By Meg Wochnick
OLYMPIA -- April Fools Day has become a day of humorous tradition involving practical jokes and hoaxes, but Monday might as well been Bad Luck Day for the Olympia Bears.
First, the Bears already were without center fielder Jessy Trunbull (finger), then learned of a late-game scratch by second baseman Monica McCoy (neck), leaving coach Matt Loes to shuffle his starting lineup shortly before the Bears 4A Narrows League fastpitch game with South Kitsap in a battle for first place.
And then, on the second pitch of the game at Stevens Field, all-league third baseman Gabby Braniff went down with a right knee injury as she fielded a bunt by Wolves lead-off hitter Alissa Buss.
Three starters gone, and lineup shuffled again in what was a 9-3 loss to South Kitsap in a battle of the leagues only unbeatens remaining.
It was like, Whatever, flip a coin, Loes said.
Loes said the injury to Braniff, who went to the hospital after a 15-minute game delay, affected his players. As a result, it hurt Olympias offense. South Kitsap took a quick 7-0 after its half of the second inning against a Bears squad that hadnt given up more than six runs in any its previous eight games.
It shook everybody up, Loes said. I was proud of the girls that they didn't roll over and choke up totally. Hopefully, well get it to full strength pretty soon.
Olympia (7-2 overall, 2-1 4A Narrows) mustered one hit through five innings, as Wolves pitcher Ashley Chamberlin sat the Bears down in order third, fourth and fifth innings. But in the sixth, Olympia put up all of its three runs, sending nine batters to the plate and belting five hits over the first seven batters. Senior Nikki Schroeder, who started the game at first base moved to catcher when Braniff went down, had an RBI single ripped to left field that scored Emily Roloff to close the Bears deficit to 8-2. Schroeder and Emily Roloff each went 2-for-3 with an RBI, accounting for four of the teams seven hits.
South Kitsaps (4-1, 3-0) 1-6 hitters did the majority of the damage. Hannah Spohn and Shelby Reyes each went 3-for-4 and combined for five RBI.
North Thurston 13, Stadium 1: Sophomore Dominique Greeno belted her sixth home run in seven games and scored three times in the Rams nonleague win over the Tigers. Annalies Dahmen and Sierra Davis had three hits apiece.
Timberline 23, Foss 0: Megan Porche had three home runs in three plate appearances, including a second-inning grand slam in a shutout of the Falcons in two innings. Ellie Jones also had a three-run home run.
Olympia 8, Bellarmine 6: Cameron Frosts sixth-inning grand slam was enough to lift the Bears into first place in the 4A Narrows League with a win over the Lions. Leif Hanson gave up three earned runs in six innings of work on the mound to pick up the win.
Timberline 11, Mount Tahoma 0: Winning pitcher Ty Carlton improved his record to 1-1 and also scored twice in the Blazers 3A Narrows win over the T-Birds. Benny Kaleiwahea and Matt Mercer each drove in a pair of runs.
North Thurston 11, Foss 0: Ryan Mets struck out 14 Falcons and allowed just two hits over six innings in the Rams' 3A Narrows win. Dylan Warton (4-for-4, 3 RBI), Hayden Maliska (2-for-4) and Ande Grantham (2-for-4, three runs) led North Thurston at the plate.