With the wind to her back, Hannah Grubb blew through Port Angeles with sheer determination to give the Wolves a climactic victory in extra innings.
Sequim (7-0 in the Olympic League) kept its undefeated season streak going strong on April 10 with a 6-5 win at home against the Roughriders.
Grubb setup a climactic finish in the bottom of the eighth, tying the game at 5-5 with a triple to knock in Rylleigh Zbaraschuk, who reached base on a double. Melissa Lewis hit a sacrifice fly to left field before the Roughriders set up a baseline confrontation between Grubb and Port Angeles’ catcher, who dropped the ball on the throw from left field.
Coach Mike McFarlen said it was a big team effort.
“There’s no quit in these girls,” he said. “They never stop.”
Escalating winds and strong pitching held both Port Angeles and Sequim in check until the fourth inning when both teams scored in bunches.
The Roughriders scored four runs off two errors and a double but the Wolves countered with four runs over three innings. Bailey Rhodefer scored in the sixth on a wild throw.
Things became worrisome in the top of the eighth as Dove Lucas from P.A. stole two bases and gave the Roughriders a 5-4 lead on an error. But the Wolves held strong in the clutch.
McFarlen said Port Angeles was the team to beat and attributed a lot of their success to pitcher Sarah Steinman, who struck out nine Sequim batters.
Yet, he said, the player of the game was Sequim’s Makayla Bentz, who threw 105 pitches the day before against North Mason and 165 against Port Angeles.
“She really has a lot of heart,” McFarlen said.
Bentz said the high winds and pitch counts were no big deal. “I’ve gone days where I’ve thrown hundreds of pitches in tournaments,” she said. “We beat the weather, the other team and it felt great.”
Yet the Olympic League co-champions already have their minds on improving.
McFarlen said the game could have been blown open if they had capitalized on their 13 base runners left on base.
Minutes after winning the game, Grubb shared a similar sentiment.
“We played hard but we can do better,” she said.
Shelby Lott led the team with three singles; Wolves with two hits each were Marylu Clift with two singles, Zbaraschuk with two doubles and Grubb with a single and a triple.
The day before the Port Angeles game, Bentz blanked North Mason at home in a one-hitter as she struck out 11 batters and walked two.
Alexas Besand slammed two home runs, in the bottom of the third and fifth innings, knocking in Zbaraschuk both times after she hit a triple and double.
North Mason’s Marissa Horton broke up Bentz’s no-hitter in the top of the sixth with a single.
The weather prevented the Wolves playing Chimacum on Friday, April 12.