Community Sports

Sports Beat: Peninsula rallies past Gig Harbor, still unbeaten in league play

Posted on April 21st, 2023 By:

Gig Harbor and Peninsula both came into their fastpitch game on April 17 unbeaten in South Sound Conference play. Only the Seahawks could say that after the rivalry game, as they rallied for a 16-8 win.

Gig Harbor (4-5, 4-1) jumped out to a early one run lead in the first inning against Peninsula (9-2, 5-0) pitcher Alli Kimball. But Kimball answered in the bottom of the inning with a three-run home run to left field.

After Kimball struck out the side in the top of the second inning, Peninsula increased its lead to 5-1 lead in the bottom half. A 5-1 lead is usually money in the bank with Kimball on the mound, but Gig Harbor clawed back.

Gig Harbor’s Sarah Holland gets mobbed at home plate after her three-run home run gave the Tides a 7-5 lead. Photo by Bryce Carithers

Danielle Biehl got on base with a sharp double and eventually scored to make it 5-2. Erin Peterson hit a towering solo home run, then the Tides scored on an error to get within 5-4. Meanwhile, Gig Harbor pitcher Paige Harthorn settled down and limited Peninsula’s offense. Biehl relieved her on the mound in the fourth inning.

Peninsula’s Alli Kimball approaches home plate after her three-run home run gave Peninsula a 3-1 lead. Photo by Bryce Carithers

Gig Harbor took the lead on a three-run home run by catcher Sara Holland in the fifth inning.

Suddenly, the state’s second ranked Class 3A team was in trouble. Peninsula coach Mike Paul said later: “I told them, this makes their season if they put us away. Who is going to step up?”

The Seahawk offense stepped up all right, scoring nine runs in the fifth inning. After a few hits and some inexcusable blunders by the Tides’ defense, the built-up intrigue popped like a giant ballon.

The Seahawks brought in Glory Eastabrook to relieve Kimball. She held the Tides to only one run over the last three innings to preserve a 16-8 win. Paul said of Eastabrook’s performance, “Very proud of her, no warm ups and pitched like an ace.”

Kimball lead the Seahawks with three hits, three RBI, two walks and a home run. Eastabrook had two hits, an RBI and scored twice.

Gig Harbor golf wins tourney in Lake Chelan

The Gig Harbor boys golf team won the Class 3A/4A division of the Gamble Sands Invitational near Lake Chelan during spring break. More than 25 teams competed and the Tides emerged victorious, thanks to their depth and a fourth-place finish by Chet West.

West then fired a 2-over 73 in blustery conditions on April 20 to help beat conference threat Capital in Olympia. With the 114-102 win, the Tides look to have the inside track for a SSC championship.

Baseball teams keep winning

Both local baseball teams were victorious this week. Peninsula (10-5, 6-4) thrashed River Ridge in a two game set by a combined 24-3 score. Peninsula faced North Thurston at 4 p.m. Friday, April 21, in Lacey.

Gig Harbor (7-4, 7-2) gave up three runs in the first inning to Capital on Tuesday, April 18. But theTides scored 11 runs in the bottom of the inning and pounded the third-place Cougars into submission with a 20-3 win.

“We’ve talked all year about adversity and how we need to be able to handle the ‘hard,’ that comes along with the game,” coach Shane Hanon said. “Answering another team’s scoring is the hallmark of great teams and something we’ve placed an emphasis on … plus seeing the offense explode for 11 runs, never hurts.”

Gig Harbor’s Ryland Heckman drives in a run versus Capital in the Tides 20-3 rout. Photo by Dennis Browne

Rematch looms for soccer teams

The Gig Harbor (13-0, 11-0) boys soccer team pounded Timberline 6-0 on Thursday, April 20, and now stand just three wins away from a perfect conference season and a SSC crown. The Tides are still ranked second in the WIAA’s RPI rankings.

The Peninsula (5-6-1, 4-6-1) soccer team defeated Yelm 10-3 on April 18 and tied North Thurston 2-2 on April 20. The Seahawks have winnable games against River Ridge and Timberline coming up before playing Gig Harbor on May 2. Peninsula held a 2-0 lead on the second ranked Tides in a previous 3-2 loss on April 6.