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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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Lola Jimenez and the CHS tennis team ended the regular season Thursday at Granite Falls. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They played from dawn to dusk.

Or at least it probably felt that way, as the Coupeville High School girls tennis team wrapped the regular season Thursday with a match-and-a-half in Granite Falls.

First, the two teams finished up a varsity match suspended by rain in mid-April, before playing a complete varsity and JV rumble.

Granite eked out the slimmest of wins in both varsity bouts, claiming 3-2 victories to sweep the doubleheader.

The losses drop Coupeville to 2-6 in North Sound Conference play, 2-7 overall.

The Wolves finish in fourth-place in the team standings, trailing King’s (7-1), South Whidbey (7-1), and Granite (4-4), but staying ahead of Friday Harbor (0-8).

Now, the focus turns to the postseason, and a return trip to Granite May 7-8 for the district tourney.

Each league school will send two singles players and two doubles teams to the modified double-elimination event.

Genna Wright and Jillian Mayne are locked in for singles, while the doubles duo of Tia Wurzrainer and Avalon Renninger enter the tourney as the #2 seed, behind just South Whidbey’s Allison Papritz and Mary Zisette.

The Falcon duo finished 2nd at state a season ago, falling in the title match.

Coupeville’s second doubles team will be decided Friday, when Emily Fiedler and Eryn Wood face off with Jaimee Masters and Abby Mulholland in a challenge match on the CHS courts.

 

Complete Thursday results:

 

Match #1 (completion from 4/16):

 

Varsity:

1st Singles — Genna Wright lost to Emily Lundberg 6-0, 6-1

2nd Singles — Jillian Mayne lost to Gabbriela Schmiesing 6-2, 6-2

1st Doubles — Tia Wurzrainer/Avalon Renninger beat Hannah White/Sadie Hutchinson 6-1, 6-2

2nd Doubles — Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler lost to Victoria Rodenbaugh/Olivia Harmon 6-2, 4-6, 10-7

3rd Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Abby Mulholland beat Mackenzy Petit/Cosette Kroeze full score not reported

 

Match #2:

 

Varsity:

1st Singles — Wright lost to Lundberg 6-1, 6-3

2nd Singles — Mayne beat Hannah Yadon 6-3, 5-7, 6-2

1st Doubles — Wurzrainer/Renninger beat White/Hutchinson 6-0, 6-4

2nd Doubles — Wood/Fiedler lost to Harmon/Rodenbaugh 4-6, 7-5, 10-8

3rd Doubles — Masters/Mulholland lost to Schmiesing/Yairet Reyes-Hernandez 5-7, 6-3, 6-2

 

JV:

4th Doubles — Bruna Moratori/Elaira Nicolle lost 8-4

5th Doubles — Katelin McCormick/Noelle Daigneault lost 8-4

6th Doubles — Mary Milnes/Maddy Andrews lost 8-5

7th Doubles — Cassidy Holmes/Cecilia Camarena lost 8-3

8th Doubles — Annika Heller/Lola Jimenez lost 8-3

9th Doubles — McCormick/Daigneault lost 8-4

10th Doubles — Milnes/Andrews won 8-2

11th Doubles — Moratori/Nicolle won 8-2

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Marenna Rebischke-Smith walked four times in a doubleheader Thursday, as the Coupeville JV softball team closed its season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a lot … of everything.

The Coupeville High School JV softball team capped its season Thursday with a home doubleheader against 2A Burlington-Edison, and you would have gotten a lot for your money, if you had been made to purchase a ticket.

By the time the teams were done, four hours and three minutes had passed, with the first pitch coming at 3:56 PM in partial sunshine, and the ump finally calling things a tick or two before 8 PM.

Along the way, the teams played to an 18-18 tie in game one, before Burlington pulled out a 15-12 win in the nightcap, though only three innings were played, so it’s your call if you want to consider it official.

And a tie?!? This ain’t soccer.

Anyways, if we take it as a tie and a loss, Coupeville’s JV closes its season at 3-7-1.

The wins came against 3A Oak Harbor, 2A Lakewood, and Concrete’s varsity team.

But back to the numbers from Thursday for a second, where 24 hitters combined for 63 runs, with 21 hits and … 61(!!) walks.

The only thing keeping us from still being out there on the prairie, flashlights pointed at the field?

The five runs per inning rule used at the JV level, which was reached in 11 of the 16 frames played.

 

Game 1:

Mckenna Somes had the hottest bat of any Wolf, rapping out five of her team’s 12 base-knocks on the day, and three of those came in the opener as she blasted a double and a pair of singles.

Coupeville pitcher Kylie Van Velkinburgh added two singles, while catcher Audrianna Shaw played the long-ball game, belting both a double and a triple.

The Wolves used 11 batters and 10 of them eked out at least one walk, with Lily Leedy, Amanda Thomas, and Morgan Stevens leading the way with three free passes apiece.

After a bit of a slow start — CHS found itself down 12-3 at the game’s halfway point — the Wolves got clicking, throwing down five runs in each of the third, fourth, and fifth innings.

In the third, it was a merry mix of walks, steals, wild pitches, and passed balls, while in the fourth Coupeville mixed in some timely hits.

Somes scampered to first on an artfully-dropped bunt single, Shaw unloaded on a long three-bagger, and Van Velkinburgh punched an RBI single, before coming around to slide under the tag and score on a bang-bang play at the plate on a passed ball.

Still trailing 17-13 with an inning left in a game scheduled for five frames, the Wolf defense clamped down in the top of the fifth.

Coupeville gave up just one run, and that one came on a disputed play, where Wolf shortstop Abby Meyers appeared to make the tag on a runner scooting by, only to have the game’s lone ump rule against her.

Undaunted, the Wolves made their final stand a memorable one, scoring the maximum five runs in the bottom half of the fifth to knot things at 18-18.

Chloe Wheeler plated a run with an RBI ground-out, Somes absolutely smoked an RBI double down the third-base line, and then our old friends – walks, passed balls, and wild pitches – helped out.

Burlington had a chance to hold on to the win, and was just an out away, but Shaw took off from third on a passed ball and beat the throw back to the pitcher by a razor-thin margin.

It was a great comeback, though the decision not to play extra innings put a slight damper on things.

But, we were already pushing the two-and-a-half-hour-mark, and there was a second game on the docket, so, it is what it is.

 

Game 2:

After a brief break, the teams went back to their walk-fest, with Burlington scoring five runs in each of their three innings.

Coupeville matched the visitors in the second and third, but a two-run first inning proved to be fatal when everyone ran out of a reasonable amount of daylight.

Somes was right back at it, spanking another pair of singles, while Ivy Leedy, Stevens, and Lily Leedy all added base-knocks, with the last of that trio clubbing a resounding double.

Heidi Meyers opened the nightcap by making a sensational running snag on a quickly dropping ball right in front of second base, matching an equally eye-popping catch made by lil’ sister Abby in the opening game.

With almost all of Coupeville’s runs coming via passed balls or wild pitches, the biggest offensive highlights in game two were a couple of well-executed slides into home.

Ivy Leedy and Marenna Rebischke-Smith had the best, at least in terms of style points, but the entire Wolf lineup hit the dirt in solid style throughout the afternoon.

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The rain fell mainly in Sultan, at least Monday afternoon. (Photo by David Svien)

Some infields are built to withstand the ravages of the rain.

The one at Sultan High School, not so much.

Even as a baseball game went on right next door Monday, the Coupeville High School softball team was denied a chance to get a league win through no fault of its own.

The Wolves got out of school early, hopped the Clinton ferry, traveled down a rainy, car-packed freeway, charged off the bus, bats at the ready, and almost immediately had their hopes dashed.

While the actual amount of liquid sunshine coming out of the sky wasn’t Earth-shattering, the condition of Sultan’s field was less than stellar.

Three nicely-sized divots, one between first and second base, the other two between second and third, were full of water, and the rest of the infield was a squishy mess.

As he wandered by, CHS coach Kevin McGranahan arched an eyebrow ever so slightly.

“This ain’t happening…”

Give the man a prize, cause he nailed it.

After a brief bit of discussion between the coaches and umpires, the game was tabled, and the two teams split up and put in brief practice sessions on the non-dirt part of the field.

For Coupeville’s players, it gave them a chance to stretch out their arms and legs before clambering back on the bus for the drive home.

And, with McGranahan agreeing to let them hit Panda Express on the way back, the Wolves were off to scamper through the rain drops, hauling in fly balls and holding group sing-a-longs.

In another small “win,” the game will also be transformed from a road affair to a home game, giving Coupeville fans that much more softball to watch live in person.

Before the bus rumbled out of the parking lot, the two school’s Athletic Directors had conferred and rescheduled Monday’s game, moving it to May 3.

It will now be part of a doubleheader on Coupeville’s Senior Night.

Game one (the one postponed Monday) kicks off at 3 PM that day, then farewell festivities for the 14 seniors involved (four from CHS, 10 from SHS) will be held, before the regularly-scheduled game caps things.

And what about me, you ask?

I got a nice dinner at Claim Jumper’s out of the trip, courtesy Coupeville parents, so I’m fine. Thanks for asking.

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Returning from injury, Lily Leedy had three hits Saturday as Coupeville’s JV softball squad played an off-Island doubleheader. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The odds were not in their favor.

The Coupeville High School JV softball squad invaded Dry Creek Elementary School in Port Angeles Saturday with a thin roster and two big-time 2A foes awaiting them.

But, while the Wolves fell 18-1 to Sequim and 19-3 to Port Angeles, the experience may pay off down the road for a team of talented, but still-developing players.

Sitting at 3-5 after the doubleheader sweep, Coupeville’s young guns have three games left on their schedule.

They face Cedar Park Christian on the road Apr. 29, then close with a home doubleheader May 2 against Burlington-Edison.

Saturday, the Wolves couldn’t plate as many runners as they might have liked, but they did sting the ball to the tune of 10 hits across the afternoon.

Lily Leedy, Abby Meyers, and Audrianna Shaw each collected three base-knocks apiece, with Leedy getting all of hers in one game against Port Angeles.

It was a nice bounce-back for the feisty freshman, who had missed several games after being bonked in the head by a wayward throw during warm-ups.

McKenna Somes rounded out the hit parade with a single against Sequim, while also being praised by CHS coach Greg Thomas for her work on defense in the twin-bill.

“She had a strong performance behind the plate,” he said.

Heidi Meyers, Tariana Hunter, Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Morgan Stevens, and Ivy Leedy also saw major playing time in the two games.

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