Kitsap All-Stars win state softball championship
July 23, 2011 · Updated 3:01 PM
POULSBO — Until July 16, the Kitsap All-Stars softball team had never won a state championship. That changed in Vancouver, Wash., when the team took the Puget Sound League Washington Softball Championship.
“It was a great feeling,” head coach Scott Knutsen said. “It was the girls, they played hard and didn’t give up.”
Today and Saturday — and possibly Sunday — Knutsen and the team will sell ice cream at Central Market in order to raise money to travel to Palmdale, Calif. for the regional softball tournament.
Knutsen has coached for 10 years. His daughter, Taylor, was 7 when he first signed on as a coach. For the first few years, the team was winless in tournament play. Two years ago, the All-Stars defeated Key Peninsula for the district championship.
“We went to the senior state tournament in Kirkland and just kind of got shellshocked,” Knutsen said.
This season, things turned around.
During the first game against District 6, the All-Stars were down 4-3 after the first few innings. In the fifth inning, the All-Stars scored 11 runs, ending the game early with the mercy rule — calling a game early because of a significant lead over another team.
The second game against Vancouver’s District 4 started similarly, with the All-Stars down 2-0. However, the team came back with a total of seven runs, including a grand slam from Kristi Worley.
The majority of the 14 players on the All-Stars attend North Kitsap High School. However, players from Kingston, Bainbridge Island and Olympic high schools also play on the team.
“It’s definitely a good mixture of the Kitsap Peninsula,” assistant coach Frank Dominguez said.
During the state championship, it was the pitching that controlled the pace of the game, Dominguez said, backed up by a solid defense and getting runs when needed.
The team travels to Palmdale, Calif., July 26 for the first game of the regional championship against California District 51. If the team makes it through regionals, it will go on to Kalamazoo, Mich. for the Softball World Series.
“It’s going to be a tough feat,” Dominguez said, adding the team needs to control the pace like it did at state.