Posts Tagged ‘Adrenaline’

   CWLL coach Mimi Johnson celebrates with daughter Stella. (Renae Mulholland photos)

Kylie Van Velkinburgh enjoys a post-game interview.

District 11 champs. (Photo courtesy Mimi Johnson)

They won when it mattered most.

After dropping a pair of one-run games to Orcas Island earlier in the season, the Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball squad was hankering for some sweet revenge.

And they found it Saturday.

Playing at home in Coupeville, the Mayhem rallied for back-to-back wins, clinching the District 11 title and a trip to the state tourney.

The big dance kicks off June 27 in Monroe.

To punch its ticket, Central Whidbey erupted for five runs in the eighth inning to pull out a 10-5 win in the opener, then rallied for three in the bottom of the seventh to nab the nightcap 10-9.

The tying and winning runs came home on a two-run single off the bat of Jill Prince.

Central Whidbey’s lineup Saturday included eight players from its regular season roster — Coral Caveness, Audrianna Shaw, Melody Wilkie, Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Stella Johnson, Prince, Marenna Rebischke-Smith and Mollie Bailey — and three new additions.

That trio is Madelyn Tucker, McKenzie Hodges and Annabelle Thayer.

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   Melody Wilkie, seen here in an earlier game, whiffed 11 Wednesday. (John Fisken photo)

The often wild and wacky world of little league took another spin down crazy lane Wednesday night, and the detour stung Central Whidbey.

The facts are murky, but let’s take a stab at figuring this out.

When Anacortes showed up to Coupeville’s diamond for a Juniors softball tilt, it either did, or did not, depending on who we believe, have nine rostered players as game time approached.

If it did not, the game would never have started, at least as an official contest, as little league rules stipulate a full nine to each side at first pitch.

Thankfully (for Anacortes), it produced a ninth girl who, depending on which story we believe, had either A) forgotten her uniform or B) didn’t have a uniform cause she’s not even on the team in the first place.

There was little doubt she was the most skilled player on the field, even playing in (rather suspiciously) Chuck Taylor high-tops.

Taking balls at short, she commanded the field in a way most little league players simply don’t.

Perhaps because, even though the Anacortes coach only gave up her first name, a quick internet search easily confirms she’s a seasoned travel ball vet and high school freshman.

Age-wise, no issue, as depending on birthdays, high school freshmen can, and do, play juniors softball.

Of course, if our mystery girl (who can’t hide in the age of the internet) wasn’t on the roster in the first place, and quite possibly isn’t even signed up for little league itself, that could, and should, have been an issue.

Especially once she ripped a bunch of hits, made several web gems and sparked Anacortes to a 17-11 win.

While, of course, remaining on the field for the full game even after two other players who actually had legitimate uniforms arrived slightly late to join the visitors bench.

Central Whidbey, which failed to properly retaliate by stealing away any Coupeville High School players who might have been wandering by, did rally for seven runs late to tighten the game up.

A single from Coral Caveness, her second of the game, set up Melody Wilkie for the biggest hit of the game for the home squad.

Wilkie, who whiffed 11 Anacortes hitters in the pitcher’s circle, jacked an RBI double to straight-away center off of “Chuck Taylor Girl,” who closed the game as a pitcher after also playing short and first.

It was a frozen rope of a hit for Wilkie, one legitimate moment in an (allegedly) illegitimate game.

Central Whidbey also pulled off some sweet defensive plays, all from players really on their roster.

First-baseman Jill Prince made a gorgeous running snag on a foul pop-up falling fast to the Earth in front of her, while Taylor Fifield had back-to-back gems in the fourth.

On the first play, she took command, calling off Wilkie at the last second while pulling in a high fly ball over second.

A moment later, Fifield went to her right, snared a hot grounder, whirled and dropped a throw right on the money into Prince’s waiting mitt.

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   Thora Iverson was a wizard with the glove Wednesday, sparking Central Whidbey to an 11-1 win over its Island rivals. (John Fisken photos)

   Marenna Rebischke-Smith, dropping a bunt here, also smacked a two-run single to straightaway center.

Using her long reach, first-baseman Kylie Van Velkinburgh pulls in a throw.

Mollie Bailey, master of messin’ with the cameraman.

   Mollie’s grandma, Cheryl Engle (left) and mom, Donna Bailey, go with a more conventional response.

Stella Johnson beats the snot out of the ball.

In a game of big hits and a fair amount of runs, it was a web gem that brought the house down.

The Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball squad scorched nine hits and waxed visiting North Whidbey Gold 11-1 Wednesday, but it was a slick defensive play which would lead off the highlight reel.

The play in question came in the top of the third, with the visitors making their one sustained rally against CWLL hurler Melody Wilkie.

North Whidbey had a run in and was threatening again with second and third occupied.

Enter the unassuming but deadly effective Thora Iverson.

Patrolling second base for the first time in her career, she stamped out every last hope and dream the Northenders might have possessed.

The play in question started with a liner back through the pitcher’s circle.

Sharply angled and moving with a fair amount of speed, it smacked off of Wilkie’s out-flung glove and took a nasty hop towards the hole between second and first.

Iverson, moving like a seasoned pro, snagged the hot shot, then had the presence of mind to immediately pivot and lay the ball into the waiting glove of Kylie Van Velkinburgh at first for an inning-ending out.

It deflated North Whidbey’s entire bench, earned a roar from Central Whidbey’s players and made a scattered group of dogs in attendance howl in unison.

As she was being pummeled by her Adrenaline teammates and praised by coach Connie Lippo, Iverson smiled the smile of a stone-cold killer disguised as a mild-mannered middle school student.

Sparked by the slick glove work, and a whole lot of hits, Central Whidbey improved to 5-2 on the season.

The Adrenaline jumped on North Whidbey quickly, putting up four runs in both the first and second inning.

Lead-off hitter Coral Caveness set the tone for the evening, ramming a double down the left field line, then taking third when the throw back in from the outfield took its sweet time finding the cut-off.

Central Whidbey sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning, with Wilkie launching a two-run double to deep center and Audrianna Shaw dropping a picture-perfect bunt for a single.

In the second, it was more of the same, with the Adrenaline stepping up and hammering pitches to all fields.

Taylor Fifield stroked a double to left, while Marenna Rebischke-Smith drilled a two-run single to straightaway center, dropping it perfectly between two fielders.

Wilkie, who whiffed 10 batters in five innings, also paced the offensive attack with three hits, including a pair of doubles.

She got plenty of help, as Anya Leavell, Mollie Bailey, Shaw, Caveness, Fifield and Rebischke-Smith all had a base-knock.

Stella Johnson was her usual steady self in the field, while Shianna Baker and Krystal Caudle both saw playing time, as the Adrenaline got something from all 12 players who suited up.

“This was a really good win for them,” said Lippo, who was flying solo with head coach Mimi Johnson missing in action for a game.


To see more photos from this game (purchases fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes), pop over to:


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   Leave early, come home late, live on the ferry and play ball all day — it’s the life of a Central Whidbey softball player. (Mimi Johnson photo)

Everything but the win.

The Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball squad picked up a million lessons — and some free ice cream — Saturday during a never-ending trip to Orcas Island.

After taking off at the crack of dawn (“the 7:30 AM boat is way too early!”), the Adrenaline fought until the final batter in both ends of a doubleheader.

While Central Whidbey fell 6-5 and 7-6, with the second game going into extra innings, coach Mimi Johnson came away very satisfied with what she saw from her team.

“Our girls were tired, but it was great – Orcas is the best team we’ve played so far!,” Johnson said. “They had a great pitcher who really worked the pitches she knew. Our girls haven’t seen pitching like that yet, so it was great to see what they could do.

“We lost both games but I would much rather lose playing softball like this than win on a blowout.”

On the trip back, the Adrenaline hit up Mad Hatters Ice Cream in Anacortes, where assistant coach Connie Lippo paid off “ice cream bribes,” a reward for the team pulling off a nifty double play in the opening game.

Jill Prince sparked the play, getting the force at first then pivoting and firing a laser to Audrianna Shaw at third to nail an incoming runner for the double dip.

Central Whidbey held the lead deep into both games, only to have their well-rested foes sting them at the end.

In game one, Orcas rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth to overcome a 5-3 deficit, while in the nightcap, it twice scored under pressure to pull out the win.

Down 5-2 headed into the bottom of the fourth, the hometown nine scraped out runs in the fourth and fifth, then netted the tying score in the bottom of the seventh and final inning of regulation.

After the two teams exchanged goose eggs in the eighth, Central Whidbey retook the lead in the top of the ninth — Marenna Rebischke-Smith knocked in Taylor Fifield — only to see Orcas score twice in the bottom half of the inning for a walk-off win.

The Adrenaline racked up 23 hits across the twin-bill, with all 10 players getting at least one.

Anya Leavell and Coral Caveness led the way with four base-knocks apiece, with Melody Wilkie, Caveness and Prince ringing up extra-base hits.

The Adrenaline also played masterful small ball, with Stella Johnson and Rebischke-Smith dropping successful bunts for hits.

Mollie Bailey and Kylie Van Velkinburgh rounded out the Central Whidbey hit parade.

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