Robbins leads Knights past Bruins | Softball

Kamiak pitcher shuts down Cascade rally in bottom of seventh
By David Pan | May 02, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Lindsey Greenfield hits a single to center field in the sixth inning against Cascade Wednesday, April 25, at Cascade High School.

If Kamiak senior pitcher Cecilia Robbins was rattled, she didn’t show it.

The Knights took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh when Cascade rallied for two runs and put the tying run on third base with one out.

Robbins regrouped to record the final two outs on infield grounders and Kamiak edged the Bruins 3-2 in a Wesco 4A softball game Wednesday, April 25, at Cascade High School.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak and coupled with a 14-4 win over Mount Vernon on Friday, April 27, moved the Knights (5-5 in the league, 7-7 overall) into fifth place in the league behind fourth place Glacier Peak (6-4, 10-6) and third place Monroe (6-4, 12-4). Jackson (10-0, 16-0) and Lake Stevens (9-1, 13-1) appear to have the top two seeds to the district tournament well in hand.

“I just knew we had to win this game and I wasn’t going to allow us to lose,” Robbins said of the win over Cascade. “I was like I’ve got to get them to hit ground balls that aren’t very hard. It was very important that we got out of this losing slump.”

Kamiak coach Ann Bradley described the ending of the game as “way more stressful than it should have been.”

But Bradley was confident that Robbins would be able to find a way to close out the game.

“It doesn’t matter if something big is hit on her. She comes right back and attacks the next batter,” Bradley said. “It doesn’t get in her head. … She kept her cool and got the outs she needed. She put the ball where she needed to do so that it was on the ground and the girls could do the rest.”

Cascade’s Josie Franklin led off the bottom of the seventh with a double and advanced to third base on an infield single by Kaylee Eke. Valerie Zaragoza followed with a single to center field that scored Franklin and enabled Eke to advance to third base. Cathy Zaragoza then grounded out to second baseman Heidi Baird, who won the footrace to first base and recorded the unassisted out. Eke scored and Zaragoza, who had stole second, scampered over to third base.

Robbins then pounced on a grounder to record the second out and Baird scooped up another infield grounder and threw to first baseman Elaine Nikolaidis to seal the victory for the Knights.

Kamiak emerged with the win despite being outhit 7 to 3 by the Bruins (2-8, 4-9). The Knights left runners on base in five out of seven innings and stranded 10 runners.

“I feel like we just weren’t hitting today. We were in a slump all together,” Robbins said. “None of us really broke out and hit.”

Added Bradley, “We had a lot of people left on base that should not be left out there.”

In the fifth, junior Jackie Rookaird drew a leadoff walk. She stole second and took third on a sacrifice bunt by Robbins. Freshman Katelyn Sonnichsen then laid down another bunt and beat out the throw to first base, while Robbins scored.

“I give her (Rookaird) credit for her speed always. She got such great speed,” Bradley said. “I’ve got to credit Katelyn for that bunt. It was a perfect bunt. It literally died right where it was supposed to. It was a called bunt. We had it planned ahead of time. With her (Rookaird) speed, we knew that if Katelyn could put the ball down, it was definitely going to go where it needed to go.”

Robbins also did her job in moving Rookaird to third with her bunt.

“I tell the girls all the time small ball is what wins games,” Bradley said. “Quit hitting for the fence. Just put the ball in play.”

The Knights scored two more runs in the sixth. Sophomore Lindsey Greenfield led off with a single to center field and then stole second base. She moved to third on an infield out. Freshman Camdyn Robinson drew a walk and stole second. Rookaird grounded out to second base, allowing Greenfield to score and Robinson to advance to third base. Robbins followed with a single to left field to drive in Robinson and give the Knights a 3-0 lead.

The Kamiak defense saw some changes due to the loss of freshman shortstop Jaydnn Bushnell, who was out due to an injured finger. Third baseman Robinson moved to shortstop and Sonnichsen and Sara Schnurman shared third base duties.

“The girls have stepped up and filled in the spot she (Bushnell) had,” Bradley said. “Things had to be changed today that we weren’t really prepared for. They all did their job.”

The Knights showed they are capable of putting up some runs against the Bulldogs.

Nikolaidis was 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs and Rookaird was 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs. Baird and Robbins drove in three and two runs, respectively.

Bradley isn’t surprised.

The Knights had five hits against Lake Stevens’ Sara Johnson, one of the top pitchers in the state.

“Some days we’re a little flatter than others,” Bradley added. “I see nothing but great things in the future for my hitters.”

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