Sarah Wright dominates in the circle over the Decatur Gators. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Sarah Wright dominates in the circle over the Decatur Gators. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Kentwood takes home NPSL fastpitch softball crown

Sarah Wright strikes out 15 and allows just three hits.

The Kentwood High School Conquerors are champions of the North Puget Sound League (NPSL) fastpitch softball regular season after taking down the Decatur Gators 4-0 on May 4.

“I’m not gonna lie, a lot of work has gone into it. These girls have put blood, sweat and tears into the season. All year long we have preached, how can we build a family and a community? That’s what the girls have done,” Kentwood coach Sydney Eacret said.

The win was the Conquerors’ 12th in a row and sixth consecutive shutout. The Conks have 11 shutout victories on the season, and pitcher Sarah Wright is responsible for a handful of their shutouts.

“My favorite part is cheering her on. I’m her little cheerleader out there,” said senior Sarah Rothenberger.

Coming into this game, there was a little bit of an unspoken but respected rivalry between these two teams. That was something that Eacret noted at the end of the game.

“I think the neat thing here is this unspoken rivalry. Yeah these girls on the field clearly love each other, they’re high fiving and smiling, but then there is that ‘We’re gonna kick your butt feeling,’” she said.

It didn’t take Kentwood long to get on the board. Rothenberger in the first inning hit a solo home run with two outs. She thought that the early run helped settle down the Conks.

“I think it kind of boosted morale. You have to start off strong to get everyone on the right page,” said Rothenberger.

Rothenberger and Wright have had a great connection their entire lives. They even have a little nickname “Sarah squared.”

Wright was sensational on the mound. Decatur came into the contest scoring over 10 runs in 10 of its last 11 games. Wright threw a complete game and struck out 15, silencing one of the top offenses in the NPSL.

Gabby Greenwood notched the second run of the game for the Conks with a home run of her own. Kentwood enjoyed a two-run lead for the majority of the game, but in the seventh, it got some additional insurance.

A leadoff single from Sophia Mottern put the pressure on the Gators. With one out in the inning, Sophia Sappa scored Mottern, who had stolen second base. Sappa came around to score on a double from Isabella Thomasson, sealing the fate of the Gators, going up 4-0.

What is interesting about those two runs is that it’s rare for Kentwood to even be playing in a seventh inning because of their large leads.

“This is one of the few full seven inning games we have played besides the preseason. It’s interesting to see our dynamic coming through and our girls really pushed through without getting all those live innings,” Eacret said.

But the runs came from the bottom of the order, an unlikely place for run production for some, but not Eacret.

“I don’t think our lineup has ever stayed the same,” she said. “We’ve definitely rotated it, but the neat thing about our girls is whether they’re in the beginning or the end of the lineup, there’s never a weak point in our lineup. We’re really strong all the way though.”

“It shows that we can fight back… No matter what, we have people who can push and get the bats going,” Rothenberger said.

Kentwood sealed the 1 seed in the NPSL and has only nonleague games against 3A opponents in the near future. But the challenge that Decatur posed is something they’ll use as momentum and valuable experience moving into the postseason.

“We welcome the challenge, our girls want the challenge… The girls went through why they play, who they play for and the meaning behind the game. It really came down to their redemption shot at state,” Eacret said.

Kentwood player ready for action at the plate. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Kentwood player ready for action at the plate. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Courtesy Photo
Kentlake Male Athlete of the Week: Makoa Planesi

Planesi is off to a great first week of practice and was student of the quarter at Kentlake

Courtesy Photo
Kent Reporter Female Athlete of the Week: Ella Wick

Wick is a leader on and off the court and epitimizes what it means to be a Falcon

Lauren Covello gets ready to lunge for a challenge. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentridge girls soccer state run halted by Mount Si

For just the first time all season, the Chargers allowed four goals in the 4-1 loss.

Courtesy Photo
Kent Reporter Athlete of the Week: Landon Phan

Phan placed sixth in the district tournament, qualifying for state in the spring

Courtesy Photo
Kent Reporter Athlete of the Week: Rachel Senger

Sengar combined for 42 assists and 12 aces in a win vs TJ.

Courtesy Photo
Kent Reporter Athlete of the Week: Addison Edwards

Edwards has been the Chargers top scorer this season.

Courtesy Photo
Kent Reporter Athlete of the Week: Sage Vincioni

Vincioni placed fifth overall in the league tournament in his first competitive season.

Courtesy Photo
Kent Reporter Athlete of the Week: Claire Eaton

Eaton is an all-around great student athlete, works hard in the pool and has a 4.0 GPA

Senior midfielder Jayda Sparks (left) signed to Eastern Washington University and forward/defender Ella Schug (right) committed to Cal State University at Bakersfield. (Photo provided by John Flanigan)
Two Kentridge soccer players commit to Division 1 schools

Schug and Sparks have been momumental in the girls soccer playoff run.

Around the Sound Sports podcast is hosted by Ben Ray. Email
Fall state playoff action | Around the Sound Sports podcast

In this week’s episode, we take a look at district soccer and football around the NPSL. Kentridge girls soccer advances to the state playoffs for the first time since 2018 in a huge 6-0 win over Rogers. Decatur football’s historic season comes to a close in a 13-6 loss to Woodinville at home. Auburn falls to Lincoln at the Lincoln Bowl, ending the Trojans’ 2023 campaign. Auburn Riverside football wins against Juanita 28-9 and is going to state for the first time in school history.

Hayden Rallo controls the ball at Kentlake practice. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentlake girls soccer team breaks 13-year state playoff drought

The Falcons are on their way to state for first time since 2010 on the back of a 4-0 win

Team photo after the win against Rogers. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentridge girls soccer is back in the state tournament

The Chargers are in the big dance for the first time since 2018, snapping a four-year drought.