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After finishing second at the district tourney, Mollie Bailey and Coupeville softball are state-bound. (Karen Carlson photo)

Trust me, it’s not that bad.

Yes, the Coupeville High School softball squad fell 10-2 to Lynden Christian Saturday in the District 1 title game at Sedro-Woolley’s Janicki Fields.

But never forget, the Wolves were playing with house money.

They had already clinched a trip to state, their first visit to the big dance since 2014 and only the third in the program’s 41-year history, after winning Thursday against Meridian and Granite Falls.

Coupeville, 14-8 on the season after losing for the first time in its last seven games, is Richland-bound, one of 16 teams with a chance of winning a 1A state crown during the May 24-25 championships.

And also, while the Wolves lost Saturday, they did not get emotionally savaged like North Sound Conference mates Granite and Cedar Park Christian.

The Tigers, who two weeks ago seemed like a slam dunk to win the NSC title, until Coupeville ruined that for them, completed a late-season collapse with a 14-1 loss to CPC Saturday in a loser-out game.

But, before you get ready to congratulate the Eagles, just know that two hours later, Cedar Park suffered one of the worst gut-shots I’ve ever witnessed on a high school field.

CPC went into the bottom of the seventh leading Mount Baker 8-5 in the 3rd place game, then got two outs.

Players on the Eagles bench were openly discussing not whether they WOULD celebrate, but HOW they would celebrate, when they got out #21 and clinched the district’s third, and final, berth to state.

And then? Oh, my sweet lord…

Four consecutive plays from Hell itself killed the Christians (metaphorically, at least).

A throw went off the Cedar Park first baseman’s glove for an error.

An outfielder went to squeeze a fly ball in left-center and it somehow squirted free for another error.

The third-baseman reached down for a grounder, only to have the ball skitter off her foot, her arm, and her glove as it endlessly ricocheted.

With the game suddenly tied, Cedar Park had one small sliver of hope. Get the third out and at least it could regroup in extra innings and…

Nope.

The very next pitch sailed 10 feet past the Eagle catcher, the winning run scampered home, Mount Baker tried to decide if it was more stunned or joyous and chose joyous, and the bus ride back to Bothell suddenly became a journey no one wanted to take.

It was the kind of ending to a game, a season, a career for some Cedar Park players, that will likely hurt forever.

Heck, it scarred me, and I didn’t really care who won the game.

Most of all though, at least for Coupeville players, coaches, fans, and hanger-on’s, it was solid proof that the Wolf loss was nothing to be too troubled about.

Like I said, there’s plenty of season left for the Cow Town sluggers, who lived up to their #1 seed, and merely ran into a very-efficient team from a school which has a trophy case the size of Mount St. Helens (before it blew its top).

Lynden Christian pumps out one scary-good player after another, two dozen at a time, and regardless of what their record might be, you can always count on the Lyncs to operate with a championship mindset.

But, clean up a few mental mistakes, get the normally red-hot bats smokin’ a little earlier than happened Saturday, and if Coupeville meets Lynden at state, there’s nothing to fear.

The two teams dueled through a scoreless tie until the top of the fourth, as Wolf freshman hurler Izzy Wells matched up well with Lync senior pitcher Anny Jansma.

Wells limited Lynden to a walk in the first, stranded two runners in the second thanks to back-to-back strikeouts, then buzzed the Lyncs in order in the third.

Jansma was no slouch, suffering only a first inning walk to Chelsea Prescott and a third-inning single which tore off of Scout Smith’s bat and slammed off the pitcher’s foot before redirecting into right field.

Things finally broke in the top of the fourth, when Lynden dumped a two-out, two-run single into shallow right field, the ball splashing down just inches away from two Coupeville defenders.

Even when the Lyncs added a run in the top of the fifth to push the margin to 3-0, the game still seemed very winnable for Coupeville.

It was a bit troubling that the Wolves could only scrape out a Prescott single in the fourth, and nothing in the fifth.

But, even though it hadn’t pushed a runner past first base through five frames, Coupeville’s offense has been so torrid recently, a comeback never seemed out of the picture.

Until the wheels fell off in the sixth.

Four Lynden hits, mixed with a few mental mistakes from the Wolves, let the Lyncs slap five runs on the scoreboard, turning a taut thriller into more of a run-away, and it was fatal.

With the odds not in its favor, Coupeville finally broke through against Jansma in the bottom of the sixth, but the Lync hurler denied them a game-busting rally.

Smith singled to open the inning, then, after she was forced at second on a fielder’s choice grounder, Emma Mathusek became the first Wolf to visit a base other than first.

The Wolf junior trotted down to second when Prescott was plunked on the foot, before skittering home on an RBI single by catcher Sarah Wright.

Then came a walk to Veronica Crownover, followed by a second RBI single, this one from Coral Caveness, who was one of several Wolves rockin’ the bare shoulders, gun show look while playing under a blazing Sedro sun.

Two runs in, bases juiced, and the rally caps started to tentatively come out for Wolf Nation, but Jansma was having none of it.

Rearing back and flinging liquid heat, she whiffed her fellow pitcher to end both the inning and the threat, and that was pretty much it.

Lynden tacked on another two runs in the seventh, benefiting from a blown pickle play by the Wolves and a bloop single, and Coupeville was unable to pull off any final inning magic.

The Wolves did get their first two hitters aboard, with Chloe Wheeler walking and Smith spanking a ball to right which was dropped, but Jansma quickly reverted to lights-out mode.

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Coupeville High School softball sluggers (l to r) Veronica Crownover, Chelsea Prescott, and Sarah Wright are off to districts Thursday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Nine teams, three tickets to state, one royal rumble.

With the regular season done, everyone in the world of high school softball turns their eyes to the district tournament, where dreams are fulfilled … or dashed.

Before the first home run is bashed, the first strikeout registered or the first time an ump gives a coach angina, here’s what you need to know:

 

What:

1A Northwest District 1 softball tournament, with nine teams from two leagues.

The North Sound Conference brings five teams, the Northwest Conference four, and, other than a play-in game, it’s a double-elimination tourney.

 

When:

May 13, 16, 18

 

Where:

Multiple locations.

A loser-out, play-in game between Meridian and Sultan goes down Monday in Sultan.

After that, all games Thursday and Saturday will be played at Janicki Fields, located at 2044 Cook Rd. in Sedro-Woolley.

 

What’s at stake:

Three teams advance to state.

 

Admission per day for district playoff games:

Adults and students without ASB — $7.00
Students with ASB, children and seniors — $5.00
Preschool children (with paying adult) – Free

 

Team capsules:

 

Coupeville:

Season record: 12-7

League finish: Tied for #1 in 1A North Sound Conference (#1 playoff seed)

Run differential: 201-156

Seniors: (3) – Veronica Crownover, Nicole Laxton, Sarah Wright

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 10-4 (3-0 vs. South Whidbey, Sultan; 2-1 vs. Cedar Park Christian; 1-0 vs. Meridian; 1-2 vs. Granite Falls; 0-1 vs. Lynden Christian)

Coach: Kevin McGranahan

Mascot: Wolves

 

Cedar Park Christian:

Season record: 14-4

League finish: Tied for #1 in 1A North Sound Conference (#2 playoff seed)

Run differential: 227-143

Seniors: (4) – Andi Dill, Sela Flynn, Grace Orr, Grace Stiger

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 10-4 (3-0 vs. Sultan, South Whidbey; 2-1 vs. Granite Falls; 1-1 vs. Lynden Christian; 1-2 vs. Coupeville)

Coach: Stephanie Fazio

Mascot: Eagles

 

Granite Falls:

Season record: 12-7

League finish: Tied for #1 in 1A North Sound Conference (#3 playoff seed)

Run differential: 310-207

Seniors: (4) – Madison Hubbard, Samantha Vanderwel, Jaiden Waud, Jillian Zachry

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 10-3 (3-0 vs. Sultan, South Whidbey; 1-0 vs. Lynden Christian; 2-1 vs. Coupeville; 1-2 vs. Cedar Park Christian)

Coach: Tom Bergran

Mascot: Tigers

 

Lynden Christian:

Season record: 9-11

League finish: #3 of 1A teams in 1A/2A/3A Northwest Conference

Run differential: 191-199

Seniors: (3) – Abby Jansma, Anny Jansma, Shanoah Whittern

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 4-3 (1-0 vs. Coupeville, Nooksack Valley, Meridian; 1-1 vs. Cedar Park Christian; 0-1 vs. Mount Baker, Granite Falls)

Coach: Brooke Heystek

Mascot: Lyncs

 

Meridian:

Season record: 7-12

League finish: #4 of 1A teams in 1A/2A/3A Northwest Conference

Run differential: 112-162

Seniors: (5) – Danielle Graybill, Sarah Lagerway, Audrey Mark, Makayla Wright, Ella Zander

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 0-4 (0-1 vs. Coupeville, Mount Baker, Lynden Christian, Nooksack Valley)

Coach: Megan Monaghan

Mascot: Trojans

 

Mount Baker:

Season record: 14-6

League finish: #1 of 1A teams in 1A/2A/3A Northwest Conference

Run differential: 136-93

Seniors: (3) – Grace Davis, Hannah Pelan, Anya Zander

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 6-0 (2-0 vs. Nooksack Valley; 1-0 vs. Sultan, South Whidbey, Lynden Christian, Meridian)

Coach: Ron Lepper

Mascot: Mountaineers

 

Nooksack Valley:

Season record: 12-8

League finish: #2 of 1A teams in 1A/2A/3A Northwest Conference

Run differential: 157-96

Seniors: (2) – Allie Bird, Kendall Newton

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 1-3 (1-0 vs. Meridian; 0-1 vs. Lynden Christian; 0-2 vs. Mount Baker)

Coach: Tom Harmon

Mascot: Pioneers

 

South Whidbey:

Season record: 5-13

League finish: #4 in 1A North Sound Conference

Run differential: 117-211

Seniors: (3) – Myah Majestic, Megan Nance, Natalie Wilmoth

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 2-11 (2-1 vs. Sultan, 0-1 vs. Mount Baker; 0-3 vs. Coupeville, Cedar Park Christian, Granite Falls)

Coach: Brad Jaegar

Mascot: Falcons

 

Sultan:

Season record: 1-14

League finish: #5 in 1A North Sound Conference

Run differential: 81-218

Seniors: (7) – Alexis Boglivi, Emily Cook, Ace Evans, Taylor Fadden, Bethany Fulcher, Kyrah Willson, Angie Young

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 1-12 (1-2 vs. South Whidbey; 0-1 vs. Mount Baker, 0-3 vs. Coupeville, Cedar Park Christian, Granite Falls)

Coach: Garth MacDicken

Mascot: Turks

 

Bracket:

http://www.nscathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2923&sport=15

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Coupeville’s Emma Smith crushed it in the shot put Saturday, winning a district title at Lynden. (Konni Smith photo)

Raven Vick (left) pauses for a selfie with mom, only to be photo-bombed by Wolf mom Lisa Toomey. (Photo courtesy Maria Reyes)

CHS senior Danny Conlisk won the 200 Saturday, giving him four district titles in four events. (Photo courtesy Dawnelle Conlisk).

Day two was a little quieter, maybe, but still full of quality results.

After busting two school records, and narrowly missing on a third Thursday, the Coupeville High School track and field team settled for two titles Saturday, wrapping up the district meet in style.

Seniors Emma Smith and Danny Conlisk exited the stadium at Lynden Christian High School with top honors, besting the field in the shot put and 200, respectively.

Smith lobbed the four kilogram metal ball 34 feet, five inches, easily out-pacing runner-up Payton Elenbaas of Meridian, who lofted the orb 33-11.50.

Not only was it a PR for the Wolf standout, but she topped her previous best mark (32-10.50) by more than a foot-and-a-half.

Coming off of a PR Thursday in the discus, it capped a stellar district meet performance for Smith, but even she couldn’t quite catch up to the fleet-footed Conlisk.

After winning the 100 and 400, and also running a leg on a victorious 4 x 100 relay team, all on Thursday, the CHS team captain came back Saturday to zing to a win in the 200.

While doing so, he nailed a PR, barely held off teammate Jean Lund-Olsen (22.46 to 22.69) and just missed adding another school record to his resume.

Conlisk snatched away the 100 record from Jacob Smith Thursday, but he couldn’t quite catch the former Wolf in the 200, as his mark of 22.41 (barely) lives to see another day.

Coupeville finished the two-day, 10-team district meet in fourth place in both the girls and boys standings.

King’s girls and Meridian’s boys claimed team titles.

 

Girls results:

King’s (154.5)
Meridian (128)
Lynden Christian (108)
Coupeville (81)
South Whidbey (75)
Granite Falls (46.5)
Nooksack Valley (41)
Cedar Park Christian (37)
Sultan (11)
Mount Baker (10)

 

Boys results:

Meridian (133)
South Whidbey (126.5)
King’s (102)
Coupeville (84)
Mount Baker (61)
Cedar Park Christian (46)
Lynden Christian (44.5)
Nooksack Valley (40)
Granite Falls (21)
Sultan (5)

 

Up next for the Coupeville athletes still standing is the bi-district meet, which pits District 1 (Coupeville’s North Sound Conference and the Northwest Conference) against District 2 (Seattle’s Emerald City League).

That goes down May 16 and 18 in Coupeville, with the top four finishers in each event advancing to the state meet in Cheney the next weekend.

 

Complete Saturday results:

 

GIRLS:

200 — Ja’Kenya Hoskins (6th) 28.54 *PR*

800 — Lucy Sandahl (11th) 2:44.69

3200 — Alana Mihill (12th) 14:11.53; Catherine Lhamon (13th) 14:41.10

300 Hurdles — Ja’Tarya Hoskins (9th) 53.69

4 x 200 Relay — Lindsey Roberts, Ja’Kenya Hoskins, Mallory Kortuem, Maya Toomey-Stout (2nd) 1:47.40

4 x 400 Relay — Sandahl, Mihill, Lhamon, Ja’Tarya Hoskins (5th) 5:19.69

Shot Put — Emma Smith (1st) 34-05 *PR*

Javelin — Raven Vick (12th) 76-10

High Jump — Roberts (6th) 4-10

Long Jump — M. Toomey-Stout (3rd) 16-01.50 *PR*; Ja’Kenya Hoskins (5th) 15-06.50 *PR*

 

BOYS:

200 — Danny Conlisk (1st) 22.46 *PR*; Jean Lund-Olsen (2nd) 22.69 *PR*

300 Hurdles — Jakobi Baumann (16th) 48.13

4 x 400 Relay — Lucious Halstead, Jak. Baumann, Jaschon Baumann, Tiger Johnson (9th) 4:00.34

Discus — Logan Martin (7th) 121-11 *PR*; Ryan Labrador (14th) 99-06

Pole Vault — Thane Peterson (11th) 9-00; Johnson (14th) 8-06; Kyle Burnett (15th) 8-06

Triple Jump — Sean Toomey-Stout (5th) 38-08; Jak. Baumann (12th) 36-00

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Izzy Wells and Coupeville softball are the #1 playoff seed from the North Sound Conference. (Karen Carlson photo)

I love it when a plan comes together.

Everything broke perfectly Thursday, guaranteeing the Coupeville High School softball squad heads to districts next week as the #1 seed from the North Sound Conference.

The Wolves, 9-3 in league play, 12-7 overall, finished in a three-way tie atop the conference with Cedar Park Christian (9-3, 14-4) and Granite Falls (9-3, 12-7).

That was assured Thursday when CPC crowned South Whidbey 19-4 and Granite smushed Sultan 16-8 on the last day of the regular season.

Wolf softball gets to add a league title plaque to the Wall of Fame in the CHS gym for a second-straight year.

Things were a little more complex, however, when it came to playoff seeding.

With three teams tying for the best record, the first tie-breaker (head-to-head play) solved nothing.

Coupeville won two of three against Cedar Park, but lost two of three to Granite, which lost two of three to Cedar Park, leaving the tie intact.

The ultimate tie-breaker was a blind draw done by league Athletic Directors before the season started, and Wolf AD Willie Smith had the magic touch, plucking out the best number.

Having cashed his golden ticket, Coupeville is the #1 seed to the eight-team, double-elimination district tourney, from which three teams advance to state.

Cedar Park is #2 (based on head-to-head), while Granite, which had a big lead in the standings just a week-and-a-half ago, before losing back-to-back games, slides to #3.

South Whidbey (2-10, 5-13) goes as #4, while #5 Sultan (1-11, 1-14) has to survive a play-in game with Meridian (7-12), the #4 team from the Northwest Conference, to make the main draw.

Coupeville opens districts May 16 at Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley, with its first game against the Sultan/Meridian winner.

During the regular season the Wolves beat the Trojans 11-1 in a non-conference game, and swept the Turks in league play, winning 12-0, 7-4, and 15-2.

 

The bracket:

http://www.nscathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2923&sport=15

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CHS sophomore Genna Wright played strongly through three matches Tuesday at the league tennis tourney before falling. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Six went off to districts, and two survive.

Coupeville High School juniors Tia Wurzrainer and Avalon Renninger survived day one of the North Sound Conference tennis tournament, and have punched a ticket to next week’s bi-district tourney.

The duo return to Granite Falls Wednesday, but don’t know if they’ll actually play another match at the league tourney.

Three doubles tandems (out of a field of 10) advance to bi-districts, and Mary Zisette and Allison Papritz of South Whidbey are through.

The Falcon duo, who finished 2nd at the state tourney last year, claimed the #1 seed by knocking off Wurzrainer and Renninger in the tourney championship match.

There are four teams vying to face Coupeville’s duo in the 2nd/3rd place match.

But, if either King’s #1 team or South Whidbey’s #2 squad gets there, the Wolves get a walk-over win, as they have already played, and beaten, those duos.

If it’s King’s #2 team or Granite Falls #1 duo, Wurzrainer and Renninger return to the court to play one final league tourney match.

Either way, the Wolf duo and coach Ken Stange head to the Overlake School in Redmond May 14 to play a loser-out bi-district match against a team from the Emerald City League.

Survive that and they go to the Redmond Tennis Club May 17 for the semifinals (and hopefully) final, with the top two teams at bi-districts moving on to state.

While Wurzrainer and Renninger play on, their teammates have reached the end of their seasons.

Singles players Genna Wright and Jillian Mayne and doubles duo Eryn Wood and Emily Fiedler had differing levels of success at the league tourney, but all failed to advance.

In a rare occurrence, though, Coupeville had no seniors in the postseason, and can return all six netters who stepped onto the court at the league tourney.

 

Complete Tuesday results:

 

Genna Wright:

Lost to Allison Giroux (King’s) 6-0, 6-3

Beat Gabriela Schmesing (Granite Falls) 6-1, 6-2

Lost to Emily Lundberg (Granite Falls) 6-4, 7-5

 

Jillian Mayne:

Lost to Scarlett Ren (King’s) 6-0, 6-0

Lost to Oliana Stange (South Whidbey) 6-2, 6-2

 

Avalon Renninger/Tia Wurzrainer:

Beat Ava Dreon/Christina Wang (King’s) 6-3, 6-4

Beat Ainsley Nelson/Farris Jokinen (South Whidbey) 6-0, 7-6(7-2)

Lost to Allison Papritz/Mary Zisette (South Whidbey) 6-0, 6-3

 

Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler:

Lost to Elma Lu/Jackie Cheung-Main 6-4, 4-6, 4-6

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