BREMERTON — Olympic College’s softball team picked up two much-needed wins Wednesday afternoon against Pierce College at Lions Park before they hit the road for key games against Skagit Valley and Douglas College.
The Rangers swept Pierce College at Lions Park in a Northwest Athletic Conference North Region doubleheader. Game scores were 12-4, 12-4, both were shortened to five innings due to the eight-run mercy-rule.
“We definitely needed that,” Olympic coach Eric Buss said of the sweep.
The game didn’t start well for the Rangers as Pierce took a 4-1 lead through two innings before OC added two runs in the bottom of the third to make it 4-3.
Then the hits came. And the runs.
Olympic scored nine unanswered runs in the bottom of the fifth, capped by freshman Kylie Tasaki’s walk-off home run for the win.
Tasaki had a productive day, going 4-for-6 with four RBIs and five runs scored.
Tasaki said she had been struggling hitting-wise, dipping her shoulder, and welcomed the reminders from coaches to keep her shoulders square.
“She pitched me inside and I was like ‘That’s the pitch I was waiting for’ and I just hit it,” Tasaki said of the home-run at-bat. “I knew it was gone because of the way I hit it and the contact and the way it came off the bat.”
“She’s been hitting the ball consistently,” Buss said of Tasaki.
Olympic started strong in the second game, going up 10-2 in the second inning off Sage Scott’s three-run double as Pierce couldn’t get runners home.
The Rangers are in a good position to finish the season strongly as they also saw the return of pitcher Daniela McKeel to the rotation along with Jadin Left and Alecia Kupihea.
The Rangers had a strange end to the month of April as they lost to Bellevue twice and Highline, but had to forfeit the second game because of a depleted pitching staff. Buss said it’s not a way he wants to take a loss, but he’d rather put the health of his players and their long-term health above a possible win.
Olympic (9-23 overall, 6-17 North) sits in eighth place in the North and plays at Skagit Valley Friday in a doubleheader that was postponed from April 28. The Rangers then head to second-place Douglas on Saturday.