Posts Tagged ‘Chloe Marzocca’

Mia Farris waits for the action to unfold while holding down first base for the Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball squad. (Jackie Saia photos)

A Hammerhead hitter does a fast tap dance to evade a wayward pitch.

Brionna Blouin (7), Savina Wells (in catcher gear), Taylor Brotemarkle, and coach Fred Farris bask in another win.

Allison Nastali, even with both arms taped up after a bicycle accident, drops the bunt perfectly. She beat the throw to first, while bringing a runner in from third.

Hammerhead hurler Chloe Marzocca wheels and deals.

“Ooh yeah, you’re too late, sister! I AM SAFE!!!!!!”

Post game shenanigans.

After making a great running catch in center to end the game, Katie Marti gets a congratulatory hug from coach Kim Brotemarkle.

Everything is in their favor.

The District 11 Little League Majors softball tournament is three days into a possible five-day schedule, and everything is lined up for host Central Whidbey to win.

The Hammerheads plastered Sedro-Woolley 12-5 Saturday to advance to the championship round, then got a welcome surprise Sunday.

Skagit, which was routed by Sedro in the tourney opener Friday, rebounded to grab an unexpected 17-14 win in a rematch between the two off-Island teams.

So, that means Central Whidbey (1-0 in the tourney) meets Skagit (1-1) Monday at 6 PM, while Sedro (1-2) is done.

If the Hammerheads (16-2 on the season) win Monday, they are bound for the state tourney, which is June 29-July 7 in Poulsbo.

Lose Monday, and Central Whidbey gets a second swing at the title Tuesday night, also against Skagit, also at 6 PM.

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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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When you introduce yourself to the umpire. “I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick!” (Jackie Saia photo)

The bats have spoken, one more time.

Cracking 20 runs for the sixth time this spring, the Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball team rained down sweet destruction on yet another foe.

This time out, the rival was the North Whidbey Dragons, and they fell hard, losing 20-2 Tuesday to the sweet-swingin’, home plate-tappin’ Hammerheads.

With the victory, Central Whidbey rises to 11-1 on the season, having outscored opposing teams 199-52.

There was a moment – a very brief moment – when North Whidbey looked like it had a chance, as the visitors slapped two runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first at Rhododendron Park.

That changed, rapidly, as the Hammerheads responded with nine runs in their half of the first, before tossing in another 11 runs in the second inning, just for good measure.

North Whidbey could do very little against Central’s one-two combo in the pitcher’s circle, as Hammerhead hurlers Chloe Marzocca and Allison Nastali combined for five strikeouts in three innings of work.

Meanwhile, the only thing which could slow down CWLL at the plate was the fact the mercy rule went into effect after the top of the third, preventing the Hammerheads from hitting a third time.

Nastali pounded out three hits to lead the Central offense, while Marzocca added two, and Jada Heaton, Brionna Blouin, Katie Marti, Mia Farris, and Madison McMillan smacked a base-knock apiece.

The Hammerheads also picked up 12 walks, with Teagan Calkins, Taylor Brotemarkle, Mayleen Weatherford, and Aleksia Jump getting aboard that way.

All 11 Central Whidbey players scored at least once, as Nastali and McMillan zipped across home three times each.

Things get a little different in the coming days, as the Hammerheads host a four-team, double-elimination “Softball Classic” featuring teams from all sections of the Island.

Games run from Thursday, May 16, through Wednesday, May 22 (if the championship goes to two games) and pit Central Whidbey against South Whidbey, as well as both North Whidbey teams, the Bandits and Dragons.

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Central Whidbey pitcher Chloe Marzocca was a two-way terror Tuesday, as her Majors softball team bounced its arch-rival. (Photo courtesy Fred Farris)

Katie Marti (left) and Jada Heaton both had big games, as well, as the Hammerheads remained undefeated. (Photo courtesy Jennifer McDavid-Heaton)

Blowout or nail-biter, it matters not.

The Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball squad is undefeated for one big reason – they can, and will, always find a way to win.

Tuesday night, that meant jumping out to a commanding lead against their arch-rivals, the North Whidbey Little League Bandits, then holding on when their foes came charging back.

When the scoreboard at Volunteer Park was shut off after five furious innings, Central Whidbey sprinted away with a 12-8 win, improving to a flawless 3-0 on the season.

Facing a team which boasts “some big hitters and really good pitching,” the Hammerheads opened the game exactly the way coach Fred Farris wanted them to – aggressively.

“We knew we had our hands full against a good team and rival,” he said.

To prepare his sluggers, Farris brought in CWLL Juniors pitchers Savina Wells and Gwen Gustafson to throw batting practice, guaranteeing the Hammerhead bats would be ready for the increased heat.

And, with a little prep, Central Whidbey was ready.

The Hammerheads broke the game open with five runs in the top of the first, keyed by a heads-up play from Katie Marti.

She’s the latest addition to one of Coupeville’s premier athletic dynasties, a fresh offshoot of a family tree which includes legends like grandpa Paul Messner, a golden god on the gridiron, and cousin Breeanna Messner, a four-sport standout back in the day.

But now it’s Katie Time, and she alertly scrambled to first after a dropped third strike got away from the North Whidbey catcher.

With new life, the Hammerheads immediately capitalized, thanks to Jada Heaton blasting a two-run single.

Chloe Marzocca was dealing heat from the pitcher’s circle for Central, holding her foes scoreless through the first three innings, while helping herself out on offense with a two-run single of her own.

Rolling along with a 10-0 lead, the Hammerheads looked untouchable, but North Whidbey is too good of a team to just roll over and quietly wilt.

The Bandits put together a six-run rally in the fourth to prevent the 10-run mercy rule from being implemented, but they would get no closer.

Taylor Brotemarkle came storming out of the bullpen to slam the door shut, recording the final five outs to seal the win for Marzocca and send Central fans home happy.

The Hammerheads spread their offense around, with Marzocca leading the hit parade with two base-knocks and three RBI.

Brotemarkle, Heaton, Teagan Calkins, and Madison McMillan added a hit apiece, while Brotemarkle came around to score a team-best three times.

Central Whidbey got two runs apiece from Brianna Blouin, Mia Farris, and Allison Nastali, with Marti, McMillan, and Marzocca also tapping home.

As good as they were on offense, the Hammerheads also sizzled on defense.

The team’s catcher and third-baseman combo of Calkins and Blouin teamed up to nail three runners caught between third and home.

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Central Whidbey Little League’s softball opener was played in memory of umpire Joel Wheat (right), seen here with proud papa, Jim. (Connie Lippo photo)

Heartbreak intertwined with triumph.

After opening a new season Tuesday with an emotional tribute to beloved coach and umpire Joel Wheat, the Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball team toasted visiting South Whidbey 22-1.

CWLL officials released a statement acknowledging the league’s unexpected loss.

“It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that our Joel Wheat passed away from cardiac arrest this morning.

Joel was an integral part of CWLL and we will miss him.

Joel was an active T-Ball coach last season and umpire for many years.

Please keep Dee and Jim, his young daughter and the entire family in your thoughts and prayers.”

When the teams took the field Tuesday, players, fans, umpires and coaches held a moment of silence, and CWLL dedicated the game to Wheat and his family.

Central Whidbey put together a 13-run first inning to take complete control of the game, with Jada Heaton lashing a game-busting double.

CWLL coach Fred Farris did his best to keep the game from becoming a rout of epic proportions, eventually sending his runners early to give away some outs.

That was about the only thing going right for South Whidbey, as their batters couldn’t touch Central hurler Chloe Marzocca, who whiffed eight across four innings of work.

“She pitched awesome!,” Farris said.

Everyone chipped in for Central Whidbey, with Mia Farris, Heaton, and Madison McMillan rapping out two hits apiece.

Teagan Calkins, Taylor Brotemarkle, Brianna Blouin, and Katie Marti each added a base-knock, while Mayleen Weatherford, Marzocca, and Allison Nastali scampered to first on walks.

Every girl on the CWLL roster scored, and “the girls played almost flawless defense, including a hard liner snared by Mia to end the game.”

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