Wolves stay perfect with gut-check

Maybe all they needed was a come-from-behind, extra-innings win.

After all, the South Kitsap girls fastpitch team had suffered a few of those in resent years, including a season-ending 4-3 loss in 11 innings to Evergreen last year.

Maybe that’s what makes their win over North Kitsap so special.

“It’s huge, it means so much to everyone on the team,” senior Chantal Boddie said. “Coming back after not practicing for a week and pulling off something like this, it’s just huge.”

Boddie capped a dramatic comeback by knocking in the winning run Wednesday, propelling South a 3-2 win over the Vikings. With the victory, South improved to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in league play and maintained its hold on first place in the Narrows League Bridge Division.

“We’ve come out on the bad end of extra inning games a lot and I didn’t think about that until afterwards,” South coach Kathy Ballew said. “At this point of the season, to have such a good team play us like that and take us to an international tie-breaker, I hope it gives us confidence.”

That shouldn’t be a problem for South, which overcame a 1-0 deficit to send the game into extra innings in its final at bat before winning the game in the bottom of the eighth inning on a bases-loaded grounder by Boddie. The throw to plate was late and Stephanie Mott scored the winning run.

“I try not to think about it,” Boddie said. “I’m just looking to get a base hit and not swing for the stars. I just tried to relax and do what I could for the team.

“I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous up there,” Boddie said. “I mean, bases loaded, extra innings, who wouldn’t be nervous up there?”

Boddie’s grounder made a winner out of South’s Brittany Miller, who cruised through eight innings to move to 5-0 on the year. Miller was once again dominant, striking out eight while allowing just five hits.

“For the most part (I felt good),” Miller said. “My speed was a little down but that’s just with the week off.”

Miller hadn’t pitched in almost two weeks but was sharp, allowing just one earned run while walking one. Of the five hits she allowed, only Rachael Kramer’s RBI triple in the fourth inning was hit hard and that came on a hanging riseball.

Down 1-0 with just two innings left, the Wolves showed their mettle by getting the leadoff batter on to start both innings.

Amanda Galla led off the sixth inning with a solid single but was forced out at second and the Wolves went quietly after that. Sophomore catcher Caty Lieseke began the seventh by reaching on a error, moved to second on a Katie Robertson single and then to third on a wild pitch before scoring on Joy Thomas’ sacrifice fly.

After North scored a run in the top of eighth, South won the game in typical South fashion.

Galla, who started the inning on second due to the international tie-breaking rule, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Miller before scoring on a single by Mott, who was 3-for-4 on the day. After two intentional walks, Mott scored on Boddie’s grounder to short.

“In a way, yes we stole it,” Miller said, “But towards the end, I think we kind of earned it by getting our bats fired up.”

The Wolves picked up five of their six hits over the final game’s final five innings while the Vikings collected just four hits after the fourth inning.

“That was just a really good game against a really good team,” Ballew said. “You know, win or lose, it was a great game.

“We showed such poise in coming back,” Ballew said. “We did the little things to get it done.”

The Vikings, last year’s league champs, dropped to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in league play.

The Wolves have three games next week, starting at Olympic on Monday. South has big games at Gig Harbor Wednesday and then at home against Central Kitsap Friday.

South Kitsap 3, North Kitsap 2 (8 innings)

Rachael Kramer and Melody Griffin; Brittany Miller and Caty Lieseke. W-Miller (5-0). L-Kramer. Leading hitters: NK: Kramer 1-3 (3B,RBI); King 2-4 (2B). SK: Stephanie Mott 3-4 (RBI,SB); Chantal Boddie 1-4 (RBI); Joy Thomas 0-2 (SF,RBI).

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