Young Kingston Bucs still growing as a fastpitch team

Kingston High School pitcher Katie Lomas hurls a strike Monday at home against Port Angeles. - Brian J. Olson/Staff photo
Kingston High School pitcher Katie Lomas hurls a strike Monday at home against Port Angeles.
— image credit: Brian J. Olson/Staff photo

KINGSTON — The Kingston High School fastpitch team is trying to stay positive despite feeling some growing pains this week.

The Buccaneers (4-5 overall, 4-4 league) stumbled Monday in a 5-3 loss against the visiting Port Angeles High Roughriders.

The Kingston squad consists mostly of freshmen and sophomores. Jordan Tapp, one of the team’s two seniors, has seen her team mature during the first half of the season.

“They’ve come along a lot,” Tapp said. “At the beginning, they were all kind of jittery and nervous. Now, if they miss it, they just shake it off. And if they get it, and they make a good throw from the outfield or a good throw in the infield, they all get so pumped up.”

Kingston coach Joe Schiel saw Monday’s game as a chance for his team to continue growing.

“They’re doing outstanding,” Schiel said of the Bucs. “They’re doing what they need to do to make things work. They’re one team; they share the blame together, they share the credit together.”

Monday’s game was the first starting opportunity for backup pitcher Lauren Peiguss, the only senior on the team other than Tapp. Prior to Monday’s game, the Bucs had only used one starting pitcher, sophomore Katie Lomas. Schiel said having two strong pitchers will help the Bucs in the long run, as they hope to qualify for the playoffs next month.

“They’re very, very different looks to a batter,” Schiel said of Lomas and Peiguss. “So when we switch gears, having (Peiguss) is going to be essential to being able to throw batters off.”

Peiguss struggled early in Monday’s outing, but took the Roughriders down in order in the second inning. Schiel understood the need for his No. 2 pitcher to shake off some cobwebs.

“It was a good game. It served its purpose,” Schiel said. “We need to get that pitcher, Lauren, online if we’re going to do well further on down the road.”

Trailing 4-0 in the third inning, the Buccaneer bats responded. With two outs and the bases loaded, third baseman Greta Coleman smacked a towering shot to left field for a double. The hit drove in three runs to bring the Bucs within one point of the lead.

“We got down a little bit in the beginning, and they kept at it, kept battling,” Schiel said.

Lomas came in to relieve Peiguss in the fourth and allowed just one run, in the fifth inning. The Bucs struggled to rally offensively, though, managing just two hits in the final four innings against Port Angeles’ Amanda Wasnock.

“They have a good chemistry team, you can see it,” Tapp said of Port Angeles. “They work together well. And they keep on batting. When you get consecutive hits, that always helps.”

The Roughriders out-hit the Bucs, 8-4.

“That’s probably our biggest push right now,” Schiel said, “to hit the ball through the entire lineup.”

Kingston hosts Bremerton High at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The last time the two teams met, the Bucs triumphed, 15-0.

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