PORT ORCHARD — It was a windy, blustery day at South Kitsap High School in the middle of spring break as the Wolves fastpitch team faced off against the South Puget Sound League’s eighth-place team.
It had all the makings of a trap game.
South Kitsap wasn’t quite as sharp as it had been in last week’s 12-run wins over Curtis and Bellarmine, but a four-run first inning propelled the team to a 7-1 victory over Olympia — its third win in a row.
There were a couple of miscommunications and mistakes in the field, but pitchers Maya Nehus and Jessica Fessenden combined to strike out seven and give up four hits and one unearned run.
Naioki Marion struck the big blow offensively, singling home a pair of runs in the second inning as part of a three-RBI performance.
“We were definitely a little rusty. We weren’t as smooth as we needed to be,” head coach Paul Cermak said.
Thankfully, their hot start carried them through. Lynden Wolf and Kaitlynn Johnston picked up back-to-back singles in the first inning, with Wolf advancing to third and Johnston moving up on the throw into the infield. Marion reached on a fielder’s choice to knock in the first run of the game and Sarah Hoyt blasted an RBI-double to right.
Hoyt, Wolf and Johnston each recorded multi-hit games.
The Wolves tacked on two more in the second as Marisol Bergstrom and Wolf reached on base hits to start the inning and Marion stung a hard line drive to deep center to score both of her teammates.
Olympia starter Gracie Ray settled down after that and allowed just two more hits the rest of the way. Hitting conditions were not optimal, however, as strong wind gusts regularly blew straight in from center field throughout the game.
“It was kind of a perfect storm, but we were good enough,” Cermak said. “Some of those strikes went by at times when a huge gust came through.”
South Kitsap moved back into second place with the victory, trailing only Puyallup. But the Wolves can’t rest on their laurels with a big matchup with fourth-place Sumner on Tuesday. The Spartans are arguably the most improved team in the SPSL this year and have already placed extremely close games with Rogers and Puyallup this season.
“We cannot take Sumner for granted,” Cermak said.
South Kitsap 7, Olympia 1
Oly 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 — 1 4 1
SK 4 2 0 0 0 1 x — 7 9 2
WP: Nehus LP: Ray SV: Fessenden
Olympia — Ray 6 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 7 K.
South Kitsap — Nehus 2.2 IP, 3 H, R, 0 ER, BB, 2 K; Fessenden 4.1 IP, H, 5 K.
Olympia — Ray 1-4; Waltermeyer 1-3; Wellner 1-2, BB; Blevens 0-4, R; Lovelace 1-3.