Archive for the ‘Little League’ Category

   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.

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   Jack Porter exits the season sporting a rather impressive shiner. (Jeff Porter photo)

Peyton Caveness is just hanging around. (Stephanie Pulliam photos)

Jon Roberts, master of sunscreen.

Pressure, what pressure? You’re looking at the most laid-back dugout in the biz.

Alex Smith is not sure about the whole “taking my picture” thing.

Landon Roberts gets limbered up.

“I throw strikes, son. It’s kind of my thing.”

They ran into the big boys.

Central Whidbey Little League soared through the Minors baseball season in style, winning tournaments and racking up win after win.

All-Star play turned out to be a bit different, however, as Coupeville’s diamond men went two and out at the district tourney.

Facing big city squads from Burlington and Anacortes, Central Whidbey got roughed up a bit, losing 27-1 Friday and 18-5 Sunday.

CWLL put up a fight in its finale, though, rapping out 10 hits.

Landon Roberts led the way with three singles and two RBI, while Peyton Caveness and Johnny Porter added a pair of base-knocks apiece.

Chase Anderson, Seth Woollet and Jordan Bradford rounded out the hit parade, each collecting a single.

Caveness was also a force on defense against Anacortes, making a spectacular diving catch while on the run in center.

In the opening game of the double-elimination tourney, Central Whidbey had a tougher time scraping out hits, finishing with three, one each from Caveness, Roberts and Anderson.

Levi Pulliam, Mike Robinett, Alex Smith, Jack Porter, Gabe Reed and Aiden O’Neill rounded out the All-Star roster.

While the season ended prematurely, Central coach Jon Roberts sees a bright future ahead for the program.

“Coaching, we made some mistakes that we will learn from and will return next year with most of the team intact, as we were a very young 9-10-11 team.”

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Central Whidbey coaches with their daughters. (Paula Peters photo)

“They went out hitting and never gave up!”

Playing with a very young team, the Central Whidbey Little League majors softball squad fought until the final out, ending its season Saturday in the district playoffs.

While North Whidbey advances, having topped Central in back-to-back games, the Coupeville contingent showed consistent growth from day one to closing night.

The Thunder got strong pitching from Gwen Gustafson and a pair of doubles from McKaela Meffert during the district playoff clashes.

“Couldn’t ask for more honest heart and soul,” said team mom Paula Peters.

On a side note, the team’s brain trust — manager Mike Peters and coaches Lark Gustafson and Aaron Lucero — had a chance to work with daughters Sofia Peters, Allie and Maya Lucero and Gwen Gustafson 

“Very cool these gents could coach their daughters,” Paula Peters said.

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   Central Whidbey hurler Gwen Gustafson unleashes thunder and lightning. (John Fisken photos)

Players stand at attention during the opening flag salute.

“You dare to run … ON ME????????”

   Coaches (l to r) Aaron Lucero, Lark Gustafson and Mike Peters join the pregame festivities.

   Adrian Burrows, daughter of legendary former CHS hoops star Jaime Rasmussen, shows off the same killer glare her mom once used to ruffle foes.

Little League playoff action is booming.

As June rolls to a close, Central Whidbey’s softball and baseball squads are returning to the diamond for All-Star action, and photographer John Fisken is likely to be on the scene.

The photos above come from a game Friday between CWLL and North Whidbey at Volunteer Park in Oak Harbor.

To see everything Fisken shot (purchases fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes), pop over to:


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   With winning teams and talented players, the future for Coupeville softball is a bright one. (Renae Mulholland photos)

The boys of summer.

Abby Mulholland (left) and Savina Wells have a chat.

“Ice cream????? Where???????”

The race is on.

Gwen Gustafson (left) and Mulholland enjoy their sweet treats.

With players repping different uniforms, it was an explosion of color.

Mariah Knoblich controls the universe, or at least the ice cream.

   Jill Prince, future Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Famer, was a huge star as a sixth grader.

The games aren’t done, but that’s no reason not to have a party.

While All-Star play looms ahead for many of its team, the Central Whidbey Little League took a moment Thursday to celebrate the season that was.

Ice cream and souvenirs were handed out, and softball mom Renae Mulholland was on hand to document the proceedings for us.

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