Archive for the ‘Softball’ Category

Nick “The Big Hurt” Streubel anchors the line for the nationally-ranked Central Washington University football squad. (Photo courtesy Nanette Streubel)

Brothers CJ (left) and Hunter Smith are trying to earn spots on the Green River College baseball team. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ally Roberts, and her trusty steed, kick off the college equestrian season next month. (Photo courtesy Roberts)

Once they were Wolves, but now they wear a variety of uniforms.

At least seven Coupeville High School grads are either currently playing college sports, or about to start a new season.

From football to basketball to equestrian sports to baseball and softball, the Cow Town alumni can be found just about anywhere.

And I say “at least seven,” because as soon as I print this story, it’ll turn out I missed someone. Happens every time.

But, at this moment, to the best of my knowledge, and in alphabetic order, here are the former Wolves who are continuing to play on in their sport of choice:


Kailey Kellner:

The former All-Conference hoops player returns to D’Youville College, an NCAA D-III school in New York, for her sophomore campaign.

The first time around, she played in 25 games for the women’s basketball squad, starting in several, averaging 2.3 points and 2.5 rebounds a night.

The Spartans open a new season Nov. 10 against non-conference foe Wells College.


Katrina McGranahan:

The Everett Community College freshman has been battling a nagging quad injury, but played through it as her softball squad went 6-0 in fall ball.

She has been splitting time between manning third-base and pitching, but is expected to mainly play in the field once the regular season begins in the spring.

At the plate, the former CHS Athlete of the Year bashed a string of extra-base hits in fall ball, narrowly missing a home run in her final game.


Ally Roberts:

A standout volleyball spiker in high school, she’s following her primary passion these days, competing in horse sports.

A member of the Western Washington University equestrian team, she will compete in Western gaming when the season starts in Nov.


CJ and Hunter Smith:

The brothers have taken their skills to Auburn, where they are in the final weeks of fall baseball with Green River College.

Both have seen time on the mound and in the infield, and will soon head into winter workouts with the goal of making the hardball squad next spring.

When they’re not fine-tuning their baseball skills, both are on educational paths as well, with CJ studying Criminal Justice and Hunter beginning his journey towards a Physical Therapy degree.


Makana Stone:

Coming off a trip to Brazil as part of a D-III all-star women’s basketball team, the former two-time Olympic League MVP returns for her junior season at Whitman College.

A First-Team All-Conference selection in 2017-2018, she has played in 57 college games across two seasons, pouring in 540 points, snatching 385 boards, doling out 83 assists, pilfering 34 steals and rejecting 18 shots.

As a sophomore, she averaged 12.3 points and 7.2 assists, while receiving multiple honors.

She was the MVP at the “Whitworth Holiday Classic,” made the All-Tournament team at the “Ramada at the Spokane Airport Whit Classic,” and was tabbed as the Northwest Conference Student-Athlete of the Week.

The Blues, who have gone 48-10 since the former Wolf hit campus, open the season Nov. 1 with an exhibition road game at Lewis-Clark State College.

Whitman’s regular-season opener is Nov. 10 against NAIA heavy hitter Eastern Oregon, which went 31-2 a season ago.


Nick Streubel:

The red-shirt junior continues to anchor the line for one of the best football teams in D-II.

Central Washington is 5-2 overall, 5-0 in league play, and carries a 15-game winning streak in conference play dating back to Oct. 2016.

Ranked #21 in the latest national poll, the Wildcats have four regular-season games left, starting with a clash with Simon Fraser Oct. 20.

An All-Conference player during his days at CHS, “The Big Hurt” was an All-Region First-Team selection as Central went undefeated and won a league crown in 2017.

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Hope Lodell charges out, ready to slice ‘n dice foes as The Surgeon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Pick a sport, and The Surgeon will carve you up.

Hope Lodell is among the most talented athletes I have written about, and it’s far more than just what she did between the lines on a field or court.

From the moment she was born, she was frankly kind of uncanny.

Walking around while doing a handstand, and not just a few lurching feet, but traveling as far as she wanted to, her body never wavering.

In later years, she amused herself by doing pull-ups on the softball dugout during rain delays, effortlessly ripping them off until she realized everyone was watching her, mouths agape.

Dropping back down to the ground, in much the same way a cougar would pounce off of a rock to attack its prey, Lodell shook her head, smiled, rolled her eyes and bounced off to do other feats of strength, away from autograph seekers.

She could have been a hellion on the basketball court.

Actually she was, in middle school, but then left CHS coaches to sob uncontrollably in their morning Cheerios over her decision to not play the sport in high school.

What Lodell did choose was volleyball and softball, and, for four solid years, she was a BEAST. And yes, that word is supposed to be capitalized, thank you.

On the volleyball court, she was a wild woman unleashed, one of the best servers in the entire freakin’ state.

Jumping, twirling, flying into the gym from somewhere out in the hallway, then going airborne and uncorking raw, blistering heat, she peppered foes (and teammates in practice) with balls they had little chance to return.

If that alone, the ability to crush her serves, was all she had, Lodell would have been a star.

But she could do it all on the court, and morphed her game to fit what the coaches asked of her any given day.

That was never more evident than in her senior season, when she slid into the libero position formerly occupied by Valen Trujillo.

Others would have stumbled a bit, learning a new position, and a vitally important one at that, on the fly.

Lodell? She went out, adapted in the blink of an eye, and brought home an Olympic League MVP award, while helping CHS sweep through conference action without losing a set.

Fresh off their second-straight league crown, Lodell and the Wolves advanced to state as well, the first time the Coupeville spikers had gone to the big dance in more than a decade.

Put her on a softball diamond and she was a walking, talking web gem come to life. Just replace “walking” with “sprinting from corner to corner of the outfield on a dead run.”

There were few balls which evaded her glove in four years of anchoring the defense in center, and Lodell was equally dangerous with her bat and her feet.

Multiple All-Conference honors and two runs at qualifying for the state tourney which fell just a pitch or two short, and the highlight reel never stopped running.

But as amazing as she is as an athlete, Lodell is even more impressive in the other aspects of her life.

I call her The Surgeon for two reasons.

One, she carved up opponents in the arena, and two, she will one day be carving people as a doctor.

And probably curing cancer or some disease we haven’t heard about yet, cause her brain is just that impressive.

Some of the athletes I write about I’ve known for a short period of time. Others a few years.

With Hope, I’ve known her since the day she was born, and she has remained the same joyous force of nature, the same kind, caring, high-achieving supernova, every step of her path.

She is going to blow our minds with what she accomplishes post-high school. Of that, there is no doubt.

So, today, before she starts winning all the world-wide awards, I’m slipping in to give her a local honor.

We’re swinging open the doors of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame and welcoming Lodell to our little digital playground.

After this, you’ll find her lounging up at the top of the blog, enshrined under the Legends tab.

Take a peek inside and she’ll be easy to find. She’ll be the one doing one-arm pull-ups on the doorway to the Hall.

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Sarah Wright (front) and Katrina McGranahan have changed uniforms, but are still playing softball deep into the summer. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Softball all day, every day.

That’s pretty much life this summer for former Wolf battery-mates Katrina McGranahan and Sarah Wright.

While the diamond duo hung up their CHS uniforms after the district playoffs in mid-May, they have continued to play the game they love for another two months.

McGranahan, who graduated this year, is playing travel ball with the 18U Seattle Spice, while Wright, who will be a senior this coming school year, suits up with the 16U Snohomish County Express.

Wright is manning her usual station behind the plate as her team’s catcher, while McGranahan is resting her pitching arm and playing shortstop.

Both Coupeville standouts have spent most of their summer bouncing from tournament to tournament.

“It’s been busy!,” Wright said.

McGranahan and the Spice won a state title earlier this summer, and spent last weekend at the huge Canada Cup International Softball Championship in Surrey, BC.

The Spice rallied to win two of their final three games, with Killer Kat playing every inning in five games over three days under a blazing sun.

The summer season wraps up soon for both, with the Wolf stars and their current teammates each having one tournament left to play.

McGranahan is first up, heading to Milwaukie, Oregon July 20-22 for the Western Nationals.

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Former CHS supernova Katrina McGranahan won a state title this weekend with her travel softball team. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Call them the comeback queens. Or, better yet, just call them champs.

Sparked by their Coupeville superstar, Katrina McGranahan, the Seattle Spice travel softball team roared from behind four times in two days this weekend to win the USSSA U18 B state championship.

Playing in Auburn, the Spice spotted each of their rivals an early lead, then convincingly put the hammer down when it mattered.

Fresh off their state title, McGranahan and Co. are off to Canada this coming weekend to play in the Canada Cup. The Spice close the summer ball season at the Western Nationals in Oregon the following week.

McGranahan, who graduated from CHS this spring, won pretty much every honor possible during her stellar run as a volleyball and softball star.

She was an Olympic League MVP in both sports, shared Coupeville High School’s Female Athlete of the Year award as a junior, and was a staple on All-Conference teams.

McGranahan signed a letter of intent with Everett Community College, and is slated to be playing college ball next spring at the same school where former CHS star Hailey Hammer sparkled for two years.

Killer Kat, a terror at the plate and a flame-thrower in the pitcher’s circle, twice carried the Wolf softball team to within a win of the state tourney.

Now, she gets the title she always deserved – state champ.

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   A Central Whidbey Little League softball player fires in a fastball, one of several events I missed by not writing for the past month. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“I must break you!!”

“I can so hit the sun! Just watch.”

Ringin’ up runs on the board.

So, anything happen while I was gone?

Take a month off to stare into the abyss and when you come back, you find out life pretty much keeps flowing right by in your absence.

A quick look at some of the things I would have been talking about if I had been writing during June:


Coupeville High School assistant coach Amanda Jones resigned.

A promotion at work, and a young daughter at home, greatly reduced her availability.


CHS hired Marcus Carr as its new head coach.

A resident of Oak Harbor, he went 13-6-1 over the past two years while coaching Concrete.

Carr replaces Jon Atkins, who stepped down after two years. Also departing were assistants Jerry Helm and Brad Sherman.

At the middle school level, Brett Casey has been hired to replace Bob Martin, who stepped down after last season.

Cross Country:

The Wolves are getting back into the harrier biz full-time for the first time in two decades, and have hired Natasha Bamberger (high school) and Elizabeth Bitting (middle school) to coach.

Bamberger was a five-time state champ during her time at CHS, winning four titles in track and claiming top honors in cross country during her senior season in 1985.

Bitting, also a standout runner during her school days (just not in Coupeville), is also the track and field coach at CMS.


A major disaster was avoided as the Central Whidbey Soccer Club, which was down to one (departing) board member, pulled off a last-second miracle.

After months of being unable to find anyone to join its Board of Directors, CWSC hit pay-dirt after a final-ditch plea to the public.

League President Reese Cernick heads up the new seven-member board, and the fall youth season, which would have been cancelled, is back on and begins registration July 1.


Six Wolves were tabbed as All-Conference players, with senior pitcher Katrina McGranahan honored as Olympic League MVP.


CHS hurler Hunter Smith was tabbed as league MVP, while also being named as a First-Team All-State player.

Smith and fellow senior Joey Lippo both made the cut for the All-State series, as well, but had to pass when the games conflicted with graduation.

One Central Whidbey Little League team is still playing, with Coupeville’s Babe Ruth squad, coached by Steve Hilborn, taking its 16-0 record to the state tourney July 11-15.


CHS senior Danny Conlisk is spending the summer running with the Kitsap Fliers, a select squad.

He competed in four events (400, 4 x 1, 4 x 4, 4 x 8) at the state meet, and now moves on to Regionals in Oregon.

Continue his winning ways and Conlisk will be North Carolina-bound for the Junior Olympics national meet.


To see more Fisken pics and possibly purchase some glossies for grandma, bounce over to:


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