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Posts Tagged ‘extra base hits’

Sarah Wright

Break time is over.

Bouncing back from a three-week-plus break, Coupeville grad Sarah Wright went right back to tearing up the softball diamond Tuesday in Tennessee.

The former Wolf, who is now a sophomore at Sewanee: The University of the South, hadn’t played since March 6, thanks to the difficulty in scheduling games during a pandemic.

Wright and the Tigers are only playing home contests this spring, as well, as school administrators decided to restrict travel by their sports programs.

Tuesday, however, Fort Valley State University made the trip over from Georgia to start a four-game series, with a second doubleheader set for Wednesday.

The Wildcats, who attend a school where alumni include former NFL players Greg Lloyd of the Steelers and Ricardo Lockette of the Seahawks, won the opener 13-3, but Sewanee rebounded to win the nightcap 8-7 on a walk-off RBI single.

With the split, the Tigers are 2-4 on the season.

Wright had a productive day both behind and at the plate.

In the opener, the Tiger catcher walked, and smashed a pair of hits, including an RBI double to open the scoring.

Wright then came around to tap home herself, thanks to a two-bagger from teammate Peri Prestwood.

Sewanee led 3-2 headed to the fourth, only to have Fort Valley State suddenly find its mojo and start raining down runs.

Surrendering five-run bursts in the top of the fourth and seventh made life tough for the Tigers.

In the nightcap, Wright punched a pair of singles, with the first one driving home a run as Sewanee worked its way back from an early 3-0 deficit.

The Tigers reclaimed the lead at 6-4 heading into the seventh, and final, inning, before things got wild.

Fort Valley State tossed three runs on the scoreboard in the top half of the frame to go up 7-6, and were one out away from completing a doubleheader sweep.

With a runner at first and two outs, however, Sewanee found some magic.

Four straight Tiger hitters reached base, with RBI singles from Kendell Goodrum and Summer Vo tying, then winning, the game.

Through six games, Wright is first on the team in RBI, walks, batting average, and on-base percentage, while sitting second in hits and slugging percentage.

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   When she’s not messing with the cameraman, Katrina McGranahan is among the team leaders in nearly every offensive category. (John Fisken photos)

   Lead-off hitter Lauren Rose tops Coupeville in walks and is #2 in runs scored and #3 in stolen bases.

A stellar start begins at the plate.

The Coupeville High School softball squad has rolled out to an 8-1 start on the season, and a lot of the credit goes to the Wolf hitters, who are beatin’ the crud out of the ball.

Thanks to their coaching staff faithfully updating MaxPreps, we can give you a window into those stats.

PS — Softball is the only CHS spring sport that has stats online, so it’s not like I’m purposefully ignoring the other teams.

They’re just not as on top of the ball currently as the diamond queens.

The stats:

Player AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR SB BB RBI Avg. OBP
Cedillo 12 3 3 1 4 1 .250 .438
Lodell 24 7 7 1 1 5 7 .292 .414
LeVine 33 11 13 1 2 5 8 .394 .474
K. Briscoe 1 2 1 1 2 2 2 1.000 1.000
Mathusek 1 1 1.000
Nastali 13 2 2 2 1 .154 .312
Smith 2 1 1 1 .000 .333
Rose 27 18 8 1 1 5 13 4 .296 .525
T. Briscoe 20 5 2 1 1 4 4 .100 .333
Davis 1 1.000
McGranahan 28 19 14 2 1 3 7 5 19 .500 .576
Welling 1 1 .000 .500
Elfrank 28 11 13 2 3 1 6 6 8 .464 .559
Crownover 27 6 12 3 1 1 1 8 .444 .483
Wright 34 11 16 4 2 3 20 .471 .514
Lester 2 1 1 1 1 1 .500 .667

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   Sarah Wright collected three hits and two RBI while playing inspired ball behind the plate Saturday in a 6-5 Wolf win. (John Fisken photos)

   When she wasn’t pitching, Katrina McGranahan also blasted a home run and knocked in three runs.

Veronica Crownover pulled off a defensive gem at first to aid the cause.

Power against power.

South Whidbey High School hurler Mackenzee Collins is a beast in the circle, and the junior fireballer whiffed 13 Coupeville hitters Saturday afternoon.

But, when the Wolves did get their bats on the ball, they turned her own power against Collins, riding epic blasts from Katrina McGranahan and Sarah Wright to capture a 6-5 win on a frigid opening day.

Overall, Coupeville rapped out eight hits, but none were bigger than a game-tying two-run home run from McGranahan and a go-ahead RBI triple from Wright.

Both blasts ended up in the deepest, darkest part of center field, out where the deer were cavorting pregame, and the only thing which kept both moonshots inside the fence was the stiff wind gusting across the prairie.

The duo combined to record five hits (Wright held a 3-2 edge) and five RBI (McGranahan won 3-2), but they also got some assistance at just the right moments from their teammates.

On a day where, two hours before the first pitch, it would have been safe to bet the game wouldn’t get played, things zipped along surprisingly smoothly.

After much sweat and toil from master groundskeeper Mike Lodell, the field stayed firm and just a trace muddy, the complete opposite of the school’s nearby grass parking lot.

Under the strain of rain and too many tires — the CHS baseball team, which shares the lot, was playing its second game in as many days — it became a roiling pit of mud, sending cars skidding, when they weren’t spinning in place.

But back on the well-preserved softball field, the Wolves were showing resiliency, twice bouncing back from deficits before claiming the lead for good.

Trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the first, Coupeville responded immediately, with lead-off hitter Lauren Rose lighting the fuse.

After drawing a walk, Mouse ran wild on the base-paths, eventually ending up on third after a steal and a passed ball. With her attention diverted a bit, Collins got tagged one-two by McGranahan and Wright.

It wouldn’t be the last time.

The Wolves #3 and #4 hitters socked back-to-back RBI singles, before Collins escaped by punching out the inning’s final two batters with wicked pitches.

South Whidbey put together a three-run rally in the top of the second to go back out in front 4-2, but after that McGranahan settled down in the pitcher’s circle and started matching her Falcon rival pitch-for-pitch.

She got some help, with Wolf first baseman Veronica Crownover plucking a low throw out of the dirt and shortstop Mikayla Elfrank denying her former Falcon mates by running down a dangerously drifting pop fly.

Up at the plate for a second time, again with Rose dancing on the base paths (perhaps in a bid to stay warm), McGranahan crushed the snot out of the ball in the bottom of the third.

Putting medal through the metal, she tore around the base-path, almost catching the quicksilver Rose, before emphatically stamping on home with a game-tying two-run home run a second before the throw was airmailed in from center field.

With the game knotted up, both hurlers bore down.

McGranahan got aid from center fielder Hope Lodell, who chased down two dangerous blows, leaning forward to snag one just before it would have hit the ground and skipped away.

Coupeville got a runner on here, a runner on there (a single from Wright, a walk by Robin Cedillo), then broke through again in the bottom of the fifth.

Joltin’ Jae LeVine led off the inning, obtaining a hit by dropping the ball into a two-inch target between the pitcher and first baseman. Flying pell-mell down the line, “Flash” lived up to her nickname, out-leaning the throw.

Falcon fans perked up on the next at-bat, as Collins got a little revenge by striking McGranahan out, but that just opened up the stage for Wright.

The force-of-nature sophomore catcher launched a rocket to straight away center field, plating LeVine with the go-ahead run while Wright flew into third, huge smile on her face.

The smile got even bigger a moment later, when Elfrank punched a ball between two Falcon infielders for an RBI single of her own.

Up 6-4 and looking to break things open, Coupeville was aggressive on the base-paths, forcing South Whidbey to make difficult throws.

Twice the Falcons did just that, though, gunning down Elfrank at third to end the fifth, then nailing Lodell at home to bring a close to the sixth.

South Whidbey shaved the lead back to 6-5 with a run in the sixth, but Lodell snuffed any further damage by running down a long fly.

Then, with the pressure cranked up, and the game-tying run at third with just one out in the seventh, the Wolves closed like champs.

McGranahan speared a liner for the second out, then went home to Wright, who fired the ball on a bead to Rose at third, catching a drifting Falcon to end the game on a decisive note.

As his team celebrated taking down their Island arch-rivals, CHS coach Kevin McGranahan appreciated how his team responded to early adversity.

“The girls hung in there and played well for our first outing,” he said. “This team once again showed their heart and found a way to win it.

“Now if Oak Harbor would play us, we could rule the Island.”

 

To see more photos from this game (purchases fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes), pop over to:

http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2017-Coupeville-Softball/20170318-vs-South-Whidbey/

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They call Hope Lodell "The Surgeon" because she carves up opposing pitcher's. (John Fisken photo)

   They call Hope Lodell “The Surgeon” because she carves up opposing pitchers. (John Fisken photo)

Domination, mixed with compassion.

That was the tricky balancing act Coupeville High School softball coach Kevin McGranahan had to navigate Thursday.

With the Wolves runnin’ and gunnin’ to their best start in more than a decade, and visiting Port Townsend coming in carrying a 25-game losing streak, the chances of the game being a rout ran high.

And, to little surprise, Coupeville beat the snot out of the ball en route to a 19-4 win in their 1A Olympic League opener.

But the Wolves improved to 6-1 overall while shaking up their lineup, putting the spotlight on some of their role players and finding creative ways to use their stars.

Coupeville opened the game with a different look in the outfield, going so far as to give freshman Hannah Benway not only her varsity debut but a chance to start in right field.

The most upbeat, happy-to-be-here player on a Wolf roster full of players who fit that description, the whirlwind frosh made solid contact her first time at the plate, earned a walk by getting drilled with a pitch the next time up, and was a constant source of delight to her teammates and coaches.

After starting pitcher Katrina McGranahan whiffed the first three Port Townsend hitters with a mere flick of her wrist, her dad decided to further mix things up by moving freshman catcher Sarah Wright into the pitcher’s circle.

Once there, she ended up working three innings in two stints (McGranahan pitched a one-two-three third inning before Wright returned and finished the game, which was called after five innings).

At the plate, everyone hit for the Wolves, and they carved up RedHawk pitching with ease.

Coupeville plated five in the first, with the big hits coming from Wright (a two-run triple that was cranked) and Jae LeVine (a two-run double that took off like a rocket).

After Port Townsend crawled back into the game for a moment with three runs in the second as Wright adjusted to her new role, the Wolves put the game on cruise control with a 14-batter, 10-run bottom of the third.

Making the inning even more special? All 10 runs came in after CHS had two outs.

Mikayla Elfrank scampered home on a passed ball, Benway came around on a throwing error, and then Kailey Kellner uncorked a liner to deep center field.

By the time it finished bouncing around, two runners had crossed the plate. Kellner trucked all the way around as well, when the throw back in sailed into the deep brush behind the first-base dugout.

Not content with a 10-3 lead, Coupeville pushed five more across before the inning ended, with Elfrank and LeVine smacking back-to-back RBI triples to account for three of the runs.

LeVine made it to third despite being plunked in the head on a throw from a frazzled Port Townsend outfielder.

Bouncing right back up, double-pumping her fists in celebration and flashing a huge grin, “Flash” seemed none the worse for wear.

And yet, after all that, the biggest hit of the game was still on the horizon, and came from a player who spent a chunk of the afternoon chilling on the bench.

Normally her team’s starting center fielder, sophomore Hope Lodell sat to allow Kevin McGranahan to work in players lower on the roster.

Having returned to the lineup in the fourth, she came to the plate for the first time with Coupeville up 17-3 and Wright camped on first with one out.

Normally a superb slap hitter, “The Surgeon” suddenly hefted her expensive bat and crushed a ball down the left field line.

As the ball sliced through the air, caught fair territory and kicked to the side, Lodell, after a momentary pause, took off like a Greyhound coming down the stretch run.

Almost passing Wright on the base-paths once her jets kicked in, she pulled off a stand-up, inside-the-park two-run home run that caused dad Mike — the craftsman groundskeeper who keeps the CHS field looking flawless — to come unglued.

The chances he’s still screaming, and will be for the next two weeks (the Wolf softball sluggers are off until Apr. 12, when they travel to Lynden Christian)?

Pretty close to 100%.

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