Sports

SK looking for a cure on defense

"Kathy Ballew doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the formula for winning.The South Kitsap High School fastpitch coach isn't about to panic because the season is still young, but she knows her team won't win many games if the defense continues to falter.Prior to the their 8-2 win against Mount Tahoma Wednesday, the Wolves (2-2 overall, 1-1 NL) were averaging five errors per game in the first three games.Against Capital, SK's five errors led to seven unearned runs in a 10-0 loss in Olympia Tuesday.SK only managed two hits against Capital senior pitcher Stephanie Kurz, who struck out eight batters and walked none en route to the complete game shutout. We can't make errors like this and expect to win, Ballew said. But we didn't hit either, obviously.Mount Tahoma isn't the punching bag it has been in the past, but SK's defense turned it up a notch and recorded big outs to keep Mount Tahoma from putting rallies together.The team committed only two errors, but Ballew said she still saw things on the field she'd like to fix.I still think there were a couple of mental errors that we just have to eliminate because our defense needs to be fundamentally strong, especially if our hits aren't going to come. Ballew saidSK broke out the bats in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead after the first inning. SK went on to score one run in four of the final five innings.Freshman Savannah Starkweather highlighted the game with the team's first home run of the year - and first of her prep career - in the third inning.But Ballew admitted power is not what SK will have as a consistent weapon.We can't take any game for granted, she said. We're going to scrap and fight for every inning and every out and the kids are aware of that.Ballew said she didn't have to tell her players how the team is doing right now.They just got done (in the huddle) and they were saying, 'Yeah, we're still not where we can be. We can do better than this,' Ballew said. The journey doesn't get any easier for SK, having played North Kitsap yesterday, and following that game with a game at Federal Way today.Then the Wolves must face the Narrows League's best pitcher, Vanessa Whitney of Stadium, Monday in Tacoma. "

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