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Posts Tagged ‘Cedar Park Christian’

Uriah Kastner and Coupeville High School boys soccer will get a win Friday, without having to play a game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Coupeville High School boys soccer squad hasn’t played at home in nearly a month.

And now they’ll have to wait a few more days, though they will get a freebie win for their troubles.

Cedar Park Christian, which was scheduled to come to Whidbey Friday, has forfeited the game, handing the Wolves a 1-0 North Sound Conference victory.

The reason given was the private school “not having enough players.”

While it won’t get to play Friday, Coupeville will grab the W and improve to 3-4 in league play, 5-7 overall.

The Wolves wrap regular-season play Apr. 23, when they host South Whidbey on Senior Night.

After that comes the playoffs, though, with the forfeit, questions linger.

Coupeville currently holds the #3 seed from the NSC, and, barring a torrid final week full of upset wins from Sultan, would host a loser-out playoff game Apr. 29 against the #5 NSC seed.

That’s CPC, which sits at 0-7, 0-9 after the forfeit.

And how does a win-less team make the postseason, you ask?

The district tourney is supposed to feature the top three teams from the four-team Northwest Conference and the top five from the six-team NSC.

Except, Granite Falls killed its season before it began, automatically qualifying all NSC teams still standing.

So it’s on to districts for everyone … unless this becomes more than a one-game situation for CPC, in which case the playoff bracket could be ripped up and restructured.

Under the current plan, a win in their playoff opener would send the Wolves to the double-elimination portion of districts, one win away from punching their ticket to bi-districts.

The bracket, as it sits at 11 AM Thursday morning:

http://www.nscathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2915&sport=9

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Coupeville’s Ivy Leedy whiffed three hitters Monday in her high school pitching debut. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Every journey starts with the first step.

For Ivy Leedy, that meant picking up the ball and storming into the pitcher’s circle Monday, where she made her high school pitching debut, whiffing three Cedar Park Christian hitters in as many innings.

And for Tariana Hunter, it meant taking the field for the first time, and once there, eking out a walk and hurtling around the base-paths like a seasoned pro.

While the Coupeville High School JV softball team fell 14-1 to a more-seasoned CPC squad, the lessons learned were invaluable.

From Leedy’s grace under fire, after just a single week of working as a pitcher, to Hunter’s go-go spirit, to Morgan Stevens, who made a great catch in left, then immediately turned around and ripped a single, the young Wolves impressed their coaches.

Now 2-2 on the season, the JV returns to action with a home game Thursday against Oak Harbor, then hits the road for a doubleheader Saturday in Port Angeles.

Facing off with an Eagles team which had a fair sprinkling of varsity players in its lineup, Coupeville came away with three hits and five walks.

Chloe Wheeler, Mckenna Somes, and Stevens delivered base-knocks, while Heidi Meyers walked twice.

Also getting aboard thanks to sharp eyes at the plate were Wheeler, Hunter, and Abby Meyers, who all drew free passes from the sometimes-wild CPC pitcher.

Amanda Thomas and Kylie Van Velkinburgh rounded out the Wolf roster, holding down right field and first base, respectively.

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CHS junior Scout Smith, destroyer of worlds, walk-off grand-slam hitter, and newly-certified prairie legend. (Photo by Charlotte Young)

When Scout Smith is older, when she’s in the coach’s box like her mom and dad before her, when she’s possibly coaching her own children, her mind may drift back.

And, in that moment, she will be 16 years old again, a wiry fireball sauntering to the plate, the sun barely peeking out from behind a wall of clouds on the Coupeville prairie.

Scooter will remember the roar of the crowd, the feel of the bat in her hands, the look of fear in the pitcher’s eyes.

It will be April 15, 2019 one more time.

And then, as she squeezes her eyes shut, she will relive the moment she went from being a very good softball player to stepping into history, forever etching her name among the prairie legends.

All she needed was a hit, a poke into open space, a bouncer back up the middle, a way to plate Veronica Crownover and cap one of the great comeback wins in school history.

But very good softball players bounce the winner back up the middle.

Legends beat the ever-livin’ snot out of the ball and bash epic walk-off grand-slam home runs.

Scout Smith is no longer a very good softball player. She’s a legend.

And so it came to pass, that the Wolf softball sluggers, after rallying for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings, crushed the very soul out of Cedar Park Christian, winning 8-4 on Smith’s blast in the bottom of the ninth.

The win lifts Coupeville to 4-1 in North Sound Conference play, 6-5 overall, leaving them in a first-place tie with Granite Falls (4-1, 7-5), while Cedar Park (3-2, 7-3) falls a game off the lead.

Riding the high of Monday’s victory, the Wolves travel to Granite Wednesday, where they will bid to take complete control of the league in one 72-hour tear.

For the moment, they will bask in a win in which they never held the lead until the final swing of the game.

Freshman hurler Izzy Wells was droppin’ fire, whiffing 11 CPC hitters, and the Wolf defense played inspired ball.

It didn’t matter where the ball was hit, because a Wolf (and her glove) were there to deny the Eagles time and again.

Wolf catcher Sarah Wright picked runners off multiple bases, shortstop Chelsea Prescott nailed a runner coming home with a sizzlin’ throw, Crownover pulled off multiple unassisted put-outs at first, and somehow Emma Mathusek topped them all.

Running on a full-out sprint in the 7th inning, the Wolf junior flat-out robbed Cedar Park’s best hitter, throwing out her mitt at the last second to swipe a rapidly-dropping ball from the heavens.

What looked like an extra-base hit became just another out, as Mathusek flipped the ball back in, then stalked away, almost daring anyone else to try and hit it within a mile of her mitt.

And yet, as it came up to hit in the bottom of the seventh, Coupeville trailed 4-1, with just a fourth-inning Mollie Bailey RBI single to its credit, and things looked dire.

The Wolves scraped together one run, mashing together a Wright single, a Bailey grounder which was booted for an error, and then a Crownover RBI single.

But, as quickly as the final-inning rally began, it almost ended.

A strikeout and a fielder’s choice grounder left the Wolves down to their final out, still trailing 4-2, while Cedar Park’s extremely-enthusiastic third-baseman celebrated as if the Eagles had just won a state title.

They had not.

If you didn’t know Wells was a freshman, nothing about the way she conducts herself on the softball diamond would give you a clue.

Perhaps her insides are a bubbling cauldron of anxiety. It’s possible.

But Wells projects extreme calmness.

Whether she’s firing pitches into Wright’s mitt, pulling off web gems, or standing tall at the plate, Ms. Unflappable is the most self-assured 9th grader since Katrina McGranahan debuted in 2015.

And, with the very same former Wolf ace sitting high in the stands, keeping up a pro-Izzy stream of comments, Wells responded.

Down to her final strike, she whipped her bat through the gentle prairie breeze, rocketing a single into center field, sending Bailey and Coral Caveness careening for home, and suddenly we had a whole new ball game.

Which almost ended on the very next batter.

In her first three trips to the plate, Smith had put good bat on the ball, only to have CPC fielders run down her shots.

Trip #4 was (almost) legendary, as she laced what looked like the game-winner, only to be denied one more time.

Not on getting a hit, as the ball tore a chunk out of the outfield grass this time, but when an admittedly great relay throw nailed Wells by a fingertip at the plate.

Wolf fans, seemingly denied the walk-off win, howled.

They quickly got over it, however.

Wells, who had been aces in the pitcher’s circle through seven innings, was lights out in the extra frames.

She faced the minimum six hitters across the eight and ninth, punching out three Eagles on strikeouts, while getting some help from Bailey, who made a beautiful snag on a checked-swing liner down the third-base line.

That set up magic time, otherwise known as the bottom of the ninth.

Operating under softball’s sometimes odd rules, both teams started play in the 9th inning by being handing a free runner at second.

While Cedar Park’s player never got more than an inch off the bag as Wells blitzed her teammates, Coupeville’s runner, Bailey, went a lot further.

After skipping to third on a passed ball, she took time out from her busy afternoon to dance on the bag, then found herself with nowhere to go even as two more batters got on base.

With one eye on Bailey, a CPC fielder booted Crownover’s chopper, but recovered quickly enough to keep the wily Wolf at third from scampering home.

Bailey was similarly stuck when Caveness dumped an infield single in front of the third-baseman, then found herself forced at home on a Wells grounder.

Bases juiced, two outs, edge of your seat, strangled cries from both sides, a prayer or two curling up into the sky.

Body language told it all.

The CPC hurler, so effective for so long, leaned back, a haunted look in her eyes, relentlessly snapping the ball into her glove, unable to control what had become a twitch over the final innings.

And at the plate, not a muscle moving, steely gaze boring a hole through the universe itself, Scout Smith, lil’ sister of Wolf greats CJ and Hunter, decided it was time to claim the title of “Best Freakin’ Athlete in the Family.”

It wasn’t just that she hit a home-run.

She flat-out destroyed the ball, her bat ripping it nearly in half, sending it on a line up, up and away as Wolf fans exploded out of their seats, tripping over themselves and each other, a shower of sunflower seeds cascading to the Earth as Smith rounded third.

The ball cleared the left field fence in a hurry, and Cow Town went crazy.

It was history. It was a coronation.

Bow before Scout Smith, Destroyer of Worlds. And be glad she’s on our side.

As she hit home plate, she was mobbed by her teammates, who thumped on her, hugged her, and screamed in her ears until all she could do was stagger away, grin plastered from ear to ear.

Caught up in the celebration, CHS coach Kevin McGranahan was a man sitting on cloud nine.

“High school careers are made of nights like this and every girl in uniform contributed to this win,” he said. “Great team win!

“Wolves never say die!!”

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Aram Leyva celebrated his birthday by banging home a hat trick Tuesday as Coupeville soccer romped to a 5-1 road win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

First things first – they’re going to the playoffs.

The bracket for the boys soccer district tournament was posted Tuesday, and it shows five teams from the North Sound Conference qualifying, with the other three slots being filled by the Northwest Conference.

With Granite Falls having abandoned its program this year, that guarantees the five NSC schools still playing are all postseason-bound.

So, instead of fighting for a playoff berth, Coupeville will spend the next month vying for seeding and the chance to open the postseason at home.

Or, in the case of the Wolves, close to home up in Oak Harbor, since playoff games have to be contested on turf fields.

Five of eight teams will advance from districts to bi-districts, the last stop before the state tourney.

In any case, having already clinched a playoff ticket takes a certain pressure off of everyone.

Though, with the way the Coupeville booters are playing of late it might not have mattered.

Raining down goals from all sides Tuesday in Bothell, the Wolves battered host Cedar Park Christian 5-1 to claim their third win in their last four games.

Now 2-1 in league play, 4-3 overall, CHS moves into a second-place tie with South Whidbey (1-0, 4-1), a half-game off of league-leader King’s (2-0, 3-1-1).

Sultan (0-1, 0-5) and Cedar Park (0-3, 0-4) round out the Granite-less standings.

Coupeville, which has six regular-season games left, five of them conference bouts, gets a major challenge Friday when it travels down Island to Langley to face South Whidbey.

Tuesday’s game was close for a half, as the Wolves went to the break clinging to a 1-0 lead, thanks to a Derek Leyva score.

Things quickly turned in the second half, however, as birthday boy Aram Leyva ripped off a hat trick, peppering the CPC goaltender for three quick scores.

His cousin, Derek, popped back in to seal the offensive attack, rattling home his second goal of the night.

That leaves the Leyvas tied atop the season scoring stat sheet with nine goals apiece, while Derek hangs on to a 33-28 lead in career scoring.

Both Wolf juniors are hot on the heels of Aram’s older brother, Abraham, who graduated in 2016 with the program career scoring record of 45 goals.

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Coupeville senior Bryce Payne reached base twice Friday, accounting for 50% of his team’s offense in a 12-0 loss. (Karen Carlson photo)

And we’re done with that.

The schedule gets easier from here, as the Coupeville High School baseball squad wrapped a three-game series with Cedar Park Christian, easily the most dominant team in the new North Sound Conference.

The Eagles have advanced to the 1A state semifinals two years running, finishing second in 2017, and they seem primed for another run.

CPC put the finishing touches on a sweep of a young, rebuilding Wolf squad Friday night, rolling to a 12-0 win in five innings.

Outscored 34-3 by the Eagles across three games this week, Coupeville heads to the weekend sitting 0-3 in league play, 0-5 overall.

The Wolves will get a break from conference action, with their next three games coming against non-league foes Chimacum, University Prep, and Friday Harbor.

The first game in that stretch, a match-up with a former Olympic League rival, goes down Monday in Coupeville. First pitch is 4 PM.

After that three-game set, the Wolves play 12 straight league games in April, with series against King’s, South Whidbey, Sultan, and Granite Falls.

None of them should present as big a challenge as Cedar Park, a deep, talented, state tourney-tested team.

Friday night, starting pitchers Daniel Olson and Ben Hann dueled through a scoreless game for an inning and a half, and then the Eagles bats started poppin’ big time.

CPC scored five in the bottom of the second, with the big blow a three-run tater off the bat of Jensen Lavering.

After that the Eagles tacked on one more run in the third, before closing with six in the fourth, spraying the ball in all directions.

Coupeville’s offense was largely curtailed by Hann, who limited the Wolves to singles by Gavin Knoblich and Bryce Payne and walks from Payne and Matt Hilborn.

The Wolves best shot came in the top of the third, when they had runners at second and third with two outs. It wasn’t to be, though, as Hann whiffed Jake Pease to end the uprising.

The Eagles finished with 11 base-knocks, getting three from Michael Doyle and two each from Brandon McClean and Lavering, who also collected four RBI.

One bright point for Coupeville was an error-free day in the field.

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