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Posts Tagged ‘doubleheader sweep’

Sarah Wright leads the dugout chatter back in her high school days. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Winner, winner, (Southern fried) chicken dinner.

Powered by Coupeville grad Sarah Wright, the Sewanee: University of the South softball squad rolled to a doubleheader sweep of Johnson University Saturday in Tennessee.

Winning 10-0 and 10-4, the Tigers notched their first victories of the new campaign, and sit at 2-4 on the season.

Sewanee returns to action next weekend, when it travels to Georgia for back-to-back twinbills.

Wright and Co. play a doubleheader at Agnes Scott College Saturday, Feb. 22, then bounce over to Wesleyan College for two more games the next day.

The Tigers play the first 15 games of their 40-game schedule on the road, not making their home debut until March 7.

Facing off with Johnson University Saturday, Sewanee controlled the action from start to finish.

Wright caught both games of the doubleheader, collecting three hits and two RBI while holding down the #5 slot in the lineup.

On the season, the former Coupeville star is hitting .313 with five hits, three RBI, two walks, and an on-base percentage of .389.

That puts her in the top three on the team in all five offensive categories.

A freshman at Sewanee, Wright is studying politics in between softball games and practices.

During her time at CHS, she was class Valedictorian, while playing volleyball, soccer, basketball, and softball.

Wright capped her prep softball career by being tabbed as the 2019 North Sound Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while helping the Wolves advance to the state tourney for the third time in program history.

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“Scoring runs? It’s kind of my thing!” (Jackie Saia photos)

Brionna Blouin gets some planking in during a pause in the action.

Teagan Calkins stands tall behind the plate.

“You thought you might beat us? You thought wrong!”

Find a way to win.

The Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball squad kept its season-long hot streak alive Saturday, sweeping a road double header against South Skagit with two very different victories.

The Hammerheads opened the twin-bill at Mt. Baker Middle School by pulling out an 11-8 win in extra innings, then dominated in the nightcap, pounding their foes 16-2 in a game shortened by the mercy rule.

With the sweep, the Majors mashers return home sporting a 10-1 record on the season.

How it played out Saturday:

 

Game 1:

Chloe Marzocca ripped off 16 strikeouts from the pitcher’s circle for the Hammerheads, but Central Whidbey had to overcome being caught in a triple play and losing the lead late.

After building an 8-2 margin, thanks to a four-run first inning and then a steady drip of one-run frames, CWLL stumbled, briefly, giving up six runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Never blinking, the Hammerheads calmly regrouped, moved into the unexpected seventh and dropped three runs on the board to seal the deal.

Central Whidbey finished the game with 11 hits, as Mia Farris, Madison McMillan, Brionna Blouin, and Allison Nastali led the way with two base-knocks apiece.

McMillan blasted a triple, while Teagan Calkins, Jada Heaton, and Mayleen Weatherford chipped in with singles.

The Hammerheads also showed patience at the plate, picking up seven walks, with Taylor Brotemarkle earning two free passes.

Calkins, Heaton, McMillan, Aleksia Jump, and Katie Marti also won duels with the South Skagit hurler, then bolted to first to claim their base.

 

Game 2:

Nastali replaced Marzocca in the pitcher’s circle, whiffing three across four innings, while her catcher, Blouin, was on fire.

The Hammerheads backstop picked off a runner on the base-paths and twice tracked down foul balls behind the plate, pulling in the rapidly-dropping balls for crucial outs.

At the plate, Central Whidbey jumped on everything, taking advantage of five dropped third strikes, while also pounding out seven hits, many of the extra-bases variety.

Nastali and McMillan had two hits apiece, with McMillan garnering another triple.

Marti matched her with a three-bagger of her own, Calkins swatted a double, and Brotemarkle singed the grass for a single.

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   Freshman Scout Smith made several superb defensive plays Wednesday during a doubleheader sweep of 2A Sequim. (John Fisken photos)

   Mikayla Elfrank can beat you with her bat, glove or arm, something Sequim will never forget.

It started with thunder and lightning and ended with Dairy Queen.

Powered by a phenomenal performance from slugging shortstop Mikayla Elfrank, the Coupeville High School softball squad completed a doubleheader sweep of 2A Sequim which took a week, and two towns, to play.

Six days after game one was suspended by a sudden storm on Whidbey, the Wolves hit the road Wednesday and arrived on the mainland just in time to catch the arrival of the carnival to town.

Oh yeah, and they also pulled off 5-3 and 4-3 wins, while Elfrank cranked two home-runs to straight-away center (on separate days in different towns), collected seven RBIs, and got a gift certificate for creamy ice cream goodness from the rival coach.

The wins lift Coupeville to 17-3, the second-best record in program history, heading into postseason play.

The Wolves open the district playoffs May 19 against Vashon Island, a team they roughed up 13-5 earlier this season.

As they chase the 2002 CHS sluggers, who went 24-3 and finished 3rd at state, this year’s squad, which had eight underclassmen in the starting lineup Wednesday, has beaten every team except one.

They are 0-3 against Olympic League champ Chimacum and 17-0 against the world.

That includes going 5-0 against two teams, Klahowya and Sequim, which gave those Cowboys (9-4) two of their four losses.

Facing off with Sequim, a strong squad which claimed second in the 2A division of the Olympic League, Coupeville used a similar strategy in both games — big hits to jump on top early, then stellar defense and lights-out pitching from Katrina McGranahan to slam the door shut.

Game One (4-3 win):

This started in Coupeville May 4, then stopped after two innings, with the Wolves pounding the snot out of the ball on their way to a 4-0 lead.

Distant thunder and lightning caused a never-ending series of delays on Senior Night, and the game never re-started.

While it could have been called off, both coaches agreed they wanted to finish and made a gentleman’s agreement to do just that.

Before the delay, Elfrank crushed a grand-slam to straight-away center (that became a really long three-run single after she inadvertently passed teammate Sarah Wright at second) and Robin Cedillo spanked an RBI single.

Jump ahead six days, and the game, which was actually played second Wednesday, morphed from a hit-fest into a pitcher’s duel.

Sequim scraped out two runs in the fourth and another in the sixth to make things tense, but the Wolf defense withstood the challenge.

Freshman Scout Smith, in the lineup for Cedillo, who didn’t make the trip Wednesday, threw out not one, but two runners in the sixth from her position in right field.

Both were smart plays that serve as a testament to lessons learned growing up as a coach’s daughter.

On the first one, she snagged an errant throw over first and fired a laser to Elfrank covering the bag at second, cutting down the runner.

Smith then closed the inning with a nifty double play, pulling in a long fly, before nabbing a Sequim player who neglected to go back and tag up before trying to advance from second to third.

Clinging to a one-run lead in the seventh inning, Coupeville closed with a bang, as McGranahan collected her eighth strikeout, before Hope Lodell and Kyla Briscoe pulled in long fly balls.

The final blow was a high winder to deep left and had danger written all over it, but Briscoe, subbing for big sis Tiffany, who was back home taking AP English Lit tests, played the drifting ball to perfection, then got rushed by her jubilant teammates.

Game Two (5-3 win):

Wednesday’s regularly-scheduled game started off awfully similar to the one interrupted by lightning.

Jae LeVine ripped a single to right, Wright got plunked with a pitch and then Elfrank strode to the plate, twisting the bat in her hands like a woman about to rip it in half.

Before the game the Sequim coach had joked with the Coupeville players, telling them he’d buy a Blizzard for any Wolf who successfully crushed a ball off of the carnival rides being set up behind the outfield fence.

Elfrank was a woman on a mission.

Jumping on the very first pitch she saw from the same hurler she had homered off of six days earlier, she whacked the ball a country mile and the resulting clang when the ball hit pay-dirt left little doubt — ball had met carnival ride.

I’m calling it. Two consecutive pitches from the same rival pitcher — six days and two towns apart — and two consecutive bombs to straight-away center cement Elfrank as one of the most electrifying players to ever wear the red and black.

But she wasn’t done.

Next trip to the plate, in the top of the third, Elfrank dropped an RBI single to right, using her bat like a pool cue to place the ball into a small patch of open grass.

So, to recap — over the course of three consecutive at-bats against the same pitcher, but in two towns with a six-day delay between plate appearance #1 and #2, she went 3-3 with a home run that wasn’t because of a quirk, a home run that dented a carnival ride and seven RBI.

But she wasn’t done.

With the bat yes, as Elfrank didn’t reach base again Wednesday, but she also has a superb glove and a cannon for an arm.

Case in point, the bottom of the sixth.

Sequim had chipped away at the lead, cutting it from 4-0 to 4-3 and had the tying run at third with two outs.

The batter cranked a hard-hit shot deep into the hole, and was flying down the line as her teammate headed home, ready to celebrate.

Elfrank, though, was in super-human mode, snagging the ball on the move, then spinning and firing while falling backwards into short left-field.

The ball zipped on a line, the runner leaned, all of Sequim held its collective breath, Wolf first-baseman Veronica Crownover reached as far as her 5-foot-11-and-three-quarters-inch frame would allow and time stopped for a moment.

To my right, Rod Serling, host of The Twilight Zone, appeared, calmly saying “You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination…”

And my dream came true.

Ball met mitt a split-second before spikes hit bag and the field ump punched the air, signalling the out with so much energy the entire diamond rocked like the epicenter of an earthquake.

Coming on the heels of two earlier gems — a catch at her shoestrings by center fielder Lodell and Wright ignoring hurt fingers to throw out a runner at third — Elfrank to Crownover to save the game was the perfect cap.

Sequim’s hitters seemed to know it too, as they meekly hit three pop-ups in the seventh, one each to Lauren Rose, Elfrank and LeVine.

Over the course of the two games, Coupeville racked up 14 hits, with 10 different hitters getting at least one.

Elfrank led the way with her three big blows, while Rose and LeVine had two singles apiece.

Tamika Nastali might have had the most satisfying base-knock.

After missing on two bunt tries, she pulled the bat back on the very next pitch and crushed a hard-hit liner down the right-field line that landed with a smack and brought her bench to its feet.

As his players celebrated around him, CHS coach Kevin McGranahan had the look of a man who would enjoy his bus ride back to Whidbey.

“This is the kind of test we wanted before the playoffs, and we passed,” he said with a satisfied smile. “Their confidence is soaring, and that is great to see.”

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