Gig Harbor claims Narrows 4A fastpitch title with 5-1 win over Olympia

Staff writerMay 16, 2014 

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Gig Harbor's Tessa Waage is congratulated by teammates Megan Riggs (24) and Maren Malich after scoring in the Tides' four-run seventh inning that broke open a 1-1 tie with Olympia during the Narrows League fastpitch championship game at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey on Friday, May 16, 2014.

TONY OVERMAN — Staff Photographer Buy Photo

— Gig Harbor High School fastpitch coach Kara Dressel feels there’s something special brewing with her Tides entering next week’s 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament.

After finishing the 4A Narrows League regular season in third place, the Tides rolled to three victories the past two days, including a 5-1 win over Olympia in the league tournament title game Friday at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey. The victory gave Gig Harbor the league’s No. 1 seed for the bidistrict tournament.

Win two games starting at 11 a.m. Friday at the Kent Service Ballfields, and the Tides (17-5) are back in the state tournament for the first time since 2001.

“We’re peaking at the right time,” Dressel said.

Earlier this week, Dressel pointed to a 5-4 loss to 3A Peninsula as the turning point of the season. Since then, the Tides have won four in a row, outscoring their opponents, 38-14.

“We’ve been on a roll ever since,” Dressel said.

After the teams split their regular-season meetings, Friday’s game was a pitchers’ duel between Gig Harbor’s Jordan Adams (eight strikeouts, four hits) and Olympia’s Maddy Stensby (12 strikeouts).

In the seventh, the Tides sent eight batters to the plate and got two of their seven hits off Stensby, including Aubrey Lindberg’s RBI single to left field.

Lindberg finished 2-for-4, and Marin Malich went 3-for-4.

Olympia (18-4), which received the No. 2 seed for the bidistrict tournament, committed six errors.

South Kitsap 14, Yelm 10 (10 innings): The Wolves scored five runs in the top of the 10th to grab the league’s No. 3 seed to the bidistrict tournament. Yelm is the fourth seed.

Hannah Spohn and Maddie Watson each went 4-for-6 for South Kitsap, and Alex Choate led Yelm with a pair of doubles.

3A NARROWS

Timberline 10, Wilson 2: With the Blazers’ victory over the Rams in the 3A Narrows League tournament title game, the magic number for wins to reach state is one. Earning the league’s top seed for next weekend’s bidistrict tournament at Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway comes with a first-round bye and a winner-to-state game Friday against Auburn Mountainview or Mountain View of Vancouver.

“It’s nice only having one game to win,” said Grace Utto-Galarneau, a junior pitcher and third baseman.

For the second straight day, the 3A Narrows regular-season champion Blazers erupted at the plate after trailing early. Timberline trailed Shelton 7-1 in the second inning Thursday before scoring 16 unanswered runs to win in five. Against Wilson, the Blazers scored 10 in a row after a 1-0 deficit.

“It’s our intensity,” Utto-Galarneau said of the team’s quick-strike offense. “If we started off not so good, and they start scoring runs, we can start scoring runs. ... It’s just us.”

In the third, Molly Emmons, Makenzie Sylvester and Krista Jones had consecutive RBI hits to extend Timberline’s lead to 7-1. In all, the Blazers had 17 hits; seven players had at least two hits. Emmons, Sylvester, Jones, Maria Velez-Kraft and Brooklyn Taylor-Sparks combined for 11 hits and eight RBIs.

Kensi Baines, Shyann Albert, Adrianna Lanz and Darian Grimm combined for eight of the Rams’ nine hits.

North Thurston 18, Shelton 4 (5 innings): The Rams, who scored 15 runs over the first two innings, earned the No. 3 seed to the bidistrict tournament, while the Highclimbers are the league’s fourth seed. Seven North Thurston batters had at least two hits, including Saralyn Campbell (4-for-4, six RBIs), Raynie Ehret (2-for-4, three RBIs) and Annelies Dahmen (3-for-4).

mwochnick@theolympian.com

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