Sports

Little room for error

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by MICHAEL DASHIELL
Sequim Gazette

Coach Mike McFarlen sits in the dugout, alone, looking like a guy who’s just been punched in the gut.

It says something about a fastpitch program that, after a 15-0, mercy-rule shortened victory against Port Townsend last week, the coach can say that his team is “just not focused” and has not “played to our potential.”

 

That’s a scary thought.

 

The Wolves, who remain undefeated after an extra-inning affair against Olympic and the aforementioned
blowout win against the Redskins last week, get a short breather this week with the school’s spring break.

Sequim, now 4-0 in league play and overall, takes on Bremerton on April 9.

 

But the game that many Olympic Leaguers have circled on their calendars is April 11, when Port Angeles visits its rivals in Sequim.

 

“They’re pretty good, they’ve got some kids back,” McFarlen said. “We’ll have to play our best to beat them.”

 

Last season, the Roughriders gave Sequim all it could handle in two league match-ups — including a 7-6, extra-inning affair — before the Wolves crushed them at districts on their way to the school’s first state title.

 

If last week was any indication, the Wolves may have to rely on their bats to knock off their cross-peninsula foes.

Topping the Trojans

So how good is Sequim’s offense? Good enough to overcome 13 errors, 11 hits and four walks.

 

Haley Montelius hit an RBI single to score Columbia Haupt in the bottom of the eighth as Sequim pushed its winning streak to 31 games in an eight-inning, 14-13 win at home against Olympic on March 27

Bailey Rhodefer had four hits and four RBIs, Rylleigh Zbaraschuk doubled twice and tripled while teammates Montelius and Alexas Besand added three hits each to pace Sequim’s 20-hit attack.

 

But a series of errors late in the game turned a 10-7 Sequim lead into a 13-10 Trojan advantage heading into the bottom of the seventh.

 

With one out in the seventh, McFarlen pinch-hit Marylu Clift, a freshman, whose single started a three-run rally. Zbaraschuk followed with a double, Rhodefer tripled and eventually scored the game-tying run.

 

In the eighth, two Sequim errors gave Olympic a chance but Sequim pitcher Demiree Briones worked her way out of the jam, setting up Montelius’ game-winning hit.

 

“We gutted it out; that’s a tribute to our girls,” McFarlen said. “We’re a good-hitting team. I don’t think there’s a team that can shut us down … (but) errors kill you.”

 

Briones went all eight innings, giving up just two earned runs and striking out four Trojans.

 

Christina Bigelow was 2-for-5 with two RBIs, Ashley Wright drove in two runs and Jamie Barry had three RBIs for Olympic.

Redskins no match

Two days later, Sequim rebounded with a 15-0 whitewash of Port Townsend, needing just seven hits to complete the job.

 

Sequim drew 14 walks, three to Zbaraschuk, Sequim’s leadoff hitter.

Briones and Kinzie Winfield each drove in three runs while Besand, Rhodefer and Zbaraschuk each scored three times.

 

Besand, Haupt and Zbaraschuk had two steals each as the Wolves picked up nine steals in 10 attempts.

Briones went all five innings, giving up six singles and a walk, striking out two.

 

Sequim’s defense, unlike the game previous, was flawless.

 

Still, the win left Sequim’s coach a little uneasy, possibly in part because the Wolves left 10 runners on base in four innings.

 

“They go into games thinking they’re going to win every game. That’s just not going to happen,” McFarlen said. “Part of it is staying focused, (playing) every game like it’s your last one.”

 

The Wolves, who went 28-0 last year on their way to the school’s first state championship, last lost on May 25, 2010, a 3-2 extra innings loss to Steilacoom at districts.

 

Since the start of the 2010 campaign, Sequim is 52-4.

 

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

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