Extra batting practice paid off for Ava Brenkman and the Port Angeles Roughriders softball team in a 13-2 win over Sequim in five innings on April 17.
Brenkman homered and doubled and drove in a pair of runs and the senior was one of three Riders to leave the park in a 14-hit outpouring.
“We really pounded the ball around the park,” Brenkman said. “We’ve been working a lot at practice at just hitting the ball solid and if you go up and think that to yourself that’s what happens. We’ve been trying to fight against having a negative mindset.”
Port Angeles coach Randy Steinman said he was pleased with his team’s execution in all phases and the number of players who contributed to the victory. “We squared up on a lot of balls and we hit the ball extremely well,” he said.
Sequim looked like they would be the first to break through in the top of the second when Lilly Fili and Caylee Rome both singled and advanced to third and second bases.
Clark struck out Kiana Robideau and got a ground out to second by Greta Christianson and Port Angeles catcher Zoe Smithson ended the threat with a snap throw to third base from her knees that doubled Robideau off the bag.
“Zoe picked a runner off of third and gunned somebody at second (in the fifth inning),” Steinman said. “That pickoff at third shut that inning down and didn’t we come up right after that and have our big inning? Mojo and momentum are huge.”
Port Angeles batted around during a nine-run second inning. Peyton Rudd opened the scoring with a one-out solo home run to center field; Emi Halberg drove in a pair of runners with an RBI single; Jada Cargo-Acosta had a two-run double; Brenkman a two-run single; Taylor Worthington an RBI single and Clark’s bloop single into shallow right field drove in another pair of runs.
Smithson opened the bottom of the third with a solo homer and Brenkman added another solo shot to right field as Port Angeles built an insurmountable lead.
Wolves catcher Christy Grubb was a highlight for Sequim, with a two-run home run and a double. Shortstop Hannah Bates came in to pitch with two on in the third and got out of the inning cleanly and also pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning.
“Christy went 3-for-3 and played well at catcher,” Sequim coach Mike McFarlen said. “We didn’t hit. I can’t really explain it, we did score 11 (Friday vs. Olympic), but sometimes you don’t hit.”
The Wolves went 1-2 in games leading up to the Saturday loss, falling 12-2 to Bremerton on April 14 and 6-4 to North Mason on April 15 before routing Bremerton 11-1 on April 16.
The Wolves (7-4) host North Kitsap on April 21 and class 3A Bainbridge on April 26 before finishing the season with an away game at class 3A Central Kitsap on April 28.