Community Sports

Gig Harbor fastpitch unbeaten in league play

Posted on April 6th, 2023 By:

The Gig Harbor fastpitch softball team is a perfect 4-0 in South Sound Conference play under coach Jim Peschek.

On March 30, the Tides (4-3 overall) rallied from a 2-0, second-inning deficit to defeat River Ridge 14-3. Seven of those runs came in second-inning rally that demonstrated Gig Harbor’s expertise at attacking the ball at the plate and running the bases hard.

Gig Harbor catcher Sara Holland smashed a two-run home run way over the left field fence and hit an RBI single later in the second inning. She is batting .552 on the season with 19 RBI and three home runs.

“She is a special player with a ton of experience and an unbelievable work ethic,” Peschek said. “She’s a catcher, but she can run! A catcher that steals bases is rare in softball. Her hitting is really getting dialed in, she’s a line drive hitter that will hit her fair share of home runs this year.”

Junior Paige Harthorn was in the circle for the Tides and displayed good control of her pitches, keeping the Hawks off balance with a mix of fastballs and off-speed pitches. She leads the Tides with a 3.32 earned run average and also defends her position well.

Gig Harbor center fielder Danielle Biehl routinely throws out runners trying to advance. Photo by Bryce Carithers

The defense

The Tides’ defense is full of capable, experienced infielders. Senior Riley Peschek, the coach’s daughter, is a vacuum at shortstop and senior Olivia Paul plays a dependable second base. Junior Madison DeClements patrols the hot corner and senior Erin Peterson made several nice catches at first against the Hawks.

Sophomore center fielder Danielle Biehl leads the outfield. She covers a lot of ground in center and provides offense as well, batting .444 with eight RBI and three home runs.

“She can hit home runs or lay down a bunt for a base hit. Left-handed and fast,” coach Peschek said. “Probably our highest-energy kid in the program, she has a high motor and a high softball IQ. On defense, she’s the best outfielder in our area with a cannon for an arm. She takes away hits every game.”

Sophomore Isabelle Harris, who made an athletic catch of a sinking line drive against River Ridge, plays left field. She also has been productive at the plate with her .545 batting average. Junior Emma Vadervort, a good athlete with a .333 average, plays right and is also a dependable pitcher for the Tides (4.31 ERA).

The offense

One cannot overstate the fastpitch abilities of Riley Peschek, the straw that stirs the drink for the Tides. She has already accepted a Division l scholarship to play at the University of Montana next year.

Gig Harbor’s Riley Peschek is batting .654 on the season. Photo by Bryce Carithers

She is both powerful and smooth on the field, leading Gig Harbor in several offensive categories. On defense she uses her length to cover a lot of ground, quickly turning double plays with bullet throws to first base. She sports a .912 fielding average at shortstop.

Peschek is also red-hot at the dish, batting a league-high .654 with 14 runs scored. She leads the team in slugging (.690), home runs (four), stolen bases (four) and RBI (24).

Paul is batting a solid .350 and can draw walks because she is selective at the plate. She leads the team with 16 runs scored and is a perfect 4 for 4 in steals this year. First baseman Petersen is a threat with her power, batting .348 with six RBI and three home runs.