South Kitsap is the furthest distance away of any Class 4A Narrows League school Olympia competes with, but the way Maddy Stensby envisions it, the Wolves might as well be a crosstown rival.
The past two regular-season meetings in fastpitch, the Bears’ senior pitcher has dominated South Kitsap, posting 15 strikeouts in a win on March 30, and took a perfect game into the sixth inning of a Bears’ win last season.
The domination factor hit another level during Olympia’s 10-0 six-inning win at Stevens Field on Wednesday afternoon when the Wolves threatened twice with the bases loaded, only to be turned away by Stensby with an inning-ending strikeout each time.
“It’s motivation sometimes with the bases loaded,” Stensby said. “You have to go after them with the bases loaded.”
Stensby struck out nine hitters in a four-hit shutout, helping keep the Bears (12-0 overall, 7-0 league) unbeaten.
The Bears’ shutout streak also extends to five games; a 12-5 win over Yelm on April 6 was the last time they gave up a run.
Through four innings, the Wolves (3-4, 3-3) stranded eight baserunners, including three apiece in the second and fourth innings only to have the threat end on a Stensby inning-ending strikeout. Stensby’s third and final walk issued to Sophia Canton loaded the bases for Hayley Romo, who had singled her first two at-bats. This time, though, Stensby rung her up looking to end the fourth.
Coach Matt Loes commended Stensby’s “poker face” and her mental poise and control as South Kitsap’s offense threatened. She entered Wednesday with a 0.80 earned-run average in 70 innings pitched.
“She’s getting tougher as we go along,” he said.
Olympia’s offense was just as impressive, getting consistent production all game, particularly from its 7-8-9 hitters: Taylin Friend, Glynne Saelid and Rene Gutierrez combined for five of the team’s 11 hits as a five-run sixth inning blew the game open for the Bears.
Already with a 5-0 lead after four, Friend and Saelid started the sixth with back-to-back singles and after a Gutierrez walk, Erin Roloff and Adrianna Rupright connected on RBI singles that made it an 8-0 game. Friend, Saelid, Roloff and Rupright finished with two hits apiece.
“It’s awesome to see we can all hit around,” Stensby said.