she does it.

“She’s got a lot of heart.”

She had a lot of help from the Wolves hitters on Wednesday.

Neither team scored a run in the first three innings, and the game looked like it would be another Bentz-Sarah Steinman pitching duel like Sequim’s 6-5 eight-inning victory over Port Angeles earlier this month.

In the fourth inning, Columbia Haupt broke the scoreless tie with a double up the middle that scored Shelby Lott and Tia Bourm.

“I try to think positive; get a hit, score the girls,” Haupt said.

“I just wanted to rile up the girls, get them going.”

She came around to score when Bentz’s fly ball to right field was dropped.

Rhodefer then belted a home run to right field to give Sequim a commanding 5-0 lead.

Rhodefer hit her second homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Haupt led off the inning with an infield hit, and then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Melissa Lewis.

With two outs, Rhodefer smacked a pitch that cleared the center-field fence with several feet to spare that put the Wolves up 7-0.

“We came out and hit the ball well,” McFarlen said.

“Bailey, [with] two jacks, had a great day. Columbia Haupt, she got a hit every time we had runners in scoring position.”

Haupt also drove in a run in the seventh inning to finish 3 for 4 with two runs and three RBI.

For Port Angeles, Sarah Steinman pitched seven innings and struck out seven batters, and Maddy Hinrichs had a pair of hits.

But the Riders struggled to generate scoring chances until the bottom of the seventh when they loaded the bases.

“They hit the ball, we didn’t,” Port Angeles coach Randy Steinman said.

“Obviously, Bailey Rhodefer had two home runs, so they hit a couple of nice shots, but they also hit a lot of infield singles, and those were the ones that really hurt us.”

By beating the Riders, the Wolves have put themselves in a good position to once again win the Olympic League.

“Probably the number one thing is right now they don’t know how to lose. They’re coming into every single game expecting to win,” Steinman said of Sequim.

“That pretty much guarantees them the league title, but we still have the league tournament. We know we’re going to see them again, and we’ll just try to get them the third time.”

The Riders play at North Kitsap today, while the Wolves host third-place Olympic.

Sequim 9, Port Angeles 0

Sequim 0 0 0 5 0 2 2 ­— 9 12 1

Port Angeles 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 5 2

WP- Ma. Bentz; LP- Steinman

Pitching Statistics

Sequim: Ma. Bentz 7IP, 5H, 3BB, 4K.

Port Angeles: Steinman 7IP, 12H, 5ER, 2BB, 7K.

Hitting Statistics

Sequim: Rhodefer 2-4, 2HR, 4RBI; Haupt 3-4, 2B, 2R, 3RBI; Zbaraschuk 2-3, R, BB, 2SB.

Port Angeles: Hinrichs 2-4; Steinman 1-2; D. Lucas 2-3.

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