Pete Pratz has coached the Peninsula High School softball team before.
The school’s previous principal, Tim Winter, had asked Pratz to take over the team when the previous coach left late in the process.
Pratz coached the team for a two years before stepping down to spend time with his children, who were in little league at the time.
Fast forward eight years: Pratz, who is also on the staff for the football team, is once again the school’s softball coach. Pratz takes over for Melissa Miller, who stepped down to spend more time with her children, similar to Pratz several years ago. And Miller was actually the coach who took over for Pratz. In a way, it has all come full circle.
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“Coaching is always fun,” Pratz said. “I like working with the kids. It’s no different than coaching football. I just like helping the school out, working with the kids. Just having good kids that are positive and work hard all the time, I enjoy that piece.”
And Pratz has a solid team on his hands this season. While the Seahawks have struggled against the Class 3A South Sound Conference’s top teams in Yelm and Gig Harbor, Peninsula has posted a strong record, going 5-2 in the SSC 3A with a 6-3 overall record.
“The girls are great, that’s the bottom line,” Pratz said. “They’re good kids. We’re doing OK.”
Pratz said it’s a team effort, but one player who he pointed to with having a good season so far is Shelby Bottinger, who moved to center field this year as a senior.
“She’s doing a nice job in center field; it kind of solidified our outfield,” Pratz said.
Pratz also pointed to first baseman Alyssa Mernone, shortstop Bailey Paul and leadoff hitter Ashley Gonsalves as big contributors on this year’s team.
Peninsula travels to Yelm on Thursday (April 27) for a rematch with the first-place Tornados, who are undefeated this season. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.