Making a powerful argument

SK third baseman Kirstie Cosgrove is the latest member of her family to play sports for the Wolves. Two older brothers, Rory and Ryan, played basketball and baseball, respectively. - Jesse Beals/Staff Photo
SK third baseman Kirstie Cosgrove is the latest member of her family to play sports for the Wolves. Two older brothers, Rory and Ryan, played basketball and baseball, respectively.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/Staff Photo

It was near the end of practice when she put on the chest protector and face mask in preparation to receive pitches.

This is an everyday routine for a catcher, but that’s not Kirstie Cosgrove’s role on the South Kitsap High School fastpitch team. After all, the senior has been the Wolves’ starting third baseman for three years.

For Cosgrove, it’s just another way to fulfill her role as co-captain — and to have some fun.

“She’s always fun and energetic,” said first baseman Monique Morey, a fellow senior and co-captain. “There’s never a dull moment. She’s always positive.”

Sports have been a way of life for Cosgrove. She has two older brothers — Rory, who played on the basketball team that placed second in the Class 4A state tournament his senior year in 2004, and Ryan, an outfielder who batted .452 as a senior in 2006.

“I had two older brothers — no sisters — so I kind of had to follow in those footsteps,” said Cosgrove, who also played volleyball at South.

The Wolves played just four games before spring break because of two rainouts. Cosgrove had a .286 batting average, a team-high two home runs and drove in seven runs in 14 at-bats as the team started 3-1.

“She definitely has come around with the power,” South coach Kathy Ballew said. “It comes with the fundamentals and doing the same thing every time.”

Consistency is a trait Cosgrove hopes to share with the next generation. She’s set to attend Central Washington University this fall and major in elementary education and minor in math.

Cosgrove hopes to be a kindergarten teacher, but also sees the appeal of teaching at the high-school level.

“That’s why I’m maybe going for math,” she said. “That would put me at the high school, and maybe I would coach.”

Ballew said Cosgrove’s patience would work well with children. She said it’s one quality among many that serve the Wolves well.

“She has great leadership skills,” Ballew said. “She’s sincere and always wants the best for the team.”

Cosgrove said she matured when she arrived at South as a sophomore and immediately was thrust against a veteran player for the third-base job.

“It’s taught me a lot,” she said. “If you work hard, you can earn the position even if the other player is more talented than you.”

Her work in the field stands out to Morey.

“She’s like a little vacuum,” she said. “She gets everything up the line and near her.”

Third base generally is regarded as one of the more difficult defensive positions because most batters are right-handed and pull the ball to the left side of the field. That results in ground balls that take odd bounces or line drives that sometimes travel quicker than a pitcher’s best fastball.

“You’ve got to have fast reflexes,” she said. “You have to go to each side and be quick. You’ve got to be tough because you get some shots over there.

“I love it.”

Perhaps the only position more gratifying to Cosgrove on the field is the thought of celebrating a state championship. Every day the Wolves practice or play a game, they walk past the sign that commemorates their 1995 state championship. Cosgrove didn’t even start kindergarten until the fall after South won its title, but that team’s accomplishments still have relevence.

“It definitely means something to me,” she said. “It’s my senior year and something I want.”

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