On a chilly Tuesday evening at Peninsula High School, it became clear early why Enumclaw hadn’t lost a game all season.
The Hornets (12-0 overall, 8-0 SPSL 3A) blasted the Seahawks (4-5 overall, 4-4 SPSL 3A) in every aspect of the game, paving the way to a 12-1 victory, which was called after five innings because of the mercy rule. The Seahawks were error-prone early on, helping the Hornets to a 7-0 advantage after two innings.
“Their pitcher is pretty good,” said Peninsula head coach Melissa Miller. “She was co-pitcher of the year last year. ... Their defense is strong and they can hit the ball. They’ve got it all. They’re a good team and they’ll go far.”
Peninsula sophomore left fielder Riley Harper said the Hornets have an aura of confidence about them.
“When they hit the field, they’re just out there ready to play, ready to go,” Harper said. “Sometimes we’re like that, but other times it just takes us longer to warm up and get ready to go. We definitely need to work on that — being ready as soon as the game starts.”
The Hornets tacked on five more runs in the third, building a 12-0 lead. The Seahawks began limiting errors in the later innings and recording quick outs. Miller said some of the normal starters were not awarded the start due to practice absences. Even so, she didn’t think that played a major role, if any, in the loss. Miller said the team just needs to play cleaner games, especially against teams as good as Enumclaw.
“Obviously, we need to cut down on errors,” Miller said. “For some reason, when we play Enumclaw, we had more errors today than we’ve had in the last couple of games. We’ve got to hit the ball. We’ve had a tough time hitting and I don’t know why. We have to hit better and we’ve got to cut down on errors. That’s the name of the game.”
The Seahawks battled, eventually scoring one run and limiting the Hornets’ offense in the final two innings.
“I think we realized that we were still in this game and we still had a chance, we just had to let our true potential go and just get in front of the ball, stop it and make the easy throws,” Harper said.
Harper said the team needs to improve its preparation.
“A lot of times, we kind of second-guess our throws,” Harper said. “We just kind of second-guess ourselves and we’re just not trusting our instincts to do what we need to do.”
Despite the rough outing, the Seahawks are in the hunt for second place in the SPSL 3A. They’re in a four-way tie. Peninsula will face Auburn Mountainview at home Thursday at 4 p.m.Jon Manley: 253-358-4151 email@example.com Twitter: @gateway_jon