Rangers rout Kings to win league fastpitch title

Leader News Staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 12/31/69

The Quilcene girls fastpitch softball team clinched another Sea-Tac League championship with a convincing 13-1 win over the second-place Muckleshoot Kings last week.

The Rangers broke open a 1-1 …

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Rangers rout Kings to win league fastpitch title

Posted

The Quilcene girls fastpitch softball team clinched another Sea-Tac League championship with a convincing 13-1 win over the second-place Muckleshoot Kings last week.

The Rangers broke open a 1-1 first inning tie with another run in the second inning, followed by five more in the third, and six more in the fourth, to win 13-1.

Kayla Ward threw a no-hitter for Quilcene, striking out eight batters while allowing one unearned run.

“Kayla has really come into her own this year,” said Quilcene Coach Mark Thompson.

“Her command of the strike zone has improved 200 percent, and she gives us a chance to win every time she pitches,” he added. 

Fellow senior and captain Shelby Love contributed two hits to the lopsided outing, including a double and three RBIs.

Senior Teagan Graunke chipped in with an RBI single.

This is the 11th year in a row Quilcene’s program has won the Sea-Tac League, going undefeated in league play all 11 years.

The title marked another year to cap more than a decade of oh-so-many standouts.

“So many players and coaches involved in this incredible record, I wish I could name all of them,” Thompson said.

“Other programs may get most of the attention and hype in a given year, but this program just continues to win. And, honestly, has done so since its inception in the 1980s,” the coach said.

The game started a bit slow for the Rangers, as the Kings got on the scoreboard with the help of an error and Ward’s only two walks of the game.

The Rangers evened it up before the inning was over, however, with a sacrifice fly by Abby Ward scoring Savannah McBride.

Quilcene took the lead for good in the second on Shelby Love’s RBI single that scored Teagan Graunke. 

“Our bats started a little slow in this game,” Thompson said. “Their pitcher throws a very slow ball right at the top of the strike zone and we sometimes have trouble staying back and waiting.”

In the third inning the Ranger bats came to life, with Stormie Elkins and Abby Ward starting off with consecutive singles.

RBI singles by Kayla Ward and Teagan Graunke capped off the scoring in the inning. 

Then, in the fourth, a two-RBI double by McBride and another RBI single by Love highlighted the inning.

“This group of girls continues to get better,” Thompson said.

“We have great senior leadership players who have been there before (Kayla Ward and Love were part of the 2018 team which played in the state championship game), and a group of young and improving players,” he said. “I think we’ve got a chance to do something in the postseason.”

McBride finished 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

Elkins was 1-for-3, while Abby Ward went 1-for-2 with a pair of RBIs.

Kayla Ward was 1-for-4 with an RBI; Graunke was 1-for-2 with an RBI; and Love went 2-for-2 with three RBIs.

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