Wolves earn tough draw at districts

While skillful play advanced the South Kitsap High School fastpitch team into a seeding game against Stadium last Wednesday, luck ran out on the Wolves in a variety of ways.

Playing for the No. 3 seed into the West Central District, an injury-plagued SK team failed to bring it’s A game in a 7-3 loss to Stadium.

SK played without starting pitcher Dawn Thomas, who suffered a knee injury on the final out of its 6-3 win against Gig Harbor on Monday.

Backup starter Jenny Rigg was unavailable to pitch because of a missed practice and SK coach Kathy Ballew did not want to push reliever Melissa Ballard into the starting roll. Ballew handed the ball to senior second baseman Sara Brown, who was making her pitching debut at the varsity level.

It wasn’t the debut she anticipated.

“With Dawn out, we needed Sara Brown to step up and give us a couple of innings,” Ballew said. “But the second batter she faced beaned her in the right hand with a line drive.”

Brown was diagnosed Thursday with a hairline fracture in her hand and is out for the rest of the season.

Rightfielder Jamie Peters, a natural infielder, will fill in at second base and Amber Jacobs take over in right field.

SK’s poor luck continued after the loss to Stadium.

Despite being the No. 4 team out of the Narrows League, SK will play the No. 1 team out of Vancouver’s talented South-west League when the West Central District tournament gets underway May 17-18 at Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway.

“I’m still trying to figure out how the No. 4 Narrows League team gets the No. 1 team from the Southwest League,” Ballew said. “Oh well, you have to beat these teams sooner or later.”

The WCD tournament is double-elimination, with seven of the 16 teams advancing to the state tournament.

Ballew said she thinks her team is capable of winning if it can play more relaxed in the field.

One of SK’s strengths this year has been its defense, but it has broken down entirely at times. In a loss to Olympic earlier this season, the Wolves committed eight errors, and they committed five more in the loss to Stadium.

Despite the five errors against Stadium, SK was within striking distance after scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to close the score to 5-3.

Stadium tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh and shut down SK in the bottom of the inning.

Each team had seven hits, but Ballew said she’s seen her team hit better.

“Stadium’s pitcher wasn’t that strong,” Ballew said. “I think we got a little anxious and a little pressed at times.”

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