Sports

SK in the hunt for final spot in division

"What plagued the South Kitsap High School fastpitch team at the beginning of the season has now evolved into a strength.After averaging five errors a game in the first five games, the Wolves have cut their gaffes in half and their improved record shows for it.After dabbling below .500 in the Narrows League for most of the season, the Wolves thrusted itself above .500 after wins against Lincoln and Wilson last week.SK took its 5-4 league record (6-7 overall) into yesterday's Bridge Division game against second-place Capital--a team that has mastered SK the last two years.SK entered the game winners in three of its last four games. A 4-0 loss against Bay Division leader Olympia is the only blemish in that streak.With four games remaining the Wolves are trying to position themselves in the playoffs, but they will have tough back-to-back matchups against Bellarmine and Stadium May 1-2.But the biggest game of the year will be against Mount Tahoma Monday.Unless SK reels off four straight wins, SK will be fighting Mount Tahoma for the third and final spot in the Narrows League tournament.The Bay and Bridge No.1 teams play each other for the top two seeds andthe No.2 teams of each division play for the No.3 and No.4 seed into the West Central District tournament.That leaves the No.3 teams to battle for the fifth and final spot into districts.Mount Tahoma (5-6) is fresh off an upset win against Gig Harbor and would love to leapfrog into third place with a win against SK.SK, which defeated Mount Tahoma 8-2 in late March, hopes to quell that possibility and all but assure themselves third place.If SK wins Monday and both teams finish the season tied, SK would take third place because of the 2-0 record in head-to-head competition.If the Wolves continue to play like it has been, Mount Tahoma may not have a chance to catch them.They started the week with a 31-1 romp of Lincoln Monday in Tacoma.Savannah Starkweather had a career day with five hits, including two triples, and six runs batted in.Cathy Kniess added three hits and five runs batted in. Carri Lefler smacked in three runs off of three hits.Sara Brown knocked in two runs, and Annique Cabiniss rapped three hits.On Wednesday SK scored five runs in the fifth inning en route to a 6-0 at home against Wilson.Starkweather hit a two-run single and Ashley Robinson smoked a run-scoring double. Kniess knocked in a run on a line drive single.The Wolves had the one big inning but SK coach Kathy Ballew said she'd like to see the team strand less runners on base. They stranded seven runners against Wilson.We did leave a lot of people on, Ballew said. We popped up a lot and showed we were a little anxious.With a strong defense and the right mindset, Ballew said she's confident the team will be playing Gig Harbor or Foss for that fifth and final seed for districts.I'm pleased with the defense. That's felt really nice, she said. They're coming together. We've got a pretty good attitude that we're in this knowing it will be a fight. "

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