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Archive for the ‘Little League’ Category

   With no Coupeville team to call his own, one of Cow Town’s finest suits up for North Whidbey. (John Fisken photos)

One home run coming up.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

While Central Whidbey Little League had tons of softball teams this spring, it wasn’t able to field full squads in any baseball division other than Minors.

That sent Coupeville sluggers off to find other teams to hook up with, and at least one Cow Town mercenary has landed in the playoffs.

With the 11/12 baseball playoffs kicking off Wednesday, wandering photographer John Fisken was on hand to snap North Whidbey as it faced off with South Whidbey.

At least one guy sporting NWLL’s uni calls Coupeville home, and the photos above pay tribute to him.

His name is Nathan Ginnings, and he’s the younger brother of former Wolf tennis/soccer great Jacki Ginnings.

To see more photos from the game, pop over to:

http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/NWLL-2017/20170705-Little-League-vs-South-Whidbey/

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   With a win Wednesday, Central Whidbey advances to the championship round of the District 11 tourney. (John Fisken photo)

Pressure? What pressure?

With it season on the line, the Central Whidbey Little League All-Star Minors softball squad fired up the offense Wednesday and thumped North Whidbey 23-7 in a loser-out playoff game.

CWLL advances to the championship of the District 11 tourney, where it will seek revenge against Sedro-Woolley, a team it lost to Tuesday night.

Win twice — Thursday and Friday, with both games played in Anacortes —  and Central is bound for the state championships.

Sedro, 2-0 at districts, needs just one win to claim the crown.

If Central Whidbey takes advantage of its offensive opportunities like it did against North Whidbey, anything is possible.

Pouring in runs in every inning, the Coupeville sluggers (and their trio of South Whidbey mercenaries) built a 14-1 lead after the first inning and a half and never looked back.

After opening with five in the first and nine in the second, CW settled for two in the third, then closed with fury, plating seven in the fourth and final inning.

Central benefited from a keen eye at the plate, picking up a staggering amount of walks.

The few times the Whidbey hitters did get a pitch somewhere in the vicinity of the plate, they seized the moment, drilling hits left and right.

Mia Farris, Allison Nastali, Chloe Marzocca, Taylor Auld, Mimi Forde and Brionna Blouin all collected base-knocks.

With runs flying across the plate, Auld, Farris, Nastali and Marzocca stepped on home three times apiece, with Blouin, Mayleen Weatherford and Madison McMillan scoring twice.

Coupeville hurlers Blouin and Nastali were a deadly duo in the pitcher’s circle, with Nastali shutting North Whidbey down completely over the final 2 and 2/3 innings.

Behind them their teammates stepped up in the spotlight.

“The girls played stellar defense throughout,” said CW coach Fred Farris. “Teagan (Calkins) was a vacuum behind the plate.”

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   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:

http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2017-CWLL/20170627-CWLL-810-SB-AllStars-vs-SedroWoolley/

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   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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