North Kitsap fastpitch strikes out at home

North Kitsap High’s Jacquelyn Stenman prepares to swing at a fastball Tuesday in Poulsbo.  - Brian J. Olson/Staff photo
North Kitsap High’s Jacquelyn Stenman prepares to swing at a fastball Tuesday in Poulsbo.
— image credit: Brian J. Olson/Staff photo

POULSBO — The North Kitsap High fastpitch team is struggling to find its groove in the Olympic League.

The Vikings (2-4 overall, 2-3 league) were pummeled Tuesday at home, 18-0, by the visiting Sequim High School Wolves. The game was called off after just three innings.

“It was ugly.” North Kitsap head coach Jaime Heins said. “I don’t want to say it’s because of spring break, but after yesterday’s practice they weren’t looking too focused.”

Sequim pitcher Demiree Brionnes threw a perfect game for the Wolves, striking out eight of the nine batters she faced. Brionnes was also a force at the plate. She went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in. Sequim’s other big contributors were Leah Hopson, who went 3-for-3 including a double and a home run, and Chelsea Winfield, who walked twice, doubled twice and knocked in three runs.

The Wolves went through 11 batters in the first inning, racking up five runs. In a slightly quicker second inning (nine up, three down, three left on base), the Wolves drove in three more runs. Sequim then sent 15 batters to the plate in the top of the third and brought 10 of them all the way home.

Heins said although the Wolves looked unstoppable Tuesday, they were actually right on par with other teams the Vikings have faced this season.

“They’re just with everybody else. We just didn’t have pitching or our heads in the game at all,” Heins said.

The game, which was called after three innings based on a 15-run mercy rule, was a tough lesson for the young North Kitsap squad. Each of the Vikings’ four losses has been by a margin of at least eight points. They have won two games by four points combined.

“I feel like today we learned that if we want to win it’s not going to be easy,” infielder Kayla Young said. “But that’s OK if it’s not easy. It’s going to take a lot of hard work. I’m trying to have the mental attitude of working harder every day.”

The Vikings have another tough test ahead of them this week. On Thursday they host Klahowya, which has been a powerhouse in Olympic League fastpitch in recent years.

“They know they have to come out ready to play,” Heins said of her team.

Keeping a positive attitude helps.

“We can only go up from here,” Young said.

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