Sports

Lester-Dame succeeds Ballew as SK’s fastpitch coach

She acknowledges it is a stressful time.

That is because new South Kitsap fastpitch coach Tami Lester-Dame faces the prospect of the girls basketball season running into March. Lester-Dame, an assistant coach with that program, then must balance that with tryouts for fastpitch before the season opens March 19 at Wilson.

“Right now I’m just trying to do the things I have to get done before the season starts,” said Lester-Dame, who previously coach the school’s boys swim team until 2010. “I’m nervous. There’s a lot to do.”

Lester-Dame replaces long-time coach Kathy Ballew, who stepped down to become the girls track and field coach. She has multiple stints as an assistant under Ballew since 2001.

“It makes me feel good that she gave that up with the confidence in me to do it,” Lester-Dame said.

A 1984 South graduate, Lester-Dame played slowpitch for the Wolves.

“I’m ready,” she said. “I’m excited and want it to get going.”

The Wolves won a state championship under Ballew in 1995. But South, which finished with a 17-5 record last year, has not advanced to state since 2003 despite winning league titles the last two seasons.

“It just seems like we do well within our league and we get into the playoffs and it’s tough,” said Lester-Dame, adding that she hopes to schedule nonleague games against strong programs, such as Emerald Ridge and Walla Walla, during the season. “I’m hoping to prepare better during the season for what we’ll see at the end of the season.”

Lester-Dame said Karly Viereck will remain on staff as an assistant, but she is looking for junior-varsity coaches.

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