Sequim’s Lea Hopson and Demiree Briones celebrate a 4-3 win at North Mason on May 5. The win gives the Wolves a shot at the Olympic League championship. Photo by Meegan M. Reid, The Kitsap Sun
Fans attending last week's Sequim-North Mason softball showdown may have come expecting something like the new film "Clash of the Titans."
That's exactly what they got.
Sequim's Wolves, behind freshman Bailey Rhodefer's three RBIs, good defense and strong pitching from sophomore Demiree Briones, knocked off the three-time defending Olympic League champions 4-3 in Belfair on May 5.
The win gives Sequim a chance at the league championship, which would be their first since 2006 - the last time they topped North Mason to take the Nisqually League crown.
"It was a huge win - any time you knock off a storied program like North Mason," Sequim coach Mel Hendrickson said. "It was huge, confidence-wise, for us."
The Wolves were slated to play Klahowya on May 11 - results of the game were unavailable at press time - while North Mason was slated to take on Bremerton on May 10.
If the teams finish in a tie, the two square off in a seeding game at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 13, at Kingston High School.
Sequim breaks through in fifth
The Bulldogs had taken the first of two match-ups this season, an 8-5 decision in Sequim on April 12 that saw the Wolves pick up five errors.
Not so this time around, as, after a first-inning miscue, the Wolves played relatively error-free ball the rest of the way.
North Mason took a 2-0 first-inning lead before Rhodefer, Sequim's No. 8 hitter, ripped a solo home run to center.
Bulldog pitcher Emily Anderson helped her own cause with a home run in the fourth for a 3-1 North Mason lead.
But Sequim broke through in the fifth inning, getting three runs on three hits, a walk and a costly error, highlighted by a Rhodefer base hit past the Bulldogs' second baseman for two runs.
Briones, now 14-2 on the season, was nearly unhittable after that, striking out six batters in the final three innings.
"After the first inning, she settled down," Hendrickson said. Other than that (Anderson home run) they didn't hit the ball hard at all."
Anderson, the North Mason senior ace, was sharp, too, striking out 16 Sequim batters. But her defense
betrayed her, as two errors led to Sequim runs.
"Everybody pretty much put the ball in play," Hendrickson said. "And our speed helped us: We beat us a couple of balls on grounders to second base."
Hendrickson credited shortstop Lea Hopson and second baseman Cindy Miller with tough defense.
Hopson went 3-for-4 at the plate and Jazzelyn Bradbury added a pair of hits in the win.
Coming into the game, North Mason had posted 10 shutouts and outscored foes by a 134-8 margin; Sequim also posted 10 shutouts and had outscored teams 228-28.
Wolves bounce Bucs
Sequim's No. 2 pitcher Chelsea Winfield tossed a complete game four-hitter while striking out 11 Kingston batters on the way to her third win of the campaign.
Hopson led Sequim's offense with a home run and three RBIs and was 4-for-4 at the plate. Maddy and Rylleigh Zbaraschuk, Cindy Miller and Winfield each had hits.
Olympic League standings (as of May 9)
Team Lg. Over. North Mason 14-1 15-1 Sequim 14-1 18-2 Klahowya 10-5 11-5 Pt. Angeles 8-5 9-7 Kingston 6-7 6-9 Olympic 5-9 5-12 North Kitsap 4-10 4-11 Bremerton 2-11 2-12 Pt. Townsend 0-14 0-15
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.