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Sarah Wright has been a softball success at every level she’s played. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The hits keep coming.

Coupeville grad Sarah Wright picked up two more base-knocks Sunday, and the former Wolf continues to swing a hot bat during her freshman softball season at Sewanee: The University of the South.

The Tennessee-based Tigers dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, but remain competitive despite playing with a very-thin roster.

Sewanee was edged 1-0 in a pitcher’s duel in Sunday’s opener, then fell 9-3 in the nightcap, dropping their record to 2-8 on the season.

The Tigers return to Georgia this coming Tuesday, February 25, when they play a doubleheader against Covenant College (0-4) at Lookout Mountain.

Facing off with Wesleyan, Wright picked up a pair of singles and scored a run in game two while hitting out of the cleanup spot in the lineup.

The former CHS star also caught both games, and has started all 10 contests during her first go-around as a college player.

Sewanee has a 40-game regular-season schedule.

At the quarter mark, Wright is hitting .267 with eight hits (including a three-run home run), six RBI, two walks, and a .367 slugging percentage.

She leads the Tigers in RBI’s, is tied for #1 in home runs, and is second on the squad in hits, total bases (11), and slugging percentage.

During her Coupeville days, Wright was the Valedictorian for the Class of 2019, while playing soccer, volleyball, basketball, and softball.

The ever-energetic one capped her illustrious prairie career by helping lead CHS softball back to the state tourney during her senior season, only the third time the Wolf sluggers have made the trip in 41 seasons.

In between running wild through the parking lots in Richland last spring, tempting wayward seagulls with sandwiches, Wright rapped five hits across three games in her prep swan song.

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Josh Upchurch and the Coupeville C-Team split a doubleheader Saturday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Chris Cernick had himself a day.

Drafted to help fill out the roster for a depleted Coupeville High School boys C-Team basketball squad, the Wolf big man responded in a big way.

Throwing down 35 points across two games, Cernick helped the Wolves KO host Granite Falls, and come within a play or two of toppling Sultan as well.

With the rare doubleheader split, Coupeville, which only had seven players to call on Saturday, improves to 2-8 on the season.

“We are growing,” said CHS coach Patrick Upchurch of his very-young squad. “Off-season will be big for some of these guys. It is only a matter of time.”

How the day played out:

 

Sultan:

Coupeville started strong and finished strong, but a little bit of a letdown in the middle cost it in a narrow 43-37 loss.

The Wolves jumped out to a 13-10 lead after one quarter, with five players tossing in a bucket.

Cernick led the way, pumping in five of his team-high 14, but CHS couldn’t hold on to the early advantage.

Sultan used 12-6 and 12-5 runs in the next two frames to turn the tide of the game, before Coupeville closed with a 13-9 surge in the fourth quarter.

Josh Upchurch and Dominic Coffman each banked in six points in support of Cernick, while Ty Hamilton popped for five.

Brayden Coatney (4) and Coen Killian (2) also scored, while Alex Wasik was aces on defense.

 

Granite Falls:

Cernick and Coffman combined to toss in 35 points as the Wolf C-Team set a season scoring mark in a 52-44 win over the day’s host.

Coupeville actually trailed for half of the game, staying close but finding itself down 12-8 after one quarter and 20-18 at the half.

Things changed after the break, however, as the Wolves more than doubled their output in the third quarter, using a 19-12 run fueled by six points apiece from Coffman and Cernick to claim the lead.

From there, CHS closed out the win by letting their big guy in the middle go to town.

Cernick wrapped up a career-best 21-point performance by throwing down nine points in the fourth, while Wasik, Coffman, and Hamilton added a bucket apiece.

Coffman finished with 14 in the game, while Coatney (8), Wasik (5), and Hamilton (4) rounded out the torrid offensive explosion.

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Skylar Parker netted her first points of the season Saturday, as Coupeville’s SWISH squad swept a doubleheader. (Corinn Parker photos)

The Wolves prepare for an in-bounds play.

Savina Wells (with ball) went off for a season-high 29 points in Coupeville’s upset of Mount Baker.

They’re on the prowl.

Sweeping a doubleheader Saturday, the Coupeville SWISH girls basketball team is riding a hot streak heading into the postseason tourney.

After scorching Friday Harbor 29-20, then earning some sweet payback by toppling Mount Baker 40-37, the Wolves have won three of their last four games.

The postseason tourney, a one-day, double-elimination affair pitting five teams against each other, goes down next Saturday, Dec. 14.

Coupeville opens against Friday Harbor.

The Wolves have to be feeling pretty good about that match-up after romping to a win Saturday while conserving their most-experienced players, limiting them to just a single quarter of play.

Those girls — Brionna Blouin, Savina Wells, Lauren Marrs, and Lyla Stuurmans — took on the role of distributors, setting their still-developing teammates up for buckets.

Skylar Parker stood tall for Coupeville, knocking down three long-range jumpers.

She, Taylor Brotemarkle, and Mia Farris, who also had six steals, all recorded their first field goals of the season during the win.

“I am so proud of their selfless effort and they did an awesome job getting good shots for their less-experienced teammates,” Coupeville coach Fred Farris said of his veterans.

He also praised the play of Madison McMillan, who “really rebounded well and was a force on defense.”

Wells (7), Parker (6), and Marrs (4) led the balanced scoring attack, with McMillan, Blouin, Katie Marti, Mia Farris, Chloe Marzocca, and Brotemarkle chipping in with a bucket apiece.

Jada Heaton and Reese Wilkinson rounded out the Wolf roster, playing inspired defense.

Returning for the nightcap, the Wolves found themselves staring down a highly-ranked team they had lost to by a single point the first time out.

How to proceed? Simple.

“We played our best game of the year,” Fred Farris said.

Wells was at the heart of things, throwing down a season-high 29 points while corralling 16 rebounds.

Zinging out to a 9-0 lead, the Wolves led by as many as 14 before a “scrappy and well-coached” Baker team rallied in the late going to narrow things.

As he savored the victory, Fred Farris found special joy in seeing all of his players contribute.

Savina really dominated the stat sheet and had her best game of the year, but everyone had a hand in this hard-fought victory,” he said. “Bri had her best day on the court today, making some key defensive steals and great passes in both games.

“Today we made big strides. It really is pretty cool to have a front-row seat to see these girls develop as basketball players and teammates,” Farris added. “We head into next week’s tournament with some momentum and some well-earned confidence.”

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Skylar Parker, seen last spring, is part of a hard-playing Coupeville SWISH basketball squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Weather the storm, build for the future.

Playing without its starting point guard, the Coupeville 7th/8th grade SWISH girls basketball team faced tough competition Saturday, but held up well.

The Wolves dropped a close one to “a very good Monroe team,” falling 30-25, before tiredness became a factor in a 22-10 loss to Mount Vernon.

While the losses leave Coupeville at 0-4 on the season, coach Fred Farris remains impressed by how his young, very-inexperienced team continues to show growth.

“The girls played their tails off,” he said. “It’s remarkable how far these girls have come in such a short time, especially considering all but four of the girls have essentially no experience.

“Couldn’t be prouder of their effort.”

The Wolves were without Lauren Marrs, their primary ball handler and a potent scorer, who is battling through a back injury.

Even without her talent as a distributor, Coupeville battled back from 10 down against Monroe to pull within 26-25.

Savina Wells, who paced the Wolves in scoring in both contests Saturday, had “a good look rim out” with two minutes to play, while a follow up put-back from Jada Heaton refused to stay in the bucket, going in, then popping back out.

Without Marrs in the lineup, “Mia (Farris) and Lyla (Stuurmans) were thrust into ball-handling duties and did an admirable job.”

Fred Farris also praised Madison McMillan, who “was everywhere, on the boards and on defense, and scored two big baskets during the comeback.”

Savina was her usual reliable self,” he added. “It felt like she had 2000 rebounds in the two games and really took charge when we needed her to.”

Coupeville had to bounce right back after its narrow opening loss, playing Mount Vernon less than 10 minutes after the first game ended.

“The girls were clearly gassed and Mount Vernon’s “packed in” 2-3 zone made it tough for us to get to the basket and we struggled to hit outside shots,” Fred Farris said.

“The refs let the game get too physical on both sides, and that, with a very slippery La Venture Middle School gym floor made for a very chippy second half.”

Wells paced the Wolves, dropping 12 points in the opener and another seven in the nightcap, while Brionna Blouin went for five and three.

McMillan (4), Stuurmans (3), and Mia Farris (1) also scored against Monroe.

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Chelsea Prescott had five RBI, three hits, and two slide-induced battle scars Friday as Coupeville softball swept a doubleheader. (Photo by Cory Prescott)

Seniors (l to r) Nicole Laxton, Veronica Crownover, and Sarah Wright celebrate their home finale with confetti cannons. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Two for the price of one.

Rolling hot on Senior Night, the Coupeville High School softball squad swept a doubleheader from visiting Sultan, keeping alive its hopes of sharing a league title.

The Wolves had to scrape a bit in the opener, eventually pulling out a 7-4 win, then let the bats bark in the nightcap, cruising to a 15-2 victory in a game mercy-ruled after five innings.

The sweep gives Coupeville seven wins in its last nine games, lifting it to 8-3 in North Sound Conference action, 11-7 overall.

The Wolves sit a half-game back of Granite Falls (8-2, 11-6) as everyone waits for the result of that team’s Friday game against third-place Cedar Park Christian (6-3, 11-4).

Coupeville has one regular-season game left, next Tuesday at South Whidbey (2-8, 5-11), while Granite travels to Sultan (1-9, 1-12) two days later.

As we wait for the much-anticipated Granite/CPC score to surface, which it hadn’t done as of 11:21 PM Friday, here’s a look at how Coupeville’s twin-bill played out:

 

Game 1:

Coupeville’s varsity seniors — Veronica Crownover, Sarah Wright, and Nicole Laxton — have played all four years for CHS coach Kevin McGranahan, with the first two players beginning with him all the way back in little league.

While the trio didn’t seem to let emotion stumble them too badly, combining for four hits and two walks in the opening game, the Wolves, as a team, didn’t jump out quite as hot as might have been expected.

The first time these teams played Coupeville strolled to a 12-0 win, but this time they had to fight from behind.

At least for a nerve-wracking 90 seconds or so.

The Turks opened the game with three straight singles, pushing a run across and looking like they were in the mood to add more.

And then the Wolves slapped Sultan back into reality.

As the third base-knock bounced into right field, Coupeville fired up the ol’ double play machine, driving a stake through the Turks collective heart like a film critic trashing the mopey vampires of Twilight.

Snagging the bouncing ball, Wolf right-fielder Coral Caveness snapped the ball to second-baseman Scout Smith, who whirled and fired a laser right onto Wright’s glove at home.

The CHS catcher smacked the tag on the incoming Turk for one out, before promptly flicking the ball across the field to shortstop Chelsea Prescott to nail the batter straggling into second.

Wham, bam, game over.

OK, maybe not quite yet according to the scoreboard, but emotionally a lot of the life oozed out of the Turks at that moment.

Taking advantage, the Wolves pushed two runners across in the bottom of the inning to take a lead they would never relinquish.

It started with Smith wearing a pitch, the splat of ball against backside echoing across the prairie.

Two outs later, just at the moment the Turks thought they might escape unscathed, the hits started poppin’ off of bats.

Wright mashed an RBI single to center, Mollie Bailey crunched a wicked liner off of a fielder’s glove, and then Crownover tagged a single to left.

Coupeville looked ready to light off an offensive firework show, only to see its momentum suddenly, freakishly, come to a halt.

While Wolf pitcher Izzy Wells was gunning down batter after batter, the Wolves loaded the bases in both the second and third frame, only to end their rallies prematurely with inning-ending infield pop-ups.

As he scratched his head in wonderment and frustration, McGranahan was a man looking for a spark.

“We came out a little flat,” he said. “Probably due to the anticipation and jitters of Senior Night to come between games.”

Coupeville’s defense, like a pretty play on which Wright and Prescott teamed up to wreck a would-be double-steal, kept the one-run lead intact, and, eventually, the Wolves got more.

CHS added two runs in the fourth, on a passed ball and a Crownover RBI ground-out, and one more in the fifth thanks to a Emma Mathusek sac fly.

Sultan doesn’t have a great record, but they have a scrappy, senior-heavy roster, and the Turks don’t go down easily.

They showed that by rallying for three runs in the top of the sixth, taking advantage of a brief bit of sloppy play by Coupeville, and cutting the margin back to 5-4.

Wells, the freshman hurler who injects ice water into her veins before striding into the pitcher’s circle, never blinked, though, notching her eighth strikeout of the day to end the surge.

Her seniors stepped up immediately to give her a final bit of cushion.

Wright led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, Crownover whaled on a ball, leaving it two inches shy of the fence for a very long sac fly, then Laxton slapped the punctuation mark on the whole affair.

After appearing to ground-out, the irrepressible left-fielder got a second opportunity when the field ump ruled the ball had hit her foot and changed the call to a foul ball.

Given new life, Laxton gave a little smile, strolled back to the plate, and mashed the next pitch past the third-baseman for what would be a game-clinching RBI single.

Sultan had a flicker of a hope in the seventh, getting two aboard, but Wells ended the game by inducing a slow grounder right back to her own glove.

“We battled and eventually came out on top,” said a relieved McGranahan. “Not pretty, but it is a win.”

 

Game 2:

Sultan once again struck first, plating two in the first, and held the lead all the way until the bottom of the second inning.

Then the Wolves brought out their beat-down bats.

Raining down six runs in the second, another six in the third, and three more in the fourth, all while Smith was dazzling the Turks from the pitcher’s circle, Coupeville ended the night on a dramatic note.

“We came out hitting on all cylinders in the second game and quickly took control and never looked back,” McGranahan said. “Our bats finally woke up and the Senior Night jitters were gone.”

Prescott, the slick-fielding, ball-thumping shortstop, was a one-woman wrecking crew, driving in five runs with a wicked two-run single to right and a three-run double.

Staying alert after smashing the stuffing out of the ball, Prescott didn’t stop at second on the last blast, instead coming around to score after Sultan made a bad throw-in, then muffed the catch.

The ball was jumping off everyone’s bats in the nightcap, but two other plays particularly stood out.

On one, Mackenzie Davis smoked a shot just past the outstretched fingers of the Sultan second-baseman, sending Bailey chugging for home.

The player who steadfastly refused to slide during her otherwise legendary little league career is now a high school sophomore, and apparently has changed some things, as she astonished the crowd by executing a note-perfect dive under the tag at the plate.

“Where’d that come from?!?!?!?” screamed one Wolf fan … and I’m pretty sure it was Mollie’s mom, Donna.

The other highlight reel play came on the game’s final runs, with Wright cranking a bases-clearing double, before being thrown out by an inch when she tried to stretch it into a triple.

The three RBI stretched the lead to 15-2, and as she lay in the dirt, letting the prairie soil soak into her pores one last time during a live game against an opposing school, Wright beamed brighter than the sun.

“Hey, I almost made it … and I got dirty! I like that!!”

Coupeville lashed 18 hits and drew 21 walks across the two games, with Wright collecting four singles and a double to lead the way.

Prescott (1B, 1B, 2B), Smith (1B, 1B, 2B), and Caveness (1B, 1B) were hot on her heels, while Bailey (2B), Crownover (1B), Laxton (1B), Davis (1B), and Mathusek (1B) all connected on base-knocks, as well.

Smith and Bailey each walked four times, with Crownover and Caveness earning three free passes.

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