Sports

Early product might indicate future success

It was just one game, and a nonleague one at that, but it very well could foreshadow the offensive prowess of the Wolves’ softball team.

In a 14-4 victory in their season opener a week ago at Olympic, senior third baseman Kirstie Cosgrove, went 2 for 4 with two home runs and 3 RBI.

“I wasn’t really swinging for a home run. It just happened,” said Cosgrove, describing both at-bats.

And while Cosgrove is expected to be a run producer, she’s slated to bat fifth for South Kitsap. That’s because junior catcher Breann Booher, who went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI against Olympic, hits third. South coach Kathy Ballew said Booher “really likes that spot and does really well.”

Booher said she’s trying to step up as she replaces Caty Lieseke, who now plays at Whitworth University in Spokane. Lieseke was a honorable mention all-state selection at catcher last year and led South in batting average (.481) and home runs (3).

Booher finished second on the team last season with a .473 batting average and had a team-best 21 RBI.

Sandwiched between Booher and Cosgrove in the lineup is sophomore pitcher Alexis O’Dell. She went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI against Olympic.

“Alexis O’Dell has been a surprise for us,” Ballew said. “Sometimes pitchers can’t hit well. If she’s not in there somewhere, she probably would be a designated hitter to get her bat in the lineup.”

The Wolves aren’t experienced on the mound with junior Sam Jacobs joining O’Dell. Senior Felitia Buss, who didn’t pitch against Olympic, also figures into the staff. But Ballew said the group, led by Jacobs, has talent.

“Sam Jacobs, who saw some action last year, has attended some clinics and really worked on trying to get up there so she can be a force for us,” she said.

An inexperienced pitching staff isn’t the only concern for South, which finished 9-9 and third in the five-team Narrows League Bridge Division at 8-6 a year ago.

“We just need to work together more because we’re a pretty new team together,” senior first baseman Monique Morey said. “We’ll get better.”

In addition to Cosgrove and Morey in the infield, junior Ally Johnson is entrenched at shortstop. She went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI against Olympic.

Second base features several regulars, including junior Cortney Echternach, who primarily is a left fielder.

Senior Shiloah Soete Riedel is the regular center fielder, while junior Heather True plays in right field.

“We have a really powerful offense, and the defense is strong,” Booher said. “The season outlook is really promising.”

Several returners said they believe improve chemistry also will help this year’s team. Morey said last year’s team featured “a little more drama.”

“We have lots of good chemistry this year and seem to be playing well together,” she said. “We really care about each other and play for each other.”

The Wolves hope it all adds up to their first state playoff appearance since 2003.

“I think we can get there as long as everyone is on the same page,“ Ballew said.

Cosgrove took it a step further.

“Everyone on this team has good skill,” she said. “We want to try and be undefeated and keep it strong throughout the season.”

SCHEDULE

March 12 at Olympic 4 p.m.

March 14 at Spanaway Lake 4 p.m.

March 19 at Foss 3:30 p.m.

March 21 Wilson 3:30 p.m.

March 24 at Gig Harbor 3:30 p.m.

March 26 at Olympia 3:30 p.m.

March 28 Bellarmine Prep 3:30 p.m.

April 7 North Kitsap 3:30 p.m.

April 9 Lincoln 5 p.m.

April 14 at Mount Tahoma 3:30 p.m.

April 16 at Stadium 3:30 p.m.

April 18 Foss 3:30 p.m.

April 21 Central Kitsap 3:30 p.m.

April 25 at Wilson 3:30 p.m.

April 28 Gig Harbor 3:30 p.m.

April 30 at Lincoln 3:30 p.m.

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