Fastpitch: Wolves rebound to roll Tides, 12-0

South Kitsap
South Kitsap's Erika Henderson jockeys off third base after tripling in the Wolves' 12-0 thumping of Gig Harbor on Wednesday night.
— image credit: Jeff Rhodes/Staff Photo
Few aspects are more enjoyable in sports than taking out aggressions on a rival.

South Kitsap was able to rebound for a season-opening loss two days earlier to defeat Gig Harbor, 12-0, in a five-inning Class 4A Narrows League fastpitch game Monday.

The Wolves (1-1 overall, 1-1 league) scored in every inning. Despite scoring just once in the opening frame — first baseman Ashley Chamberlin’s single to left field plated Alyssa Buss — coach Kathy Ballew felt her team was able to establish a tone for the game.

That stemmed from senior Emilly Cunningham’s work on the mound. The right-hander needed just 12 pitches to strike out the side in the first inning.

“That’s a really good way to start the game,” Ballew said. “It sends a message: This is the way the game is going to be today, girls.”

Meanwhile, South capitalized on some Tides’ mistakes. With runners on first and second base with two outs, center fielder Meagan Ransier hit a dribbler back to pitcher Anna Hitt. But Hitt overthrew first base, which allowed Ericka Hobson to score from second base. Buss then followed with a triple — she scored on an overthrow on the play — that scored Monique Mendiola and Ransier to give the Wolves a 5-0 lead before Gig Harbor even produced a hit.

South extended its lead to 8-0 in the third inning. Cunningham led off the inning with a single and scored on the ensuing at-bat when left fielder Erika Henderson tripled. She then crossed home on a single by Hobson that glanced off Hitt’s glove. Hobson later scored on a double by Ransier.

In addition to producing 11 hits, the Wolves also drew three walks off Hitt. It was a much different scenario than the season opener against Wilson when South had only five hits in a 5-1 loss.

“I just felt like we were a little more relaxed,” Ballew said. “We weren’t pushing.”

After throwing a complete game against the Rams, Cunningham was limited to three innings Wednesday. Ballew said it was not injury related, but because the Wolves only have played two games after several rainouts. She said she wanted to get Chamberlin some work. Chamberlin allowed only one baserunner — on a throwing error by the third baseman — in two innings of work.

But Cunningham, who only allowed two hits while striking out four, was not finished at the plate. She crushed a 1-0 Hitt pitch that easily cleared the left-field bench to begin the fourth inning and extended South’s advantage to 9-0. Cunningham finished 2 for 4.

“As soon as she made contact, I knew it was gone,” Ballew said.

The Wolves added three more runs in the fifth. Ransier, who was 2 for 4 with two RBI, singled to score right fielder Julie MacMillan. Buss, who was 2 for 3, followed with a single. Both scored on a single by Chamberlin, who was 2 for 4, during the ensuing at-bat.

South continues 4A Narrows League play at 4 p.m. Friday against Mount Tahoma.

South Kitsap 12, at Gig Harbor 0 (5)
South Kitsap 143 13 - 12 11 2
Gig Harbor 000 00 - 0 2 4
Emilly Cunningham, Ashley Chamberlin (4) and Ericka Hobson, Billi Rae McDonald (4). Anna Hitt and Gracon Halich.
W-Cunningham. L-Hitt.
Leading hitters—Cunningham (SK) 2-4 HR; Chamberlin (SK) 2-4 3 RBI; Buss (SK) 2-3 BB 3B.

Wilson 5, at South Kitsap 1
Wilson 211 100 0 - 5 12 0
South Kitsap 000 010 0 - 1 5 2
Janessa Flynn, Alex Flynn (6) and Alexa Olague. Emilly Cunningham and Billi Rae McDonald, Ericka Hobson (3).
W-J. Flynn. L-Cunningham.
Leading hitters—Clark (W) 2-4 3B RBI; Meagan Ransier (SK) 2-4.

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