Sports

Wolves off to a perfect start

Three games into the season, the South Kitsap fastpitch softball team may have already figured out the solution to a potential problem.

In the meantime, they’re also 3-0 after winning non-league games against Olympia and Mount Tahoma this week. The Wolves squeaked past the Bears 4-3 Tuesday afternoon and ripped Mount Tahoma 13-0 Wednesday to stay prefect on the year.

“It’s kind of nice to have a game like this,” South coach Kathy Ballew said after Wednesday’s blowout win. “(Tuesday) was a close one and I like how we showed some poise and were able to come through. And (Wednesday) it was nice to see how my team would respond as far as would they go down to (Mount Tahoma’s) level.

“They kept focus as much as you can, I think,” Ballew said. “We were able to practice a few little things. I’m proud of their ability to remain focused.”

The Wolves’ offense was almost perfect against Tahoma, as they pounded out 11 hits, but their pitching was perfect as Brittany Miller and Amanda Galla combined to throw a perfect game.

Miller, who has started all three games for the Wolves and picked up all three wins, struck out six in her three innings of work while Galla closed it out with two innings of hitless ball, striking out two.

“(Tuesday) was a tough game. Nothing was working,” Miller said. “But we still pulled it out. (Wednesday) was a lot easier, my stuff was working today.”

Of the 15 outs, eight came on strikeouts, six on groundouts and one on a pop-up. The game was called after the top of the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule.

“That was nice to see,” Ballew said of her pitchers. “They both looked very strong.”

And while Miller and Galla dominated, the South offense gave them plenty of runs to work with by scoring in each inning.

Senior third baseman Jievielyn Howard did the most damage.

In the two games, Howard was 5 for 7 with three runs batted in. But it was a monster triple she hit against Mount Tahoma that really stood out.

“I just wanted to whack it,” Howard said. “I was really happy that I hit it. We’re constantly working on our batting. That’s our No. 1 thing. And it really shows, especially today. “

Ballew said Howard was one of the bats she was looking for to help score runs this year — and so far, so good.

“I was kind of counting on that,” Ballew said. “She’s got the power to move (runners) around, so I was definitely counting on that.”

Besides tossing the perfect game, Miller and Galla combined for five hits and scored five times while shortstop Stephanie Mott drove in a pair of runs on a sacrifice fly and a groundout.

But the biggest things to come out of Wednesday’s game may have been a solution to a problem that arose in the Wolves first game last Saturday: What to do when Miller isn’t pitching and Galla isn’t playing first base.

On Wednesday, Ballew shifted Miller from pitcher to second base and moved Melina Stayton from second to first so Galla could pitch and, more importantly, catcher Caty Lieseke could stay behind the plate.

And it worked just fine, as Stayton made the plays and first and Lieseke could still call the pitches.

“I like it,” Miller said. “It’s kind of awkward being at second, but it’s a good solution.”

Against Olympia, Miller went the distance, allowing seven hits and just one earned run while striking out six but walking five.

Mott led the offensive charge, going 2 for 3 with two RBI.

The Wolves play Stanwood Saturday before starting Narrows League Bridge Division play Monday against Port Angeles.

The South Kitsap junior varsity team moved to 3-0 on the year with a 26-0 win over Mount Tahoma in a game played at Marcus Whitman. Kristin Stephens picked up the win by striking out five while Kassi Burk drove in three runs on three hits.

Tara Higgins had three singles and scored five times while Mercedes Flerx had two RBI on two hits.

South Kitsap 4, Olympia 3

Brittany Miller and Caty Lieseke; Erin Bordner and Kasi Lewis.

Leading hitters: Stephanie Mott 2-3 (2RBI), Jievielyn Howard 2-3 (RBI).

South Kitsap 13, Mount Tahoma 0

Colburn and Sampson; Miller, Galla (4) and Lieseke.

Leading hitters: Galla 2-4, Miller 3-4 (RBI), Mott 0-2 (2RBI) Howard 3-4 (2RBI), Lieseke 1-2 (RBI), Chantal Boddie 1-1 (RBI).

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