The Gig Harbor fastpitch team pummeled the visiting Lincoln Abes on Friday afternoon, 23-1. One of the many highlights of the game was sophomore shortstop Megan Riggs' second-inning grand slam. Practically everyone in the lineup was involved in the hit parade in the lopsided affair. The blowout gave Tides head coach Kara Dressel a chance to give the bench players some playing time.
“These are the games I can get these girls off the bench,” Dressel said. “They get to go in and show that it doesn't really matter who we're playing, they can still play them.”
One of the bench players who got a chance to see some time for Gig Harbor (12-3 overall, 7-3 Narrows 4A) was sophomore pitcher Grace Roberts, who gave up only one earned run.
“I think I did good,” Roberts said. “Our team did really good, (we had) no errors, got everything cleaned up.”
Roberts added that the blowout gave the Tides valuable experience, especially for the bench players who don't always see live action.
“Getting to play different positions and trying new things that we wouldn't get to in a regular game (is important),” Roberts said.
The Tides are a half game behind Yelm for the No. 2 spot in the league standings, and will face them next week.
“The girls have done a great job,” Dressel said. “We're really excited this season to be fighting for that two spot. And if you get to the two spot, we get the bye and go straight to districts, so that's what our girls have been fighting for this whole time. We've just hit the ball really well, we just need to keep playing good defense. We're definitely the strongest hitting team out there.”
The Tides lost 7-6 last time they played Yelm, and hope to edge the Tornados this time around. If they want to get the win, they'll need a stronger effort from their pitching staff.
“We gave up quite a few walks the first game, so we really need to make them earn their runs,” Dressel said. “We're going to score runs; we have to make them earn their runs. We just need to be focused on defense.”
Dressel said the team is confident and playing well.
“I definitely feel like we're going upwards. We're really starting to hit the ball. I think we're playing good teams going into playoffs. We're playing South Kitsap, Yelm and Central Kitsap all in a row, which I think will prepare us to go into league playoffs and then districts. We're looking good.”
Roberts said the team still has their eye on the ultimate prize.
“We're feeling good, I think we're going to do really good and hopefully win state,” she said.
Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.