By Oly Archibald
LACEY — There was a lot of loud blasting going on just south of Fort Lewis over the weekend. With the Army often testing their big guns, the locals paid no attention. However, it was not the troops from Fort Lewis pounding “Mother Earth”, it was the girls from the Port Angeles High Schools fast pitch team. In three games at the District 3 tournament, the Roughriders hit 12 home runs and averaged 12 runs per game against the #1, #2 and #6 ranked teams in the district: all 3 heading to the state tournament in Selah. If the Roughriders as a team were seeking a little confidence confided by senior leader Lily Halberg on the KONP post-game show after shelling # 2 seed Orting 15 -3, you would think the green machine has found it!
Against Orting, who were 18-1 with 6’1″ all-world PLU-bound pitcher Kaylee Gresko on the mound, the Roughriders hit six homers. Two came from Lily Halberg, two by Kennedy Rognlien and one each by Taylor Worthington and Lexie Smith. The Roughriders scored 8 runs in the bottom of the 5th to put the Cardinals out of their misery.
In game two against a very good #6-seed Fife Trojan team, it was the youngsters offensively who were the heroes for the Roughriders. Going against Trojan all-league pitcher Madison Walls getting hits for the Roughriders was a tough task. Through 4 innings, the Roughriders only had one hit which was a home run blast by Sophomore Abby Kimball.
In the 6th inning Llily Halberg and Natalie Robinson both singled and scored to give the Roughriders a 3-2 lead. Fife scored 2 runs in the 6th to retake the lead 4-3.
Then it was time for the freshman to take over. Off the bench in the 7th was freshman outfielder and 3rd-string pitcher Lynzee Reid, and the youngster responded with gusto! Reid doubled and scored to tie the game at 4-4 to keep the Roughriders in it. In the top of the 7th with the score tied four and one out, Kennedy Rognlien doubled. Then again with the game on the line, Lynzee Reid doubled scoring Rognlien. Lexie Smith was then hit by a pitch and up stepped sophomore Ava Anne Sheahan. Sheahan singled in Reid giving the Roughriders a 7- 4 lead. Fife got a home run in the 8th, and it was a done deal 7-5 Roughriders. Reid and Senior Pitcher Cheyenne Zimmer were all smiling on the KONP post-game show. Cheyenne Zimmer had an All-State Friday on the mound pitching her very best innings when her team needed her the most.
A smiling freshman PA’s Lynzee Reid has her first KONP post-game show with senior pitcher Cheyenne Zimmer
The district championship game against the state’s only undefeated team, #1 ranked North Kitsap, showed how much juice is lost by a team’s star pitchers after pitching the 3rd game in the heat in two days. KONP radio commentator and game analyst Teagen Clark, a former two-time all-league Roughrider pitcher, said it was very tough on the pitchers to pitch three games in two days in the heat. The Vikings out hit the Roughriders to win the championship 15-10. The Roughriders did take a 10-7 lead in the 6th Inning after a 3-run homer by Heidi Leitz. Lily Halberg had a homer and Junior Natalie Robinson had 2 home runs.
The Roughriders now head to Selah for the state tournament as the #6 seed taking on #11-seed Cedarcrest who are 14-8 and the 3rd place team from a very tough 2A-3A WESCO League.
Cedarcrest has one of the best catcher’s in the state in senior Maddie Knowles. Knowles hits .491 has 26 hits with 23 runs, 12 homers and 45 RBIs.
Cedarcrest catcher Maddie Knowles is one of the states best catchers
Pitcher Emma Duke, a junior, was 8-5 on the season with an ERA of 3.65. Duke pitched 69 innings with 42 strike outs. The opponents’ batting average against Duke is 289. The first pitch is at 9 am Friday and KONP will have the live play by play.
In district tennis action, the Roughriders doubles team of Cindy Liang and Gwyneth Van Blair ended their outstanding season at the district tournament. The Roughrider girls lost to Fife 0-6 2-6. Liang and Van Blair then beat Lindbergh 6-2 6-4 before losing to North Kitsap 2-6 3-6 ending their season.
At the state baseball tournament, the 14th ranked Port Angeles Roughriders traveled to the fabled Bearcat stadium with a meet up with state power and 2-time state champion the 3rd ranked WF West Bearcats. On a day where the young Roughriders had to be perfect, they were not. The Roughriders could only get one batter on base in the 6th innings and lost 10 – 0. The Roughriders will not let a tough day against a team heading to the Final 4 in Bellingham ruin their day or season. The Roughriders ended a very good season at 15-7 and 1st-year coach Zach Moore and his Roughriders are headed toward a great future.