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Maya Nehus and Jessica Fessenden combine for shut out as the Wolves beat Graham Kapowsin 3-0 Tuesday.

PORT ORCHARD — The rains didn’t hit until late in South Kitsap’s softball game Tuesday but it didn’t matter as the Wolves racked up win their eighth with a 3-0 shutout of Graham Kapowsin.

Maya Nehus earned the win and kept the Wolves near the top of the 4A South Puget Sound League standings at 8-1 overall (6-1 SPSL).

South Kitsap pitcher Maya Nehus throws against Aubrey Brown of Graham Kapowsin during a SPSL softball game in Port Orchard Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Nehus and the Wolves won 3-0. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
South Kitsap pitcher Maya Nehus throws against Aubrey Brown of Graham Kapowsin during a SPSL softball game in Port Orchard Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Nehus and the Wolves won 3-0. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Nehus shares time with fellow freshman Jessica Fessenden to give South a very solid 1-2 punch that keeps opponents guessing. Nehus’ strength is her variety of pitches and ability to change speed. Fessenden is more of a fireballer and is able to ring up batters on strikeouts.

South coach Paul Cermak said one of the reasons he’s relying on both pitchers is because they’re working through injuries, but mostly the combination of craftiness and speed is beneficial to the Wolves.

“They throw so different,” he said. “Maya throws off-speed with a bunch of crazy down movement so she feeds our defense, and our defense is so good, and then … four innings of seeing her and we bring in Jessica who throws fast on the corners and has a really nice off-speed pitch that we’ve been working on. So, it works really well.”

Jordan Lawrence gave South a 1-0 lead on an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning and Kaitlynn Johnston brought in Lawrence on a single up the middle for a 2-0 lead over Graham Kapowsin (3-5, 2-5) in the third inning.

South’s defense was strong from the start as left fielder Aubrey Faucett made a running snow-cone catch in the first and the Wolves produced a double play in the fourth when Graham Kapowsin’s Chloe Grosrenor flew out to left. Faucett caught the ball and then threw out Kaylee Waugh who was headed back to first base.

Graham Kapowsin's Aubrey Brown grounds out to first baseman Jordan Lawrence of South Kitsap during a SPSL softball game against Graham Kapowsin in Port Orchard Tuesday, April 16, 2019. South won 3-0. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
Graham Kapowsin’s Aubrey Brown grounds out to first baseman Jordan Lawrence of South Kitsap during a SPSL softball game against Graham Kapowsin in Port Orchard Tuesday, April 16, 2019. South won 3-0. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“It’s really nice to have a good defense that picks me up,” Nehus said, adding it gives her confidence to throw different pitches. “The coaches have encouraged me to try and it’s definitely makes me feel better the girls are back there. I know that if they hit it the girls will catch it. I don’t have to worry about it.”

Johnston added another RBI in the fifth by scoring Lynden Wolf, she had reached on a single to center field, in the bottom of the fifth as the rain picked up.

Fessenden came in in the top of the sixth to finish the game and faced eight batters, giving up one hit, hit a batter, had one walk and struck out the side in the seventh to end the game.

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