Allison Nastali, buckling hitters knees with wicked fastballs. (John Fisken photos)

“I dare you to try and steal … yeah, didn’t think so.”

The gun show arrives in town.

Softball guru Christi Messner (and associate) survey the on-field action.

“You can run, but I can gun! Get ready to be out in three, two, one…”

“Forget it, sister! I was safe by a mile!!”

They’ll be aiming for a quick bounce-back.

After falling 18-8 Tuesday to Sedro-Woolley at the district tourney, the Central Whidbey Little League All-Star Minors softball squad is still very much alive.

Now Coupeville’s sluggers need to take out Island rival North Whidbey Wednesday when both teams return to Anacortes for a loser-out game.

The winner of that game advances to the championship and a rematch with Sedro, which sits at 2-0 after beating both local teams.

To win the District 11 title, and punch a ticket to state, the winner of the Whidbey rumble will have to knock off Sedro twice.

Tuesday’s game was close for an inning, as Central Whidbey scored two in the bottom of the first to snag a 2-1 lead.

Then the floor fell out from beneath its feet for a bit, as Sedro broke through for 10 runs in the top of the second.

Central Whidbey responded with two in the second, three in the fourth and a final run in the fifth, but couldn’t fully recover.

“The big stage ruffled their feathers a bit once things started to get away from them defensively,” said Central coach Fred Farris. “They fought back hard to get back in the game.”

Mia Farris and Taylor Brotemarkle led Coupeville, rapping singles, scoring twice and forming a potent defensive combo at second and short.

Allison Nastali and Taylor Auld also stepped on home twice, with Nastali “pitching a great game.”

The All-Star roster is comprised of Auld, Brionna Blouin, Brotemarkle, Teagan Calkins, Farris, Mimi Forde, Jada Heaton, Katie Marti, Chloe Marzocca, Madison McMillan, Nastali, Molly Nattress and Mayleen Weatherford.

To see more photos from this game (purchases fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes) pop over to:


   Departing Central Whidbey Little League coach Mimi Johnson (front, in sunglasses) snaps a final pic with her players.

   Johnson, assistant coach Connie Lippo (bottom, right) and their players hit the big time.

“Well, we were two and done, but it was fun!”

Tuesday was the final ride for Mimi Johnson, former Coupeville High School softball star (when she was still an Iverson) turned successful little league coach.

She and her family — husband Scott and children Elliott and Stella — are off to new adventures in far-flung states, but before she pumped the gas pedal on the moving truck, she showed up for one final swan song with her girls.

The Central Whidbey Little League All-Star Juniors softball squad, champions of district 11, were in Monroe for the state tourney.

If they had captured one, or both, of their opening games Tuesday (her final day in Washington state), Johnson would have handed the reins to assistant coach Connie Lippo.

Instead, after CWLL fought hard in a pair of losses (7-1 to Camas and 8-3 to Granite Falls), Johnson exited arm in arm with her team.

In the opening game, Central Whidbey struck first, scratching out a run in the top of the first on a pair of singles from Coral Caveness and Melody Wilkie.

Unfortunately, it would be the last run the squad would get against its Eastern Washington rivals.

Central Whidbey loaded the bags in the second, off of a double from Jill Prince and walks to Annabel Thayer and Caveness, but Camas escaped by inducing an inning-ending ground-out to short.

After that, CWLL banged out three more hits, two singles from Maddie Tucker and one from Wilkie, but they came in different innings, and all three times the runner was stranded.

Camas got most of its offense in the early going, using six hits to put up two runs apiece in the first, second and third.

After that Wilkie was lights out, sailing through the later innings with barely a ripple.

The fireball-tossin’ hurler whiffed seven, while giving up only one hit after the third.

Dropped into the elimination bracket, Central Whidbey fell behind Granite 5-0, got three back, but couldn’t quite get over the hump.

The All-Star squad included eight Coupeville players — Caveness, Prince, Wilkie, Marenna Rebischke-Smith, Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Stella Johnson, Mollie Bailey and Audrianna Shaw — as well as three girls picked up from Oak Harbor’s program.

That trio is Tucker, Thayer and McKenzie Hodges.

   Ulrik Wells relaxes with a post-game beverage after playing Monday night. (Katy Wells photo)

Not all losses are the same.

While Coupeville’s Babe Ruth baseball squad was roughed up 13-3 Monday by Sedro-Woolley, it won’t change one important fact.

The Wolves are still state tourney bound.

Coupeville and S-W are playing a best-of-three clash in Burlington (game #2 is Tuesday, game #3 Wednesday if necessary) to decide seeding coming out of District 11, but both teams advance.

Going forward, though, the Wolves would like to trim down the mistakes, as they were stung by giving up seven walks and committing five errors Monday night.

Sedro seized the opportunity, scoring six runs across the first two innings, despite getting to Coupeville’s pitching staff for just a single hit.

The Wolves scratched out their runs in the third, using three walks (eked out by Daniel Olson, George Dailey and Cody Roberts) and base-knocks from Gavin Knoblich, Caleb Meyer and Ulrik Wells.

Dailey paced Coupeville with a pair of singles, while Wells, Knoblich, Meyer and Scott Hilborn each added a hit.

   Sean LeVine cruises in at the finish of the 10K during Race the Reserve last year. (John Fisken photo)

The race is on.

With the clock ticking, and just 46 days left until the year’s biggest running event, Race the Reserve, things are at a fever pitch.

The shindig, which features five segments — a marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 10K and 5K — is set for Saturday, Aug. 12.

Whichever event you choose, you’ll be front and center at one of the most beautiful race sites in the biz, as you run through the Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve on Whidbey Island.

To keep your mind off the miles ahead, you’ll be treated to views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, the Olympics and the Straight of Juan de Fuca as you run.

With the money raised benefiting the Coupeville High School Class of 2018, organizers are plowing through all the preparations and runners (if they’re smart) are in training.

For all the info you need (including a chance to register today) pop over to:


Currently the 679,065th best seller on Amazon.

We’re less than two months away from the five-year anniversary of Coupeville Sports.

During that time, all of us, working together, have produced 5,359 articles, published a book, erected a Wall of Fame in the CHS gym honoring titles won by Wolf athletes and teams from 1900-2017, and brought the school’s football record board up to date.

I say all of us, because while I am doing the writing (and a lot of the agitating), none of this would be accomplished without you.

The readers. The advertisers. The supporters.

No one is ever going to get rich writing about small town sports.

My dream of an indoor/outdoor swimming pool with a waterfall in the middle will probably have to wait.

But I have been able to stay ahead of my very limited bills, and stay away from “real” work for the past two years.

My fingers thank you. My back thanks you. I thank you.

Not having to wash dishes allowed me the chance to do the research necessary for the Wall of Fame and the football board, giving me time I wouldn’t have had if I was still balancing writing with a day-to-day job.

Going forward, I’d like to do more research, to maybe get basketball its own record board, so the sport which holds the key to the CHS gym could be on an equal footing with volleyball, football and track.

Then, of course, there’s softball, baseball, soccer and tennis, which I’m sure would like their own boards, as well.

To do any of that, to put in research time, to get the backing of those in charge to add new boards, to, frankly, be a (semi-pleasant) pain in the tush, I need your help.

How, you ask?

Well, every time someone gives me info on CHS sports history, it helps.

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But, most of all, a little financial help goes a LONG way.

There are three ways to keep the Coupeville Sports machine rollin’ along.


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You can hit the donate button which sits conveniently at the top of the blog, or, if you don’t like PayPal, my mailing address is 165 N. Sherman, Coupeville, WA 98239.

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