Sports

SK comes through with win in the clutch

With the dreams of the postseason hanging in the balance, South Kitsap needed someone to step up and take charge.

Brittany Miller, Amanda Galla and Stephanie Mott answered the call.

Miller tossed a complete-game shutout while Galla got a key hit and Mott flashed her defense in a key situation as the Wolves picked up ground Wednesday, downing Port Angeles 2-0 and getting a tighter grip on the playoffs.

“It’s coming down to the end, and we’re in there fighting for that second and third spot,” South coach Kathy Ballew said. “Gig Harbor is right on us pushing us and we need to stay in there.”

The Wolves entered the game trailing the Roughriders by two games in the Narrows League Bridge Division standings and needed a win to keep pace with Gig Harbor for the fourth and final playoff spot.

The top four teams from the Bridge and Bay Divisions advance to the postseason. The top-two teams automatically advance to the West Central District tournament while seeds three and four must play loser-out cross-over games.

And the Wolves would like nothing better than to avoid that.

“With them in second and us in third, it was definitely a good win to have,” Galla said. “We needed it.”

And the Wolves got exactly what they needed from Miller, who raised her season record to 4-2 by striking out 10 batters while walking none while allowing just four hits.

“My changeup and my riseball seemed to be really working well today,” Miller said. “I’ve kind of been in a slump, so today was definitely nice to have one of my better outings this year.”

Miller was never in much trouble, but when Port Angeles did manage to get runners in scoring position, the defensive was there making some stellar plays to back her up.

“She looked much stronger today,” Ballew said. “I can usually tell when she’s tired, and today she just looked much better.”

Mott got Miller out of her toughest jam, getting to a ball that looked like a sure single that would have put the Roughriders up at least 1-0 in the fourth inning.

“I thought it was going through,” Ballew said. “But Stephanie is such a good defensive player and she has great range.”

Mott’s defensive play set the stage for the Wolves to end a 12-inning scoreless streak, which they did with two runs in the fifth inning.

Chantal Boddie tripled to lead off the inning and later scored on a fielder’s choice by Miller. Galla then ripped a triple to left-center to put the Wolves up 2-0.

“We had a little trouble hitting her, but we finally pulled it around,” Galla said of Port Angeles pitcher Meagan Ramsey. “It was tough to adjust to her speed — she was a little slower than I thought she would be.”

With the two-run cushion, Miller cruised through the rest of the Roughrider lineup, striking out five of the last seven batters she faced.

“It was a lot easier to have those two runs behind me,” Miller said. “If I let one get on base, it wasn’t going to absolutely kill me.”

So now South has its sights set on catching Port Angeles for the No. 2 slot and the automatic WCD berth. The Wolves played at Gig Harbor late Friday and get the bottom feeders of the division next week with home games against Olympic and Shelton sandwiched around a trip to Central Kitsap.

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