National All-Stars defeat American All-Stars 10-4 while it was a 15-15 stalemate in the Senior All-Star Baseball game at The Fairgrounds Wednesday
THE FAIRGROUNDS — The 17th Softball Showcase All-Star Game started out as a pitchers duel and finished with hitting flair Wednesday as the unofficial end of the high school sports season.
The National team beat the American team 10-4 in nine innings.
Malia Peato of Bainbridge pitched five innings and had a no-hitter until Central Kitsap’s Megan Weber singled to left-center in the top of the third inning. On the flip side, North Kitsap pitcher Sarah Smith started for the Americans and gave up a double to Isabelle Dennis of Sequim in the first but shut down the Nationals before getting relieved by Hope O’Conner in the fourth.
The two pitchers went on to win Dick Thompson co-MVP awards and enjoyed their time immensely on the field with their high school teammates.
Smith, along with NK teammate Alicia Goetz will play at Willamette University next season, was more than a little surprised by being named co-MVP.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Smith laughed. “I really enjoy it because you don’t gent chance to talk to other girls, you can relate and talk to them during this so that’s always the best part.”
Peato said it was “heart-warming” to have one more chance to play softball with her teammates and play with girls she never had before.
“Especially the South Kitsap girls, they aren’t in our (3A classification),” Peato said of Bainbridge playing in the Metro League. “They bonded us all.”
Lamara Villiard was named the Dick Todd Leadership Award winner by the Peninsula Umpires Association.
Naomi Marion was the recipient of the Red Brown Scholarship award. The South Kitsap senior is headed to play softball at Olympic College next season.
The National team broke open the game in the fourth inning with a six-run, six-hit performance that was highlighted by an RBI triple from Bremerton’s Kaytee Bullard and a Jazmyn Harris two-run single to left.
Down 6-0, the Americans comeback began with Weber’s inside-the-park home run to deep center field in the sixth inning. With one out, Olympic’s Sadie Shipley matched Weber’s effort with an inside-the-park home run and Smith’s slicing blooper to short right scored a run to cut the National lead to 6-3.
Weber knew her shot to the outfield was going to carry.
“It just felt so good coming off the bat,” she said. “I saw it going and it just didn’t really hit me that there was no fence right there and it kept going. … I’m just so stocked about it.”
Weber said she was excited to be chosen to play in the All-Star game.
“It’s just so awesome, especially playing with girls from different teams,” she said. “It’s so awesome to see the talent that’s in the area and building that sportsmanship with all of them.”
Marion hit the third inside-the-park home run of the game for the National All-Stars in the top of the seventh that began a four-run inning to increase the lead, 10-3. North Kitsap’s Makayla Stockman added an RBI single to left for the American to finish the scoring in the eighth.
The game had plenty of defensive highlights as well. Marion had two snags on line drives at third base, Olympic’s Molly Gates led a double play in the eighth when she reached up for a hard hit from Bainbridge’s Grace Colburn for an unassisted out, then threw to Stockman at third for the double play.
In the 52nd Senior Baseball Showcase, a late rally by the National team nearly won it but the game ended in a 15-15 stalemate in the 10th inning. The National team trailed the American team 13-8 in the top of the 10th before scoring seven runs to take a 15-13 lead. The American All-Stars scored two runs to tie it 15-15 in the bottom half of the inning, and had the winning run on second, but couldn’t bring the runner home.