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Archive for the ‘Little League’ Category

Central Whidbey hurler Savina Wells gets down with her bad self. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re off to Poulsbo.

After savaging visiting South Skagit 10-4 Monday, the Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball team has a ticket to the state tourney.

The Hammerheads, who are 17-2 and have outscored foes 292-90, are the District 11 champs.

Central Whidbey earned the banner by sweeping both of its foes during the All-Stars tourney, which was held at Coupeville’s Rhododendron Park.

After vanquishing Sedro-Woolley 12-5 Saturday, the Hammerheads delivered more of the same against Skagit.

And, while both rivals were able to pull players from two different teams in their town, Central Whidbey has been one team, one dream the whole way.

The Hammerheads did pick up some help when 6th grader Savina Wells, who had been playing with the CWLL juniors team, dropped back to her age group for the postseason.

After catching against Sedro, the lethal lead-off hitter strolled to the pitcher’s circle for Monday’s game.

And Wells was lights-out, until her body betrayed her.

She struck out six of the first seven hitters she faced, surrendering just a walk, and set the tone for the game.

“She was on fire; they weren’t going to hit her,” said CWLL coach Fred Farris.

But then fate took a bad turn in the bottom of the second inning for the Hammerheads, as Wells, legging out her second single on the night, badly twisted her ankle.

Unable to return to the circle, she was helped to the bench, where she continued to cheer for her team as they chased the title.

Game one starter Chloe Marzocca replaced Wells in the circle, keeping Skagit at bay the rest of the way, ripping off nine strikeouts across four innings of work.

Chloe did a great job under the circumstances,” Farris said. “Savina stayed on the bench and encouraged her teammates. Special young lady!”

Central Whidbey got on the scoreboard quickly, pushing across three runs in the bottom of the first, and never trailed.

Wells swatted a single, then scampered around the base-paths, using quicksilver steals to disrupt Skagit’s rhythm.

An Allison Nastali walk helped out, while Madison McMillan had the big hit in the inning, cracking a line drive RBI single to center.

Not content to stop there, the Hammerheads piled up two walks and two hits in the second, only to see Skagit somehow escape unscathed.

The visitors wouldn’t be so lucky over the next two innings, as Central Whidbey exploded for seven runs to put the game on ice.

In the third, Brionna Blouin bopped an RBI single, then celebrated at first as teammate Taylor Brotemarkle took advantage of a poor throw to join McMillan in scoring on the play.

The Hammerheads brought the big bats out in the fourth, drilling five hits, including a couple of extra-base specials.

The five-run inning started with Katie Marti showing off her eagle eyes en route to earning a walk, then the bats started poppin’.

Nastali and Mia Farris singled, McMillan went big time with a thunderous two-run triple, Marzocca rifled a double, and Blouin capped things with another RBI single.

Central Whidbey, which finished with 10 hits and seven walks, got something from all 12 players on the roster.

Wells, Nastali, Blouin, and McMillan smacked two hits apiece, while Mia Farris and Marzocca rounded out the hit parade.

Nastali spent the entire game getting on base, adding a pair of walks to her two hits.

Also snatching free passes were Teagan Calkins, Jada Heaton, Brotemarkle, Marti, and McMillan, who got plunked.

Blouin and McMillan had three RBI’s each, while Aleksia Jump and Mayleen Weatherford rounded out a diamond squad headed to state, which is set for June 29-July 6.

Solid team-wide performances like Monday’s bring a smile to their coach’s face.

Brionna caught a good game and snapped off several balls to Mia at first on moderate lead-offs, which sent a message to Skagit that they just needed to stay right where they were,” Fred Farris said.

“It was Katie’s birthday, so we shared ice cream with Skagit afterwards and she played well in center-field.”

As they have shown all season, the Hammerheads are an especially tight-knit group of players.

“The girls really wanted to win it, not just for themselves or the team, but for their injured teammate who was cheering them on and encouraging them through the icing and pain in the dugout,” Farris said.

“These young ladies really earned the title ‘district champs’; They work hard, support each other and play the game the right way.

“I couldn’t be prouder!”

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Madison “The Mighty Masher” McMillan launched a triple and single, while also walking twice as Central Whidbey Little League rolled to a win Saturday in its district playoff opener. (Jackie Saia photo)

The bottom of the third inning changed everything.

One moment, the Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball team trailed visiting Sedro-Woolley by three runs Saturday in a district playoff game, the next moment it was cruising to a 12-5 win.

Sparked by a grandiose triple off the bat of Madison McMillan, fueled by smart, inventive base-running, and capped by a note-perfect bunt single from Allison Nastali, the frame was a game-changer.

And, with the win, the Hammerheads not only improve to 16-2, but move a win away from punching their ticket to the state tourney.

Central Whidbey rests Sunday, while Sedro and Skagit play a loser-out game at Coupeville’s Rhododendron Park.

The survivor of that contest advances to the championship round of the District 11 tournament, but will have to beat CWLL twice to qualify for state.

The Hammerheads just need one win on their home turf — either Monday or Tuesday night — and they’re off to the big dance.

The first pitch Monday will be fired at 6 PM.

Tuesday’s game, which is only necessary if Central Whidbey loses Monday, would repeat that start time.

Saturday, the Hammerheads might not have been perfect, but they played fairly flawlessly when it mattered most.

Sedro, coming off a big win Friday against Skagit, pushed two runs across in the top of the first, but Central shortstop Taylor Brotemarkle snuffed the rally with a sweet defensive play.

Going to her knees to trap a hot shot back up the middle, she sprung back up and lunged while charging forward, slapping the tag on the bag to beat the incoming runner by half a shoelace.

That lit a fire under her squad, with Hammerhead pitcher Chloe Marzocca promptly rearing back and closing the inning with a wham-bam-go-sit-down-ma’am strikeout of the next hitter.

It took Central a moment or two to figure out the Sedro pitcher, and how best to stay on the positive side of a somewhat abrasive home plate ump.

The Hammerheads scraped out a single run in both the first and second, knotting things back up at 2-2, but were derailed in both innings by said ump calling out runners for fairly innocuous infractions.

The first run came courtesy a booming ground-rule double by lethal lead-off hitter Savina Wells, followed by a bunt single dropped with precision by Mia Farris.

Brotemarkle came back around to kick off the chain of events which resulted in the second run.

While she struck out, which would have left the Hammerheads in a two-out, no-one-on-base hole in the bottom of the second, the ball skidded off the Sedro catcher’s glove.

After jumping approximately 10 feet in the air, Brotemarkle took off for first like a runaway rabbit dodging a hungry bear, beating the throw as her mom, coaching at the bag, did a double fist pump.

After that, Jada Heaton slapped a chopper off the first-baseman’s glove for a single, Katie Marti eked out a walk, before Wells came though with a scorcher of an RBI single.

The lanky Coupeville 6th grader pasted the ball with a vengeance, tattooing Sedro’s third-baseman with a low, screaming liner, and it looked like the Hammerheads were about to explode.

Enter the ump, and exit the rally.

A somewhat questionable call from an ump who likes to hear himself talk erased what would have been a Mia Farris single, and prematurely ended the inning.

That set up Sedro for its moment in the (blazing) sun, but the visitors didn’t get as much as they might have hoped.

They scored three in the top of the third to take a 5-2 lead, but it was little more than a mirage.

McMillan, patrolling right field, speared a ball that had extra bases written on it (apparently in erasable pencil…), Central escaped without too many feathers ruffled, and Sedro got ready to fall off the face of a cliff.

It didn’t come all in one play, but slowly, steadily, as Central Whidbey asserted itself, hit after walk after strong defensive play.

In between, the Sedro coach got into an argument with one of her fans, and tried to get said fan ejected from the premises, while Central coach Fred Farris calmly sipped water in his dugout and impersonated a cool cucumber.

Maybe he knew what was coming, maybe he’s just a good poker player.

The deluge started with McMillan, who knows that when you produce raw power, it involves making the softball frequently say “ow.”

Turning on a pitch like the heir to recently graduated CHS sluggers Veronica Crownover and Sarah Wright, McMillan, aka “The Mighty Masher,” beat the ever-livin’ snot out of the ball.

Her missile launch to left rose majestically, landed with a thump, and was still drawing “oohs” and “ahs” as she rumbled into third for a stand-up triple.

Central Whidbey was still down three runs at that moment, but all the air promptly went out of Sedro.

From there, the Hammerheads, a bold team on the base-paths, used their nimble toes to run the life out of the visitors.

McMillan scored on a passed ball, diving under the tag, while Marzocca, who walked in the next at-bat, evaded a tag on the base-paths on an ensuing steal.

With her pitcher having worked her way to third, Nastali dropped an RBI bunt single that was note-perfect (and almost as entertaining as dad Robert later juggling cookies in mid-air while trying, and failing, to snag a foul ball).

A double steal knotted the game at 5-5, before back-to-back passed balls allowed two more Hammerheads to scoot home.

While Sedro eventually escaped the inning, all its hopes and dreams on this day were slowly melting under an unforgiving sun.

Marzocca and Co. held their foes at bay in the second half, tossing three straight scoreless innings of work on the scoreboard from the fourth through the sixth.

Central Whidbey got nice defensive snags from Nastali, Farris, Brotemarkle, and Marti, and several laser throws from Blouin at third as they clamped down as a team.

“No one here is going to track and field, no one! There’s only one spring sport from now on, and it’s softball,” said Coupeville High School softball coach Kevin McGranahan, grinning while watching the slick glove work.

While the play in the field was lights out, the Hammerheads also got creative at the plate.

Blouin plated a run with a perfectly-placed RBI ground-out, while Brotemarkle matched her with a one-of-a-kind RBI bloop single.

The Hammerhead shortstop topped the ball, sent it gently skyward, then somehow, against all the rules of nature, got it to come to a complete stop in mid-air, then roll backward (still in mid-air), before crashing back to Earth in a two-inch safe place between the pitcher and three infielders.

That wasn’t the last run of the day — Blouin would do some more damage as Central tacked on its final two scores — but it was a perfect punctuation mark.

The Hammerheads finished in style, whacking 11 hits, walking 11 times, and seeing all 12 of their players reach base at least once.

Wells (2B, 1B, 1B), McMillan (3B, 1B), and Mia Farris (1B, 1B) led the hit parade, with Blouin, Heaton, Nastali, and Brotemarkle all adding a base-knock apiece.

McMillan, Teagan Calkins, Mayleen Weatherford, and Aleksia Jump each walked twice.

Central’s battery was in especially fine form Saturday, as Marzocca whiffed nine, and Wells, who only joined the team recently, caught and called a fairly flawless game.

“I don’t think Savina let a single ball get past her today,” Fred Farris said. “She caught basically a perfect game, and that was while calling almost all the pitches herself.

“I don’t remember ever seeing that as a coach.”

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The Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball team is 15-2, fueled by big hits and bigger shenanigans. (Jackie Saia photos)

Allison Nastali and Co. host the District 11 tourney this weekend, with a trip to state within reach.

All-Star action is coming to Rhodey.

The Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball team, which rolls into the postseason bearing a 15-2 record, hosts the District 11 tournament June 14-18.

The three-team, double-elimination brawl, which pits the Hammerheads against Skagit and Sedro-Woolley, will be held at Coupeville’s Rhododendron Park (502 W. Patmore).

All games are free to the public.

While Central Whidbey is one team, one dream, the other two squads are true all-star teams, having combined the best of two rosters from their area.

The Hammerheads faced one of each region’s two teams during the regular season, winning handily.

CWLL beat South Skagit 11-8 and 16-2 in a home doubleheader, then thumped Sedro 22-2 on the road in the regular season finale.

Central Whidbey outscored foes 270-81 this season, and the only team which beat it, North Whidbey and its ace pitcher Reese Wasinger, are AWOL from the majors tourney.

As the #1 seed, the Hammerheads also have the inside track at winning the title, and earning the district’s ticket to the state tourney.

“Should be competitive,” said Central coach Fred Farris. “I like our chances if the girls play “their” game.”

 

District 11 All-Stars Majors softball tourney schedule:

 

Fri-June 14 — Sedro vs. Skagit — 6 PM

Sat-June 15 — Winner of game 1 vs. Central — 2 PM

Sun-June 16 — Loser of Game 1 vs. loser of Game 2 — 2 PM

Mon-June 17 — Championship Game 1 — 6 PM

Tues-June 18 — Championship Game 2 (if necessary) — 6 PM

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“We score, score, and score some more!!” (Jackie Saia photo)

Bring on all-stars!

The Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball squad ended the regular season Saturday with an avalanche of runs, destroying host Sedro-Woolley 22-2.

And it was actually even more of a rout that that.

While the mercy rule ended the game after three innings, the two teams played an unofficial extra inning in which Central Whidbey tuned up their rivals 9-0.

With the win, the Hammerheads closed the regular season at 15-2, having outscored foes 270-81.

Or 279-81, if we count the unofficial inning … which we probably won’t.

Next up for Central Whidbey is the district all-star tournament, which will be played at Coupeville’s Rhododendron Park starting June 14.

Saturday afternoon, the Hammerheads mixed and matched pitchers, getting Chloe Marzocca and Savina Wells two innings of work apiece, then sitting back and admiring the view as their hurlers got nasty.

The dynamic duo each recorded three strikeouts, while also pulling off eye-popping defensive gems.

Marzocca snagged a hard shot up the middle which took a wild hop and shot up, smacking her just below the knee.

Ignoring the sting, she stayed in the play, plucking the offending ball off the turf and gunning down the Sedro-Woolley hitter crashing for first base.

Not to be outdone, Wells sprawled out while on the fly, yanking a ball out of air seconds before it hit the diamond while close to foul territory down the third base side.

“Ball probably never got more then four feet off the ground, but Savina made it look easy,” said visibly-impressed Central Whidbey coach Fred Farris.

It was that kind of day for everyone in a Hammerhead uniform.

“Girls came to play, and were in all-star form,” Farris said. “Great pitching by both Savina and Chloe, and Savina and Teagan (Calkins) both were near perfect behind the plate.

Allison Nastali showed great range at second making two outstanding plays, and Mia (Farris) squeezed everything at first. Great team win!”

The game was virtually over before it began, as Central Whidbey dumped a fast 14 runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first.

Seven more in the second, then a single, solitary score in the top of the third pushed the lead all the way out to 22-0, before Sedro scratched out its only runs in the bottom half of the final official frame.

The Hammerheads racked up 17 hits, with Wells bashing five, including a double, while Brionna Blouin smoked four base-knocks of her own.

Blouin loves extra-base hits, and two of her lasers were two-baggers, with one clearing the bases.

Madison McMillan, Mayleen Weatherford, and Mia Farris added two hits apiece, with Weatherford cranking out a triple, while Aleksia Jump and Calkins chipped in with singles.

The five Hammerheads who didn’t have a hit combined to pick up 11 walks and score 13 times.

Taylor Brotemarkle earned four free passes, while Nastali (3), Marzocca (2), Jada Heaton (1), and Katie Marti (1) all showed off eagle eyes.

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The Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball squad finished 13-1 after routing North Whidbey. (Photo courtesy Paula Peters)

They finished like they started – with a bang.

Putting host North Whidbey down hard Thursday night, the Central Whidbey Little League Juniors squad capped an extremely-successful season.

The Wolves threw down 15 unanswered runs against their Island rivals, running away with a 17-5 win to finish 13-1 on the season.

Central Whidbey’s only loss this season came to South Skagit, and it promptly avenged that defeat in the very next game.

Thursday night the Wolves failed to score in the top of the first — a slight shocker — and briefly fell behind 1-0.

That quickly changed as CWLL got the bats going from that point on, raining down eight runs in the second inning and another seven in the third.

From there, the Wolves coasted in for the season finale win, getting something from everyone on the roster.

Jill Prince had the hottest bat in the land, lashing three singles, while Sofia Peters crunched a double and a single.

Savina Wells, Maddie Georges, Allie Lucero, and Karyme Castro all added a base-knock apiece, while the Wolves piled up a staggering 19 walks to keep the offense humming.

For Coupeville, 11 of its 13 players eked out a free pass against North Whidbey, with Cypress Socha, Allie Lucero, and Hayley Fiedler leading the way with three walks apiece.

Melanie Navarro (two walks) and Vivian Farris (a walk and an RBI ground-out) also chipped in, while Gwen Gustafson, Adrian Burrows and Maya Lucero rounded out the top-notch Wolf roster.

The bulk of the team is primed to hit the high school softball scene next season as freshmen, promising a huge injection of young talent to a Coupeville diamond program playing at the state tournament this weekend.

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