Knights wrap up successful season at district tourney | Softball

Kamiak to return majority of squad
By David Pan | May 23, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Cecilla Robbins fields a ball hit back to her during a 4A District tournament game against Monroe Tuesday, May 15 at Phil Johnson Fields.

The future is bright for the Kamiak softball program.

The young Knights played two of their best games of the season at the 4A District tournament but came up short in both contests.

Monroe, which eventually claimed the district’s No. 2 seed to state, edged Kamiak 3-2 in a first round game Tuesday, May 15, and then Glacier Peak defeated the Knights 7-4 in a loser-out contest Thursday, May 17, at the Phil Johnson fields in Everett.

Kamiak graduates only three players and returns the core of its squad, including five freshmen.

“I leave this day excited,” Knights coach Ann Bradley said after Thursday’s loss. “I’m so excited to come back. My five freshmen will have another year of growth in the league and in their out-of-season play. They’re only going to get better for us.”

The biggest change moving forward will be in the circle with the graduation of senior Cecilla Robbins, who has pitched since her freshman season.

“I wanted her to have as much time on that mound as she could,” Bradley said.

Robbins responded with one of her best performances of the season against the Bearcats, who she limited to only three runs. Coming into the district tournament, Monroe had scored 10 or more runs in 11 games this season.

“I say it all the time. She’s just a grinder,” Bradley said of Robbins. “She pitched probably her best game.”

Robbins also had a big day at the plate, going 1-for-3 with two RBI. Junior Jackie Rookaird, who has verbally committed to play for San Jose State University, was 2-for-2. The Knights had seven hits against the Bearcats.

“I love that Monroe started their third string pitcher and then two innings they switched her out because they weren’t prepared for us to be doing what we did,” Bradley said. “That game against Monroe was probably our best defensive game we’ve played the entire season.”

Monroe took a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning before Kamiak responded with two runs to tie the score. The Bearcats pushed across the go-ahead run in the sixth.

Kamiak was shut out 9-0 and 2-0 in two games against Glacier Peak during the regular season. This time the Knights scored four runs on nine hits. Robbins was 2-for-3 with two RBI and junior Ella Dahl also was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Freshman Camdyn Robinson was 2-for-4 with a run and freshman Natalie Smullin was 2-for-3 with run. Rookaird was 1-for-4 with a run.

“Ella hitting that massive bomb was awesome,” Bradley said. “It really gave the girls the confidence that they needed.”

The Knights (8-12), however, didn’t get the hits they needed when they had runners in scoring position. Kamiak left six runners on base.

“We were just one hit away from changing it,” Bradley said.

The Grizzlies led 4-0 after two innings. Kamiak tied the score at 4 with two runs in the bottom of the second and two more in the third. Glacier Peak took a 6-4 lead in the fifth and added an insurance run in the sixth.

“Every time we played them it’s been a battle,” Bradley said. “We can hit them. We just weren’t hitting them when we needed it.”

What stood out with this year’s team was their spirit and competitiveness, Bradley added.

“All of them are nice girls that play well together,” she added.

“There’s no ego. They just want to win and that’s fun for a coach and to know that so many of them are young and I get them for another three years is pretty awesome.”

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