Vikings striving to reach the 4A state tournament

Puyallup pitcher Marissa Miller has been a dominant force in the pitching circle

Staff writerMay 21, 2014 

Vikings ace Marissa Miller throws a strike in a contest against Curtis earlier this season. Miller put together an overall record of 16-1 during the 2014 regular season.

SHAUN SCOTT/HERALD PHOTO

A memorable regular season is in the books for Puyallup Vikings fastpitch team.

The Vikings, who finished with an overall record of 16-2, captured the South Puget Sound League South regular season league title. The Vikings finished with a 15-1 record in league play. Vikings head coach Tony Batinovich was confident in his team’s chances of competing for a league title when practice sessions began in early March.

“Going into the season I thought we would be able to contend to finish in the top four or five spots. We got a couple of breaks, and we’re very happy with winning the league title,” Batinovich said. “We’re looking to keep the momentum up in the playoffs. Winning the league title is fine, but we’re looking forward to the second season, which is the playoffs.”

Batinovich said the team’s opponents will do their best to avenge their regular season defeats at the West Central District tournament May 23-24 at the Kent Service fields.

“Teams that we beat earlier this year are going to want to beat us when everything is on the line. We kind of have a bulls-eye on our back,” he said.

Puyallup has relied on the right arm of senior pitcher Marissa Miller this season. Miller put together a personal record of 16-1 in the regular season.

“Marissa is having a fantastic year. She is having one of the better years that we’ve ever had at this school. I feel she is super strong candidate for player of the year,” Batinovich said. “Her earned run average is just over 1 and she is also hitting the ball really well and is batting in the high 300s and has about 12 RBIs. She has just been lights-out as a pitcher. I know we wouldn’t be playing at the level we are playing right now if it wasn’t for her efforts.”

All that stands in the way of a berth in the Class 4A state tournament is the district tournament. Batinovich hopes his team can punch its ticket to the big dance with a top notch showing.

“Every tournament is different, and you have to play your best,” Batinovich said. “It doesn’t really matter what your previous record is, you just have to move forward and keep playing well. We want to reach the state tournament in Spokane for sure. We have had that kind of season that deserves a trip to the state tournament. We just have to go out and do it.”

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