Rangers' softball team fills open positions

Olympic College continues to add top-notch talent to its 2004 softball roster as the school announced it has signed three more players to letters of intent with two more walk ons.

The Rangers added two more outfielders with Ashley Stice and Cathy Kniess and infielder Celeste Kajiyama when the three women recently signed.

Stice, a North Kitsap grad, earned first team All-League honors for her play in the outfield and helped the Vikings to a district tournament berth.

“Ashley has great speed, a strong glove and is versatile enough to play in both the infield and outfield,” said OC assistant coach Clay Blackwood.

Kniess, a two-time first team pick and team captain at South Kitsap, decided against her earlier decision to attend Mid-Continent College in Kentucky to join the Rangers. She also may get some action behind the plate as a catcher.

“Cathy covers a lot of territory in the outfield and has the glove and the arm to go along with her speed,” Blackwood said.

Stice and Kniess join returners Katie Henry and Corey Simons and newcomers Britini Hintz (Klahowya), Karla Waldron (North Mason) and Becky Heilinger (South Kitsap) in a stacked outfield.

“We need that if we have to have Cathy catch for us,” OC coach Brian Strege said. “But if we need her to catch (in place of All-Narrows League first teamer Sarah Pedroza from Olympic High), we’ll still be fine in the outfield.”

Kajiyama brings outstanding glove work to the Rangers infield after a first team year at Olympic High School.

“Celeste is a solid infielder with a strong arm at third base and could be used throughout the infield,” Blackwood said.

The Rangers infield roster also includes returner Angie Rapada and newcomers Laken Durkee (Gig Harbor), Chandra Coughtry (Peninsula), Tawney Summarell (North Kitsap) and Stacey Woolford (Central Kitsap.)

The Rangers also get back former Bainbridge standout pitcher Katie Leigh after she missed last season with an injury. Winner of the Red Brown Memorial Scholarship, the sophomore nursing student adds another skilled arm to the rotation which includes returner Libby Moergeli and freshman Jordan Bushor (Bremerton).

Rounding out the Rangers’ roster is Tausha Spivey, a walk-on from Bremerton who is expected to try out as a designated hitter.

“With the roster nearly full of signed and walk-on players, we are looking forward to getting started on the 2004 softball campaign,” Blackwood said. “Within the coming weeks we will continue to look for potential players before we fire up the fall softball season.”

The Rangers’ first practice is Sept. 15. The team is slated for a tournament in Wenatchee the weekend of Sept. 27 and another tournament in Idaho on Oct. 25-26. Strege said he is trying to put together something at Pendergast Park sometime during the first two weekends in October.

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