It’s not often a team can bring back the vast majority of its lineup over one season, much less two. But that’s the situation Mike McFarlen finds himself and the Wolves in 2021.
Sequim returns a power-packing lineup that includes all-Olympic League second team players Kiana Robideau and Christy Grubb, plus slugger Jayla Julmist and veteran Kailyn Lopez.
McFarlen saw that kind of offensive power on display in Sequim’s opener, a 19-3 win over Kingston at home on March 24.
“We hit the ball good; that’ll keep us in most games,” he said.
The Wolves lost a key player in starting pitcher LeeAnn Raney, who racked up a 10-2 record through districts in 2019 as a freshman but has since moved out of the districts.
McFarlen turns to sophomore Laney Vig and freshman Taylee Rome to hold opposing teams in check on the mound.
The club has a mix of experience from top to bottom, with four seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and Rome.
McFarlen, who in 2020 returned to lead the Wolves after a three-year stint coaching youth teams before the COVID outbreak canceled the season, said his team is solid throughout thanks to a strong work ethic.
“They work hard every day; they want to keep going,” he said.
McFarlen said that, without a district or state tourney to look forward to, he hopes to get his seniors plenty of playing time to help make up for them losing out on their junior season.
“Too bad there’s not playoffs,” he said. “We just want them to have a good time. The girls seem to have fun.”
Backing McFarlen is assistants Donnie Parks and former SHS fastpitch ace Demiree Briones.
North Kitsap won the 2019 Olympic League title with 10-2 record, with Sequim and Port Angeles tying for second with 9-3 marks. Olympic finished fourth at 7-5. The Wolves earned a state 2A tourney berth and 15-8 overall record.
SHS tops Bucs in opener, Trojans and Eagles in DH
Jayla Julmist smashed a three-run home run into a fierce wind, and Kailyn Lopez totaled four extra-base hits as Sequim overpowered Kingston 19-3 in the softball season opener for each team on March 24 in Sequim.
Lopez added three doubles and a triple. Sophomore pitcher Laney Vig went five innings and struck out nine to earn the win.
Sequim also earned a sweep in a doubleheader against Olympic and Klahowya on March 27 in Silverdale.
The Wolves beat Klahowya 15-2 and Olympic 11-1, hitting six home runs in the Olympic game. The Wolves pushed their record to 3-0 and have outscored their opponents 45-6 so far this season.
Lily Fili had three home runs in the two games. Kiana Robideau had a home run against Klahowya, while Vig, Lopez, Katelyn Glass and Mia Pozernick had home runs against Olympic.
Vig pitched a one-hitter against Olympic, going the entire game. She struck out seven and walked two.
In the Klahowya game, Taylee Rome picked up the win on the mound, going four innings and giving up just one hit and no runs.
Hannah Bates went 3-for-3 against Klahowya, while Fili and Robideau each had two hits. Christy Grubb also had two hits, a double, two runs and two RBIs against Klahowya.
Against Olympic, Grubb went 2-for-3 with a triple, a run and an RBI. Lopez had two hits in the game.
The Wolves were scheduled to host rival Port Angeles on March 30 — results were not available at press time.
Sequim hosts 3A foe Central Kitsap on March 31 and is at North Kitsap on April 2 or April 6. The Wolves are at 3A Bainbridge in April 5.
After a hiccup in the schedule for spring break, Sequim is at Bremerton on April 14 and hosts North Mason on April 15.