Matt Hilborn is locked ‘n loaded. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Katrina McGranahan comes in hot for one of her four runs on the afternoon.

   South Whidbey baseball coach Tom Fallon (left) and Wolf hardball headman Chris Smith exchange pleasantries.

CHS first-baseman Veronica Crownover gets low to snag a hot grounder.

   Hunter Smith was flinging nothing but the high, hard cheese, whiffing 13 rivals on his way to a 1-hit shutout.

   Off the field, Lauren Rose is a truly gentle soul. On the diamond, however, she will cut you off at the knees and laugh as you bleed out.

Let the beatins’, and the photos, commence.

Coupeville enjoyed a very pleasant Saturday jaunt to Langley, shredding the Falcon softball and baseball squads 12-0 and 10-0, respectively.

Wanderin’ photo bug John Fisken stopped by the ball fields on his way home, and captured the pics seen above.

To marinate in everything he shot, pop over to:



And, when you do, remember, purchases help fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes.

   Coupeville catcher Sarah Wright opened her junior season with a single and triple Saturday as the Wolves massacred South Whidbey 12-0. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They were the last up, so they made their debut count.

With every other Coupeville High School spring sports team having played at least one contest, the Wolf varsity softball squad might have been getting a little antsy.

If the diamond sluggers were, they quickly got over any nerves, thrashing host South Whidbey 12-0 Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

The victory, called an inning early due to the 10-run mercy rule, was extra-sweet for several reasons.

One, it’s the Falcons in the other dugout, so a win is a clarion call for Island supremacy.

Also, for Coupeville, which came within a single strike of making the state tourney a year ago, it was a chance to send a message to a team which did make the trip to the big dance in 2017.

On this day the Wolves stared down Falcon ace Mackenzee Collins, who is headed to Colorado State on a D-1 scholarship, and picked her apart.

CHS sophomore Scout Smith got things going in the first inning with a one-out single, and the Wolves were off and running.

Using their speed and smarts to create havoc on the bases, the Wolves put a ton of pressure on South Whidbey’s defense and the Falcons cracked a bit.

A string of passed balls and a key error or two put Coupeville in prime spot, and its sluggers came up big when presented with a gift.

The top four hitters combined for seven hits, with Lauren Rose bashing a double and Sarah Wright crunching an epic triple.

Wolf hurler Katrina McGranahan, who scored all four times she strode to the plate, joined Rose and Wright with two base-knocks apiece, while Smith had her rally-launching single and crossed home three times.

While Coupeville’s offense was poppin’, McGranahan was lights-out in the pitcher’s circle.

A lead-off double to Collins in the second inning was the only hit she surrendered, and she whiffed three while tossing a complete-game shutout.

Coupeville coach Kevin McGranahan boarded the bus for the short ride home with a huge grin on his face.

“It was a total team win,” he said. “We jumped on their ace right away in the first inning; Katrina and Sarah had their usual good days at the plate, but Scout was pesky all day.”

The Wolf softball guru was able to use all 12 players in uniform, giving freshmen Chelsea Prescott, Mollie Bailey and Coral Caveness their varsity debuts.

Prescott started at third-base, while Bailey and Caveness came off the bench to each score a run.

Hope Lodell, Veronica Crownover, Mackenzie Davis (who walked and scored in the fourth), Nicole Laxton and Emma Mathusek rounded out a CHS roster aiming to better last year’s superb 19-5 finish.

“I used the whole bench, so everyone got in the game to chase the jitters,” Kevin McGranahan said. “Great day for Wolf Nation.”

   Gavin Knoblich was part of a 13-hit, 10-run explosion Saturday, as Coupeville thumped Island rival South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

South Whidbey had no answers for Hunter Smith.

The Coupeville High School senior made his season pitching debut Saturday and came within one questionable call of throwing a no-hitter as the Wolves scorched host South Whidbey 10-0.

The non-conference victory, coming less than 24 hours after a 10-inning thriller with Sequim, lifts CHS to 2-1 on the season.

Everything was clicking in the sun for the Wolves, from booming bats and quick feet to superb calls from coach Chris Smith.

His best call? Handing the ball to his middle child.

Hunter Smith whiffed 13 Falcons, getting at least one in every inning, and faced just three batters over the minimum in seven pristine innings.

Two of those South Whidbey base-runners made it to the bag thanks to Wolf errors, while the only hit was a disputed one-out base-knock in the bottom of the sixth inning.

While Coupeville’s ace was dealing, the Wolf bats were booming, as they picked apart three Falcon hurlers for 13 hits.

“Solid performance all around,” said Chris Smith.Hunter was outstanding on the mound.

“We stayed aggressive at the plate,” he added. “Barely missed the opportunity to break the game wide open with a few great plays from the South Whidbey  center-fielder with two outs.”

Coupeville jumped on the very first pitch of the day, with Matt Hilborn peppering a single on his first swing to kick-start things.

While Joey Lippo was robbed by a nice snag on a line drive, Dane Lucero’s RBI double and Kyle Rockwell’s RBI single, packaged around a walk from Jake Hoagland, put the Wolves up 2-0 after a half inning.

CHS added another run in the second thanks to two Falcon errors and another single from Hilborn, but what could have been a much-bigger inning came to a premature close when Hoagland’s long fly to center was run down.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter much, as the Wolves continued to hammer away at South Whidbey, piling on three runs in the fourth, one more in the sixth and three in the top of the seventh.

Both the sixth and seven innings started with Coupeville in a two-outs, no-one-on-base hole, and yet the Wolves responded each time by scraping together rallies with their backs to the wall.

Nine of Coupeville’s 10 runs were the direct result of a hit, sac fly or fielder’s choice, with only one run being plated on a Falcon error.

Lucero and Hilborn paced the Wolf offense with three hits apiece, with Lucero popping a double for the day’s only extra-base hit.

Hunter Smith and Lippo each rapped out two singles, while Rockwell, Gavin Knoblich and Nick Etzell collected one apiece.

   Wolf goalie Brian Roberts left Friday’s game after being accidentally kicked in the face, resulting in a broken nose. (Photo courtesy Roberts)

   William Nelson and Co. are 2-1 on the season after a narrow loss at Sequim. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Derek Leyva can’t be contained.

The Coupeville High School sophomore is three games into his soccer career as a Wolf, and after torching Sequim for two goals Friday night, already has eight scores to his credit.

Unfortunately, his second-half heroics weren’t enough to save CHS on the road, as Leyva and Co. fell 4-2 and absorbed their first loss of the season.

The non-conference defeat drops Coupeville to 2-1 headed into a match-up next Thursday, Mar. 22 on the home turf of yet another 2A foe, North Mason.

After that comes a very-important stretch as the Wolves, 1-0 in 1A Olympic League play, face-off with league mates Klahowya, Port Townsend and Chimacum in successive games.

After Friday’s tilt with Sequim, a game in which they fell behind 3-0 at the break before rallying in the second half, the Wolves have played 20% of their regular-season schedule.

Leyva is already almost halfway to the Coupeville boys single-season scoring record (20 by Abraham Leyva) and is on pace to roar past both that and Mia Littlejohn’s school record of 27 in a single campaign.

The Wolves also took a fairly substantial hit during the Sequim loss, or at least goaltender Brian Roberts did.

While charging out to snare a ball, he got inadvertently kicked in the face by an incoming player, which left him bloodied.

Roberts spent the night in the ER, where it was found his nose was broken in two places.

Still, the plucky junior is ready to return to the pitch right this very second.

“No way that’s gonna slow me down!,” Roberts said. “I’m gonna try to play in our next game if I’m not hurting too bad.”

   Hunter Smith bashed five hits, including a pair of triples, Friday in a 10-inning loss at Sequim. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Something for everyone, just not a win for the visitors.

In a game that lurched from a pitcher’s duel to an offensive show, the Coupeville High School baseball squad rallied from three runs down Friday, but couldn’t hold a late lead and fell a single tally short on the road at Sequim.

The 10-9 non-conference loss to a 2A school, which came in 10 tension-soaked innings (three longer than originally scheduled) drops the Wolves to 1-1 on the season.

CHS gets an immediate chance to bounce back, however, as it travels down Island Saturday to face South Whidbey in a 1 PM game.

Facing off with Sequim, the Wolves went down fighting until the final swing.

“Long game; the guys battled,” said Coupeville coach Chris Smith. “It hurt, but a good game.”

Despite having runners on in four of the first five innings, the Wolves couldn’t seem to break through in the early stages and trailed 3-0 headed to the top of the sixth.

Coupeville surrendered a single run in the third, fourth and fifth, while stranding their own guys on the base-paths.

The most troubling came in the third inning, when Hunter Smith ripped a one-out triple, but never got to finish the journey home.

All that changed in the sixth, however, as CHS took advantage of some wildness from the Sequim pitching staff to pile up a six-run rally.

Coupeville had one man on and two outs when it lit the fuse, thanks to a string of walks.

A bases-loaded free pass to Nick Etzell finally put the Wolves on the scoreboard, before an error on a blast off the bat of Matt Hilborn cleared the bags.

He came around to score on a Sequim balk, then Hunter Smith capped things with an RBI single.

The hometown diamond men showed some grit and resolve, however, coming right back to plate three of their own in the bottom half of the sixth, knotting things up at 6-6.

A scoreless seventh sent the game into extra frames, where Coupeville immediately grabbed the upper hand.

Hilborn singled, Lippo reached on an error, then the RBI men went to work, sending three Wolves zipping across the plate.

Hunter Smith bashed his second triple of the afternoon, while Dane Lucero and Jake Hoagland each crunched an RBI single, and CHS was back on top 9-6.

Except Sequim was just as plucky.

Refusing to lose on its home field, it rallied for three in the bottom half of the inning and the game went on in a race with approaching twilight.

Coupeville twice had opportunities after that, but stranded a pair of runners in the ninth, then saw a double play wipe out a potential rally in the 10th.

After a game where the hits rained down, Sequim got its walk-off run in the bottom of the 10th without a single base-knock, using a string of walks to cap the game with a whimper, albeit one which made the local fans happy.

While they lost, the Wolves put good metal on the ball, with eight of nine players collecting a hit.

Hunter Smith led the way, going 5-6 with two triples and three singles, while Hilborn, Lippo, Lucero, Hoagland, Kyle Rockwell, Jake Pease and Etzell all collected singles.