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Archive for the ‘Softball’ Category

Covid turned four seasons of high school softball into 2.5 for Izzy Wells, but she led Coupeville to a 43-13 record during that time. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Izzy Wells and Audrianna Shaw will be remembered as elite softball players, two of the best to ever wear a Coupeville High School uniform.

Their prep careers ended Saturday at Fort Borst Park in Centralia, as the Wolves fell 15-4 to Toledo in a winner-to-state, loser-out game.

But that final score is a bit deceptive, as the game wasn’t a blow-out until the very end, when the Riverhawks busted open a 5-4 thriller with 10 runs across the final three innings.

Coupeville finishes 16-3, while Toledo carries a 16-9 record as it preps for a trip to the 12-team 2B state tourney in Yakima.

For Wells and Shaw, the state tourney is where their high school diamond journey really got going.

As freshmen, the duo was part of a 2019 Wolf squad which played three games in one day at the 1A big dance, a run which included eliminating highly ranked Deer Park.

But then the world, and their softball dreams, took a major hit, with a pandemic shutting down school sports.

Wells and Shaw lost their entire sophomore season, before playing a chopped-down, 12-game junior campaign while wearing masks and having no chance for a postseason.

Jump forward to their senior year, and the duo led Coupeville to another league title, only to be stung once again by the vagaries of life.

CHS played the waiting game during an 18-day gap between the regular-season finale and Saturday’s playoff game.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association dictates you have to have 50 schools playing a sport for a 16-team state tourney, and 2B softball only had 49 this spring.

So, welcome to a 12-team championship event.

Welcome to Coupeville’s home, District 1, being told its champ would not automatically qualify for the big dance, as previously promised.

And welcome to the Wolves being forced to sit 18 days between games, travel 138 miles, then play a sudden-death contest against District 4’s #5 team for that elusive ticket to state.

A Toledo squad which was playing its third game of the day and sixth during the five-day District 4 tourney.

Which could have meant the Riverhawks would be tired. Or, more likely, that they would be in a groove.

Choose the latter, as Toledo, which began the season 4-6, won for the twelfth time in its last 15 games.

The Riverhawks won four of six at the D4 tourney, outscoring foes 75-23 and losing only to Forks and Pe Ell-Willapa Valley, which are also state bound.

In the early going, it looked like Coupeville would add another loss to Toledo’s record, as the Wolves jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings of play.

After Izzy Wells, prowling the pitcher’s circle, ended the top of the first with an emphatic strikeout, CHS pushed three runs across in the bottom of the frame.

Walks to Shaw, Gwen Gustafson, and Izzy Wells set the table, with freshmen Mia Farris and Savina Wells both coming up with well-placed singles to key the early onslaught.

Savina Wells is one of four freshmen who started this season for a 16-3 CHS diamond crew.

A third Wolf fab frosh, shortstop Taylor Brotemarkle, walked to open the second inning, before coming around to score on an RBI single from Farris.

Up 4-0, things were looking good, but, while it didn’t yet know it, Coupeville wouldn’t score again this season after Brotemarkle slapped home.

The Wolves put runners on base in every inning, finishing the day with seven hits and eight walks, but couldn’t sustain any late rallies.

That gave Toledo time to get its own bats poppin’, with the Riverhawks cutting the deficit to 4-3 in the third, before surging ahead 5-4 through four frames.

Two more tallies in the fifth stretched the lead to 7-4, with a pair of four-run innings in Toledo’s final at-bats making the score far more lopsided than expected.

“They hit the ball all over the field,” said Coupeville coach Kevin McGranahan. “Our girls played well, but the hits were all solid and well-placed.”

Even as the season wound down, the Wolves continued to scrap for every out, something which pleased their coach.

“The girls were focused and ready to play and left it all on the field,” McGranahan said.

Izzy Wells and Audrianna Shaw, four-year varsity players who got to actually play 2.5 years, depart, with fellow seniors Mckenna Somes and Violette Huegerich also set to graduate.

But Coupeville is built for the future.

Four of Saturday’s starters — Farris, Brotemarkle, Madison McMillan, and Savina Wells — are freshmen, while a fifth — leftfielder Teagan Calkins — is only an 8th grader.

 

Saturday stats:

Taylor Brotemarkle — 1 walk
Mia Farris — 2 singles
Gwen Gustafson — 2 walks
Allie Lucero — 2 walks
Maya Lucero — 1 walk
Madison McMillan — 1 single
Audrianna Shaw — 2 singles, 1 walk
Izzy Wells — 1 walk
Savina Wells — 2 singles

Mia Farris is ready to sprint into even more success.

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Gwen Gustafson swoops in to deny a hitter. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Time for a convoy!

Coupeville High School softball finally gets to return to action this Saturday, May 21, breaking an 18-day layoff for a winner-to-state, loser-out contest.

The game, which pits the Wolves (16-2, Northwest 2B/1B League champs, rulers of District 1) against a team from District 4, is set for 6 PM at Fort Borst Park in Centralia.

The 12-team D4 tourney runs May 16-21, with the top four teams advancing to the 12-team 2B state tourney.

Then, Coupeville, despite being a league champ, gets to come in cold and face the #5 team from D4, which will be playing its third game that day.

It’s all because Washington Interscholastic Activities Association officials — ignoring the fact there haven’t been state tournaments since 2019 thanks to the pandemic — are being pedantic.

WIAA rules state 50 schools need to play a sport in a classification to have a normal 16-team state tourney.

End up with 49 active programs, as 2B softball currently does, and you get a 12-team championship event.

Which also takes away District 1’s automatic berth to the big dance, forcing the long layoff, the long bus ride, and a game against an opponent who will be a mystery until an hour or two before first pitch.

Izzy Wells unleashes The Knee-Buckler.

While they haven’t played a game which counts since May 3, the Wolves have continued to practice and scrimmage, and plot their revenge.

CHS coach Kevin McGranahan is calling on Wolf Nation to come out in support of his team, even in a foreign locale.

“Hopefully we can get some fans to travel down to Centralia and show the world how Coupeville does it right,” he said.

“We are facing a tough test, but I am sure this team will give everything they have and leave it all on the field.¬† When the dust settles my money is on the WOLVES!”

 

Tickets:

Adults and students without ASB — $7.00
Students with ASB and senior citizens (62+) — $5.00
Children (Under 6) — Free

 

Fort Borst Park:

2030 Borst Ave
Centralia, WA 98531

https://www.cityofcentralia.com/Page.asp?NavID=444

Madison McMillan gets medieval on the ball.

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Savina Wells tells big sis Izzy where she wants the pitch. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The season is not done.

They’re just putting in a lot of work on the practice field.

The Coupeville High School softball squad last played May 3 and doesn’t get a chance to open the playoffs until May 21, thanks to convoluted reasoning by state officials.

While we wander in the desert without games, the photos above and below will at least give us a reminder of what softball players actually look like in action.

Chloe Marzocca crunches a hit.

Maya Lucero swoops in to deny a rival.

Teagan Calkins keeps her eye(s) on the ball.

Mia Farris soaks in the 1.7 seconds of sun the prairie has seen this spring.

Maya Nottingham fires up the hit machine.

Violette Huegerich scoops up an incoming throw.

Try and test Gwen Gustafson’s arm. She will terminate you.

“Come on! Let’s play, already!!”

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Coupeville grad Sarah Wright (left) was honored for her play on the college diamond. (Photo property Sewanee softball)

All the awards will be hers.

Coupeville grad Sarah Wright continues to haul in accolades, with her most-recent accomplishment being named as an All-Conference college softball player.

The former Wolf supernova, now a junior at Sewanee: The University of the South, was tabbed as a Second-Team pick by Southern Athletic Association coaches last week.

Tiger teammates Alice Charboneau and Zoe Crockett earned Honorable Mention.

The All-Conference teams were based on play against other SAA teams, and Wright racked up 10 RBI in 13 league games.

She had 11 hits in conference action, with a pair of doubles and a home run which still hasn’t come back down to Earth.

Wright, whose first two college softball seasons were disrupted by the pandemic, was one of three Tigers to start all 33 games this year.

She led Sewanee in at-bats (102), runs (15), and home runs (2), while finishing second in RBI (17), and third in hits (25), total bases (35), and doubles (4).

The former Coupeville Valedictorian is majoring in politics and has made both the SAA Academic Honor Roll and All-Sportsmanship team during her time in Tennessee.

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Maya Nottingham picks up some hitting tips. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The bats were so hot they almost melted down.

Getting contributions from everyone in the lineup Saturday, the Coupeville High School JV softball team closed its season in style.

Playing at a tournament in Blaine, Katrina McGranahan’s squad tore the cover off the ball, smashing 23 hits en route to sending 28 batters home to score in a cut-down doubleheader.

With a win over Ferndale and a tie against the tourney hosts, Coupeville’s JV finishes 6-2-1.

The only thing slowing the Wolves down was having to play “JV rules,” with a five-run limit per inning, and a 90-minute cap on games, regardless of what the score might be.

“Today was a beautiful day for a game or two and the girls did a great job with coming ready to play,” McGranahan said. “Never know what you’re going to get with a long bus ride.

“Everyone hit the ball at some point and when I say hit I mean crushed the ball.”

The Wolf coach, who ripped many an extra-base hit in her own playing days, watched in satisfaction as her sluggers launched three home runs, smacked five triples, and bopped three doubles.

Melanie Navarro delivered four of those big base-knocks, including sending two of her team’s three home runs flying far, far away.

Mel had a heck of a day,” McGranahan said. “We couldn’t slow her down!”

Melanie Navarro gets savage.

Allie Lucero joined Navarro in mashing a longball, while Mia Farris led the Wolves with seven hits across the two games.

While the extra-base hits grab the spotlight, Coupeville also proved to be masters of small ball.

“We discovered a new bunting machine,” McGranahan¬†said. “Maya Nottingham did an amazing job, and once I saw she can bunt, let me tell you, I bunted her a lot.”

Farris prowled the pitcher’s circle in the opener against Ferndale, while siblings Allie and Maya Lucero were a nimble tag-team chucking the ball against Blaine.

Mia did a great job in the circle today,” McGranahan said. “She really held her own and I enjoyed watching her work through the game and powering through.”

Mia Farris, a terror in the field and at the plate.

The doubleheader also saw Katie Marti slide behind the plate to catch for the first time this season.

While she doesn’t normally wear the mask and gear, the talented freshman had an immediate impact.

“All season I’ve had Katie play third base and hardly practiced her at catcher, but she did alright!” McGranahan said.

“Even got a girl out on a throw down to second!”

Also proving superb on defense was fellow fab frosh Jada Heaton, who was patrolling center field for the Wolves.

Jada got an amazing catch!” McGranahan said. “We all thought she wasn’t going to get it, but she happened to lay her glove down on the ground at the last minute to scoop up a dying line drive!

“It was a great play and her facial expressions were awesome!”

While the JV has no more games, the players will stay in action to scrimmage with the varsity as it waits out an 18-day gap between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs.

 

Saturday stats:

Edie Bittner — 1 double, 2 walks
Teagan Calkins — 1 single, 3 walks
Mia Farris — 5 singles, 2 triples, 1 walk
Jada Heaton — 1 walk
Violette Huegerich — 3 walks
Allie Lucero — 1 home run, 1 walk
Maya Lucero — 1 single, 1 double, 1 triple
Katie Marti — 2 singles, 2 walks
Candace Meek — 1 single
Melanie Navarro — 1 double, 1 triple, 2 home runs
Maya Nottingham — 3 singles, 2 walks

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