Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Kenai Central High School pitcher Cierra King throws a pitch Thursday, May 14, 2015, at the Steve Shearer Fields in Kenai, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Kenai Central High School pitcher Cierra King throws a pitch Thursday, May 14, 2015, at the Steve Shearer Fields in Kenai, Alaska.

Kodiak softball doubles up on Kenai

On a cold, rainy and windy day in Kenai, Kodiak softball pitcher Kalameli Matautia was throwing fire.

Matautia came up just shy of a perfect game in the second contest of a doubleheader with Kenai Central on Thursday afternoon at Steve Shearer Memorial Ballpark. Kodiak won the first game 18-1 in three innings and the second 15-0 in four innings.

“She’s been really good for us,” said Kodiak coach Sam Catt. “She’s a three-sport girl, like many of them, so she doesn’t have a lot of time to work in the offseason, so yeah, she does pretty good.”

With the pair of wins, Kodiak jumps to 4-4 overall and 2-0 in the Northern Lights Conference, while Kenai drops to 1-4 overall and 1-3 in the NLC.

Matautia earned the win for the Bears with four strikeouts, one hit and one walk. Matautia sent away all nine batters she faced in the first three innings, and recorded the first out of the fourth inning before giving up Kenai’s first hit of the game with a blooper to right field by Alyssa Herr.

With a number of seniors gone from last year’s squad and two additional players out of the lineup this week, Catt said he had no idea what to expect.

“I think it’s huge for us,” Catt said. “We’re young and we lost a lot, so I didn’t really know what we had.”

Cierra King took the loss in the pitching circle for Kenai with six hits, 13 walks and two strikeouts. King also allowed four runs on wild pitches.

All day long, the Kards suffered from fielding mistakes, which allowed the Bears to keep moving the batting carousel around the bases.

Kenai coach Mark King said a long layover since the Kardinals’ most recent game was partially to blame. Kenai last took to the diamond for a 10-9 win over Soldotna on April 30.

“I think that long dry spell may have had something to do with that,” King said.

King said the Kards have been working in practice with drills to keep from getting rusty, but the lack of game experience is something that no team can make up for.

“When you’ve got so much going on with everybody yelling at once, it’s a different atmosphere,” King said. “We’ve done a couple scrimmages to get that same feel, but it’s hard to do that.”

On offense for Kodiak, Matautia hit 2 for 2, Mika Bushell went 1 for 2, Danika Catt was 1 for 2, Tracy Pedersen hit 1 for 2 with a double, and Sage Glamaan was 1 for 1 with two RBI.

Whether it was pitches going astray, infielders throwing to the wrong base, or pop-ups bouncing out of gloves, Kenai had trouble getting anything to go.

Catt opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-run single that ultimately turned into a home run due to two throwing errors. From there, the lead ballooned to 7-0 with five consecutive runs scored on either passed balls or wild pitches.

After one inning of play, the Bears sported a 10-0 lead.

“The first game, they just kind of locked up,” King said. “The second game they appeared to be a lot more engaged.”

In the opening game, Kodiak scored five runs in the first inning and nine in the third to force a mercy ruling. Celest Chichenoff and Glamaan each hit a ground-out to score the first two runs for Kodiak, and the Bears added three more off of throwing errors.

The Kardinals scored their lone run in the bottom of the second when Tracy Pedersen’s wild pitch allowed Blume to reach home plate. Pedersen pitched a full game with three hits and three strikeouts. Kenai’s Kassie Lindsley pitched a full game for the Kards.

At the top of the third, Kodiak scored runs in just about every way possible, getting around the bases with a passed ball, three singles, a double, a triple, a bunt and a walk with the bases loaded. Kenai ended the inning with two consecutive outs on bunt attempts.

In the bottom of the third, Blume was walked to load the bases, but Ellen Weaver knocked a ground-out to first to end the game.

Matautia led the Bears at the plate by hitting 4 for 4 with three runs. Catt went 3 for 3 and Chichenoff scored three times. For Kenai, Annika Oren, Darcy Blume and Emily Koziczkowski each provided a hit.

Kenai will face the Colony Knights on the road today at 5:30 p.m. and Wasilla Saturday at 11:45 a.m.

“Hopefully tomorrow the kids pull themselves up by the bootstraps and play better,” King said.

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