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Katie Marti and Co. are 12-1 on the season after a big win Friday against their arch-rivals. (Photo by Jackie Saia)

Payback times two.

The Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball squad has only lost once this season, to its arch-rival, the North Whidbey Bandits.

Since that loss, though, the Hammerheads have bounced back to deal back-to-back defeats to their momentary vanquisher.

The latest win against the Bandits, an 11-1 romp in four innings, came Friday night in the opener of the district “Softball Classic.”

Now sitting at 12-1 on the season, CWLL faces the other team from North Whidbey, the Dragons, Saturday afternoon, while the Bandits play the South Whidbey Royals.

Friday night was a pitcher’s duel, with North Whidbey’s Reese Wasinger whiffing eight and Central Whidbey’s Chloe Marzocca striking out seven.

Chloe was spectacular on the mound,” said Hammerhead coach Fred Farris.

Marzocca was flinging heat to a new catcher, as 6th grader Savina Wells, who normally plays with girls two years older on the CWLL Juniors team, joined the Majors squad.

She stepped in for Hammerhead backstop Teagan Calkins, who is in Missouri for her older sister’s wedding.

Savina called an awesome game, and she also had a double, single, scored, and had two RBI,” Farris said. “She will be playing with us for All-Stars and the girls and coaches are so excited to add her to our team!”

Everything was clicking for Central Whidbey Friday, as the Hammerheads jumped out to a 2-0 lead, gave one run back in the top of the second, then struck for a fast four in the bottom of the frame.

From there, Coupeville’s hard-hitting pack tossed in two runs in the third and another three in the fourth to trigger the mercy rule.

Madison McMillan had the hottest bat on the night, ripping three hits, while Wells, Allison Nastali, and Marzocca added two base-knocks apiece.

Jada Heaton, Aleksia Jump, Brionna Blouin, and Katie Marti eked out walks, Taylor Brotemarkle and Mayleen Weatherford chipped in with hustle and effort, and Farris praised his team’s defense.

“Brionna was a beast at third and Mia (Farris) played a flawless first base,” said the Central Whidbey ball coach.

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When you introduce yourself to the umpire. “I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick!” (Jackie Saia photo)

The bats have spoken, one more time.

Cracking 20 runs for the sixth time this spring, the Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball team rained down sweet destruction on yet another foe.

This time out, the rival was the North Whidbey Dragons, and they fell hard, losing 20-2 Tuesday to the sweet-swingin’, home plate-tappin’ Hammerheads.

With the victory, Central Whidbey rises to 11-1 on the season, having outscored opposing teams 199-52.

There was a moment – a very brief moment – when North Whidbey looked like it had a chance, as the visitors slapped two runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first at Rhododendron Park.

That changed, rapidly, as the Hammerheads responded with nine runs in their half of the first, before tossing in another 11 runs in the second inning, just for good measure.

North Whidbey could do very little against Central’s one-two combo in the pitcher’s circle, as Hammerhead hurlers Chloe Marzocca and Allison Nastali combined for five strikeouts in three innings of work.

Meanwhile, the only thing which could slow down CWLL at the plate was the fact the mercy rule went into effect after the top of the third, preventing the Hammerheads from hitting a third time.

Nastali pounded out three hits to lead the Central offense, while Marzocca added two, and Jada Heaton, Brionna Blouin, Katie Marti, Mia Farris, and Madison McMillan smacked a base-knock apiece.

The Hammerheads also picked up 12 walks, with Teagan Calkins, Taylor Brotemarkle, Mayleen Weatherford, and Aleksia Jump getting aboard that way.

All 11 Central Whidbey players scored at least once, as Nastali and McMillan zipped across home three times each.

Things get a little different in the coming days, as the Hammerheads host a four-team, double-elimination “Softball Classic” featuring teams from all sections of the Island.

Games run from Thursday, May 16, through Wednesday, May 22 (if the championship goes to two games) and pit Central Whidbey against South Whidbey, as well as both North Whidbey teams, the Bandits and Dragons.

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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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Taylor Brotemarkle charges in to snag a hot ground ball Thursday, as the Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball squad bounces its arch-rivals. (Photos by Jackie Saia)

Katie Marti (right) celebrates with teammate Allison Nastali, who dropped down the game-winning bunt single.

“My heart is still rapidly beating. Really was a great game.”

Fred Farris has seen a lot of games play out, as an athlete and a coach, but what went down Thursday night might have been a first for him.

His Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball team rallied from two runs down, then KO’d their arch-rivals on a walk-off bunt single.

When Allison Nastali dropped a madly-spinning ball which kissed the first-base line and somehow, miraculously, stayed fair, it sent Hammerheads teammate Taylor Brotemarkle screaming home with the winning run.

And the 5-4 victory, over the visiting North Whidbey Bandits, was major payback for Central Whidbey’s only loss of the season, which came just two days ago.

Now sitting at a shiny 8-1 on the season, the Hammerheads proved they can win any way you like, by blowing out other teams, or by going toe-to-toe with their best rival.

It was a game which could have gone either way, but, in the end, fell in the win column for a team which “kept their cool and refused to lose.”

Central Whidbey pitcher Chloe Marzocca, who whiffed four in a complete-game performance, kept the Bandits at bay for four innings.

She got big-time help from her defense, and led 2-0 headed into the top of the fifth in a six-inning game.

“We played almost flawless defense for four innings and Chloe was awesome on the mound,” Farris said.

Brionna (Blouin) was absolutely phenomenal at third, gunning down four runners at first,” he added. “Mia (Farris) was equally impressive with her stretches on those plays and had four unassisted putouts at first, including a dive back to the bag to barely get a runner.”

The defense finally cracked – for just a bit – in the fifth, and North Whidbey took advantage, scraping out four runs to snatch the lead away.

But with Mayleen Weatherford “leading the way in keeping the girls believing they were going to come back and win,” the Hammerheads did exactly that.

Notching a run of their own in the fifth, thanks to Mia Farris showcasing some nicely aggressive base-running, Central Whidbey clamped down in the top of the sixth, holding their rivals scoreless.

Coming up for their final at-bats, the Hammerheads needed one to tie, two to win, and were facing North Whidbey’s ace, Reese Wasinger, who had baffled them two days ago.

This time, though, the bats won the battle.

Central Whidbey tied the royal rumble, then went for broke with Nastali at the plate, Brotemarkle dancing at third base, and down to its last out.

The bunt came off Nastali’s bat and danced a dangerous path right down the line, as Fred Farris and Co. went wild.

“Ball started just fair and spun for what seemed like a week before dying on the first baseline chalk,” the Hammerheads coach said.

Taylor was up the line and crossing home before the ball had a second bounce,” Farris added. “Allison was up the line quick; their only hope was to let it go foul. I can’t believe it didn’t!”

The bunt single capped a two-hit day for Nastali, who also thumped a double.

Marzocca added two hits and a walk, with Brotemarkle (2), Teagan Calkins (2), Aleksia Jump (1), Weatherford (1), and Mia Farris also eking out free passes.

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The Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball squad is 7-1 this season. (Photo by Jennifer Marzocca)

Into every softball season a little rain must fall.

For the high-flying Central Whidbey Little League Majors softball team, the rain Tuesday wasn’t of the liquid sunshine kind, but instead came in the form of their first loss of the season.

But while the 12-2 loss at North Whidbey stings, it doesn’t put a complete damper on a team which has played very strongly in all aspects of the game.

“It is a good learning experience for our girls,” said CWLL coach Fred Farris. “We’ll get a shot at redemption on Thursday.”

And he’s right, as the Hammerheads, who now sit at a still-crisp 7-1, turn right around and host their arch-rivals in two days at Coupeville’s Rhododendron Park.

It’s part of a busy week for Central Whidbey, which is playing five games in six days.

The Hammerheads have blistered opposing pitching this season, but Tuesday night they ran into a buzz-saw in Reese Wasinger, who limited them to just a pair of singles while whiffing 12 batters.

Mia Farris and Brionna Blouin were the only Central players to get a base-knock, while Teagan Calkins, Allison Nastali, and Farris drew walks.

Central Whidbey pitcher Chloe Marzocca, bouncing back from injury, whiffed seven across five innings and did her best to keep her team close.

Chloe pitched well,” Fred Farris said. “She really battled hard.”

In the end though, North Whidbey’s pitcher carried the day, and impressed her rivals.

“We were a little shaky on defense,” Fred Farris said. “It might have been the fact the girls knew they needed to be near perfect to beat Reese on this day.

“She’s a friend of Central Whidbey. We have watched her grow into a great pitcher!,” he added. “She works extremely hard at honing her craft and it was a really special performance.

“I was proud of her.”

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