Sports

Wolves on the prowl

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by MICHAEL DASHIELL
Sequim Gazette

Fences generally are used to keep things in. Sequim’s newest addition only means the Wolves can jog — not race — around the bases.

 

Sequim’s softball squad — state competitors four of the past seven seasons — are primed for a big year thanks to seeing the return of nearly every starter who battered Olympic League pitching and missed the 2010 state tourney by two wins.

 

Back is the heart of a fearsome lineup that includes Olympic League co-MVP Lea Hopson, all-league first-teamers Maddy Zbaraschuk and Demiree Briones, plus table-setters Cindy Miller and Rylleigh Zbaraschuk.

 

In league contests, Hopson hit .720 with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs while Maddy Zbaraschuk hit .550 with five home runs and 23 RBIs. Briones hit .530 with two homers and 23 RBIs.

 

Miller hit .420 with 15 RBIs while Rylleigh Zbaraschuk hit .420 and tallied a .730 on-base percentage in limited playing time.

 

On the mound, Briones was nearly unhittable. She went 12-1 with a 0.12 earned-run average, striking out 86 batters and giving up just 34 hits and 14 walks.

 

Add to the mix hard-hitting Alexas Besand and Amariah Clift and a bevy of experienced role players, and the Wolves looked stacked.

 

The minor changes to the 2011 version come in the coaching staff after eight-year leader Mel Hendrickson stepped down. In his place is Sequim High grad Joel Lewis, who played softball while at Sequim and most recently was an assistant coach with the Peninsula College softball team.

 

While several of the Wolves have a half-dozen years of experience playing with each other, Lewis is getting to know her crew for the first time.

 

“After practicing after a few weeks we’re getting to know each other,” Lewis said. “I get a sense of how each player plays, put people in different positions. That’s why these games up front for us are good.”

 

Sequim drubbed Chimacum and Forks in a pair of nonleague contests last week (see box), showcasing some of the offensive power — even if it wasn’t on their home field. Wet weather conditions forced the Wolves onto their junior varsity field, so they weren’t able to try out their new fence — a carry-over from Peninsula College after the school nixed their softball program.

 

The Wolves, on the other hand, look like they have a bright future.

 

“I think this team will make it through the playoffs … (and) possibly go all the way,” Lewis said.

 

She credited a strong Little League program and other youth squads for the talent coming through the varsity and JV ranks at Sequim High.

 

 

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

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