OLYMPIA — April Fools’ Day might as well have been Bad Luck Day for the Olympia Bears.
It was no hoax that the Bears were without center fielder Jessy Turnbull (finger) on Monday. Then a late scratch by second baseman Monica McCoy (neck) had coach Matt Loes shuffling his starting lineup shortly before the Bears’ 4A Narrows League game with South Kitsap.
The bad juju didn’t stop there. On the second pitch of the game, all-league third baseman Gabby Braniff went down with a right knee injury after she fielded a bunt by Wolves leadoff hitter Alissa Buss.
With three starters gone, no amount of lineup adjustment could prevent a 9-3 loss to South Kitsap in a battle for first place between the league’s remaining unbeaten teams.
“It was like, ‘Whatever, flip a coin,’ ” Loes said.
Loes said the injury to Braniff, who went to the hospital after the game was delayed 15 minutes, sobered his players, and, as a result, hurt Olympia’s offense.
South Kitsap took a quick 7-0 lead after its half of the second inning against a Bears squad that hadn’t 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, we’ll get it to full strength pretty soon.”
Olympia (7-2 overall, 2-1 4A Narrows) mustered one hit through five innings against Wolves pitcher Ashley Chamberlin.
She set the Bears down in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings. But in the sixth, Olympia scored three runs on five hits, as nine batters went to the plate.
Senior Nikki Schroeder, who started the game at first base and moved to catcher when Braniff went down, ripped an RBI single to left field to score Emily Roloff and cut the Bears’ deficit to 8-2. Schroeder and Erin Roloff each went 2-for-3 with an RBI, accounting for four of the team’s six hits.
The top six hitters in the batting order for South Kitsap (4-1, 3-0) did the most damage. Hannah Spohn and Shelby Reyes each went 3-for-4 and combined to drive in five runs.
North Thurston 13, Stadium 1: Sophomore Dominique Greeno belted her sixth home run in seven games and scored three times in the Rams’ non-league win over the Tigers. Annelies 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 that helped the Blazers rout the Falcons in two innings because of the mercy rule. Ellie Jones also had a three-run home run.
Olympia 8, Bellarmine Prep 6: Cameron Frost’s 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 to get credit for 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 Wharton (4-for-4, 3 RBI), Hayden Maliska (2-for-4) and Ande Grantham (2-for-4, three runs) led North Thurston at the plate.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org www.theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick