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FASTPITCH | South Kitsap clinches berth to districts
LACEY — Based on seeding, it appeared questionable that South Kitsap would advance beyond the Class 4A Narrows League Tournament.
For that reason, South coach Jessica Cabato believed the first day of the league tournament Thursday at Lacey’s Regional Athletic Complex was a success.
The Wolves advanced in the playoffs with a 3-2 win against Bellarmine Prep. But they will have to settle for one of 4A Narrows’ lowest seeds entering next week’s West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament after losing their second game, 5-1, against Olympia.
“With the weather, they were a little warm and tired by the second game,” said South coach Jessica Cabato, referring to the 80-degree heat. “We haven’t experienced that lately.”
The Bears, who won both regular-season games against South by a combined score of 16-4, had little difficulty advancing tournament championship game. Olympia (18-3), which won the league championship, scored twice during the first inning. Catcher Adrianna Rupright had a one-out RBI single to score center fielder Jessy Turnbull. Maddy Stensby followed with a sacrifice fly that plated Rupright to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Stensby was not finished there. With two outs in the third inning, she hit a 1-0 pitch from Watson over the right-center field fence to give Olympia a 4-0 lead.
It was more than enough support for Stensby, who also served as the Bears’ starting pitcher. The left-hander did not allow a hit until the sixth inning when third baseman Tessa Tremper hit a leadoff single. Tremper later scored on an errant throw to first base by the shortstop on a Kira Stanley single.
“She’s a decent little pitcher,” said Cabato of Stensby, who had seven strikeouts. “I wish we would’ve executed a little more against her.
“We definitely have some stuff to work on before [districts]. We need to start seeing the ball better and make adjustments in the box.”
Olympia scored its final run in the sixth inning when a pair of throwing errors enabled first baseman Bri Bell, who reached on a one-out single, to advance from second base to home plate.
Those were among the few fielding gaffes in the two games for the Wolves, who play Yelm at 3 p.m. Friday for third place. South’s fielding prowess in the opener might have been the difference between advancing to districts or suffering a season-ending loss.
After all, catcher Drew Camacho reached base to lead off the game on an errant throw from shortstop. Two batters later, Camaco scored on a single up the middle by first baseman Hannah Spohn.
The Lions (9-10), who tied South for fourth place in 4A Narrows, earned their first run in the second inning when designated hitter Erica Grenlund singled and then scored on a double by catcher McKenzie Schwan.
Bellarmine took a 2-1 lead in the third inning when pitcher Courtney Schwan hit a one-out double off the fence in left field to score center fielder Maddi Potter.
But South again capitalized on the Lions’ fielding issues during the fourth inning. After a one-out walk by second baseman Kendall Clauson, right fielder Shelby Reyes singled and the ball went through the legs of the right fielder. That error enabled Clauson to score and tie the game. Tremper then gave the Wolves the lead on a single to right field that scored Reyes.
That was enough for Watson, who scattered six hits.
“Maddie’s pitching really well,” Cabato said. “She’s keeping the ball down and not giving up a bunch of big hits.”
4A Narrows League Tournament
At Regional Athletic Complex (Lacey)
Olympia 5, South Kitsap 1
South Kitsap 000 001 0 - 1 3 3
Olympia 202 001 x - 5 8 1
Maddie Watson and Drew Camacho. Maddy Stensby and Adrianna Rupright.
Leading hitters-Erin Roloff (O) 3-3 run, Stensby (O) 1-2 Sac HR 3 RBI.
South Kitsap 3, Bellarmine Prep 2
South Kitsap 100 200 0 - 3 4 2
Bellarmine Prep 011 000 0 - 2 6 3
Watson and Camacho. Courtney Schwan and McKenzie Schwan.