Sports Beat: Peninsula fastpitch cruises into district semifinal
The second-ranked Peninsula fastpitch team earned a spot in the Class 3A state tournament by winning its first two games at the District 3/4 tournament in Lacey on Thursday, May 18.
The Seahawks (19-2), the No. 1 seed to the district tournament, won their first game in Lacey 13-0 over River Ridge. Pitchers Alli Kimball and Glory Eastabrook combined to no-hit the frustrated Hawks.
On offense, Peninsula erupted like Mount St. Helens did 43 years earlier. Malia Coit, Kimball and Ava Miranda blasted back-to-back-to-back home runs to jump out to a commanding lead. The Seahawks got some rest for Kimball, who would be counted on later in the day.
Kimball, who was named the South Sound Conference pitcher of the year and recorded her 500th career strike out earlier this month, was overpowering in the state-clinching 4-1 win over Evergreen. She scattered seven hits over all seven innings, striking out 11 batters with no walks.
Junior Sophia Hooper was the Seahawks’ offensive star. She hit the go-ahead home run in the fifth inning and turned in some key defensive plays in left field.
Peninsula advanced to face league foe Yelm in the district semifinals at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey. The Seahawks beat the Tornados earlier this year by scores of 10-0 and 2-0.
A win would put the Seahawks in the district championship game against either No. 3 seed Bonney Lake or No. 15 seed Heritage. That district final will be played at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Peninsula’s state tournament appearance will be the Seahawks’ third in a row.
Gig Harbor needs two wins for state
The Gig Harbor fastpitch team opened district play with a 15-6 win over Thomas Jefferson. But Gig Harbor ran into a buzzsaw versus Bonney Lake a few hours later.
The Lions pitched around South Sound Conference MVP Riley Peschek on their way to an 11-1 victory. The fifth-seeded Tides need to win two games on Saturday to get to state.
Gig Harbor faces seventh-seeded Auburn MountainView at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at the RAC. With a win the Tides would face either eighth seeded Timberline or 13th seeded Auburn.
Tides open state soccer
The Gig Harbor (19-0) soccer team, ranked No. 1 in WIAA’s RPI rankings in Class 3A, starts the state tournament as the No. 2 seed.
The Tides open state at 7 p.m. Friday, May 19, at Roy Anderson Field against 15th-seeded Liberty of Renton (15-5-2). Gig Harbor may have caught a break elsewhere in the bracket, though. Third seeded Shorewood was eliminated from the tournament by 14 seed Ballard and sixth seeded Lake Washington was eliminated by 11th seed Seattle Prep on May 18.
Peninsula lacrosse in quarterfinals
The Peninsula Seahawk lacrosse team opened the state playoffs with a 17-9 pounding of Lake Washington on May 13. The Seahawks are physical and play lacrosse with a aggressive attitude inspired by coach Rusty Wilder.
The Seahawks play at Snohomish in a state quarterfinals matchup at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 20.
Winning face offs and controlling the ball has benefitted the Seahawks as Boden Clark snares a high percentage of them. The scoring duo of Robby Akulschin and Brendan Kolbaba lead the offensive attack and junior Elliot Gillam leads the defense for the Seahawks.
GH doubles teams off to state
The Gig Harbor tennis doubles team of Lindsey Muske and Alexa Lavinder finished second at the district tournament and earned a trip to the state tournament.
Muske and Lavinder were the top two singles players for Gig Harbor this year, but chose to compete as a doubles team. They will be a formidable duo in the 3A tournament May 26 and 27 at the Vancouver Tennis Center.
“I am so excited to go on to state again this year, especially with one of my best friends at my side,” said Lavinder, a senior. “This is my last season for GHHS, so it’s very fulfilling to make it to the end.”
Gig Harbor’s doubles team of Hugh Vincente and Rylan Coovert will compete in the boys bracket May 26 and 27 after qualifying during the fall sports season. It’ll be an especially busy week for Coovert, who also plays in the state golf tournament May 24 and 25.
GH water polo plays Saturday
The Gig Harbor girls water polo team plays Shorecrest in the Division 2 championship tournament at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Rogers High School pool. A win would advance the Tides to a game at 11 a.m. the following day against Bellevue, a team they have beaten twice already this year.
Coach Mike Kelly said his team’s goal is to win the Division 2 tourney to improve their seed into the overall state tournament. “The team is ready and excited and have continued to train hard, while increasing our endurance,” Kelly said.
Gig Harbor golf teams make state
The Gig Harbors boys and girls golf teams both finished second at districts and qualified for the state tournament May 23 and 24.
The Tides boys team led by two strokes on day one, but Mountain View stormed back from 10 strokes down to win the district title at the Auburn Golf Course on May 15 and 16.
Peninsula golfer Jackson Tull qualified at large for state after following his 84 on day one with a sizzling 77 on day two. Gig Harbor golfer Liam Dalbec, who fired an 81 and an 83 on successive days, also earned an at-large bid to the state tournament.
It was a similar story on the girls side. The Lady Tides were ahead after Day 1, but Stadium caught them.
Hallee Graf and Mia Sykes of Peninsula both qualified with at large bids.
Both teams move on to state next week, with the girls playing at Hawks Prairie and the boys at Indian Summer Golf Course in Olympia.
Gig Harbor baseball season at an end
The Gig Harbor (10-12) baseball season ended with a 7-4 state tournament loss to Stadium on May 16 at Heidelberg Field in Tacoma.
Josh Dunham, Cole Krilich and Rylan Heckman contributed two hits each for the Tides, but the rest of the lineup had just two hits combined.
Tides coach Shane Hanon said of his departing seniors: “They had a new staff come in their senior year that asked them to buy in quickly and they answered the bell. We appreciate them and the hard work they put in, they are a great group that got it done in the classroom and on the field and we wish them the best in their future endeavors.”
New backboards, rims at Sehmel
PenMet Parks recently added two new 72-inch professional backboards and single breakaway rims to the basketball court at Sehmel Homestead Park.
The addition completes the regulation size court while replacing the metal backboards and difficult triple steel rims. The glass back boards and rims have elevated the outdoor court to one the finest in the Puget Sound region. Some of the areas best players are forming time slots for summer runs on Thursday and Sunday nights at 7 p.m.