A season marred by injuries and losing streaks is nearly over.
Peninsula's softball squad capped an 0-6 week with two losses at Olympic College in Bremerton on Friday, falling 8-0 in the opener and 8-7 in the nightcap.
After being out-hit 18-2 in the first game, Peninsula nearly pulled off the upset in game two, thanks to home runs from catcher Marquita Espinoza, the school's single-season home run record holder, and starting pitcher Carly Swingle. But Central Kitsap grad Erika Quint and the host Rangers had just enough to keep the Pirates at bay for the one-run win.
The loss gives Peninsula a 2-10 road mark in 2009, with two more contests left: a doubleheader at Skagit Valley on May 8.
It didn't take long for Bellevue's Nicole Higgins to make Peninsula players wish the Hood Canal bridge already closed.
The 5-foot 5-inch sophomore blasted two home runs - one a game-changing grand slam in the nightcap - as the Bulldogs swept a doubleheader from Peninsula on April 29.
In the opener, a 7-2 Bellevue win, the Bulldogs nicked Pirate starting pitcher Brittany Norton for five runs before Higgins greeted Swingle, P.C.'s reliever, with a two-run home run. Swingle settled down, however, to toss four shutout innings.
The Pirates got runs in the fourth and sixth. Espinoza had two hits, one a double, and teammate Laura Campbell was 2-for-3.
In the second game, Peninsula was trailing just 1-0 before a costly error loaded the bases for Higgins, who drove a Swingle pitch over the left-center field fence for a home run and 5-0 lead.
The Bulldogs led 6-0 before Peninsula came up with three runs in the fifth. With two outs, Ashley Lowe-Thaens and Espinoza each singled, followed by a Samantha Flett RBI single. Dena Houser added a two-run single, capping the rally.
Lowe-Thaens and Houser paced the offense with two hits each.
The aluminum wasn't the only thing taking a beating against Shoreline last week.
The visiting Dolphins, second in the NWAACC North Division, showed why they're considered one of the top teams in the conference after launching nine home runs in a doubleheader against Peninsula on April 28.
Shoreline battered Peninsula pitchers for 14 hits, two of them first-inning home runs, in an 18-1, five-inning shellacking in game one. Peninsula's Lowe-Thaens was a bright spot for P.C. as she collected two hits, including a double.
Shoreline took game two 15-1, out-hitting Peninsula 18-6 and taking advantage of five Peninsula errors.
Camille Deprew paced the Dolphin offense with a 3-for-5 day at the plate and sending two over the fence. The Pirates got a run in the first inning when Molly Fletcher, aboard on an error, stole two bases and scored on a Flett double. P.C.'s Dena Houser was 2-for-3.
In addition to the loss, Peninsula broke three recently purchased aluminum bats.