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Posts Tagged ‘hit parade’

Cody Roberts tossed 2+ innings of scoreless ball Wednesday in Sultan as Coupeville rolled to a third-straight win. (Photo by Karen Carlson)

What a difference a week makes.

Through the first 12 games of the season, the Coupeville High School baseball squad eked out just 13 runs, making life rough on its pitching staff.

And then the bats came alive. And how.

After drilling host Sultan 14-7 Wednesday, while pounding out 12 hits, the Wolves have rung up 31 runs on the scoreboard across their last three games.

Not surprisingly, that’s resulted in three straight wins.

It started with a major upset of high-flying South Whidbey, and now, after back-to-back wins over cellar dweller Sultan, Coupeville has risen to 3-8 in North Sound Conference play, 3-12 overall.

The Wolves, who wrap their series with the Turks Friday at home, have come off life support and now control the race for the fourth, and final, playoff berth from the NSC.

Wednesday, Coupeville jumped on Sultan early, running out to a 6-0 lead.

While the Turks eventually clawed back to within two runs twice, at 7-5 and 9-7, the Wolf hitters responded with a late surge, freshman reliever Cody Roberts tossed 2.1 innings of shutout ball, and the bus ride home was a happy one.

The Wolves opened the game by putting their first five hitters aboard, with four coming around to score.

Singles from Matt Hilborn, Hawthorne Wolfe and Gavin Knoblich, paired with a walk to Jake Pease and an error on a ball smashed to center by Dane Lucero proved to be a potent mix.

Lucero came back around in the second inning to pop a big double, pushing CHS out to its 6-0 lead, then, after a scoreless third, Coupeville tacked on a run in the fourth when Wolfe singled and scampered around the bases.

While the Wolves scored in six of seven innings, Sultan lumped its runs together, getting two in the third, three in the fourth, and a final two in the fifth.

But every time the pesky Turks surged, Coupeville beat them back.

With the lead trimmed to 7-5, the Wolves used singles from Knoblich, starting pitcher Daniel Olson, and Sage Sharp to increase the margin back to four runs.

Sultan scraped together two runs in the bottom of the fifth, once again cutting their deficit back to two runs, this time at 9-7, but Roberts, Coupeville’s third pitcher on the day, slammed the door shut.

Coming on in relief of Jonny Carlson, the Wolf frosh got his team out of a jam by inducing a ground-out to Hilborn at short.

Once in control of his own destiny, Roberts played dangerously, loading the bases in both the sixth and seventh innings, but never broke, twice escaping with big pitches.

He whiffed a Turk with the bags juiced to end the sixth, then punched out Sultan one final time in the seventh.

The Wolf hitters gave him a progressively bigger lead to work with, dropping in a single run in the top of the sixth, then using three singles and three walks to plate four more runs in their final at-bats.

Knoblich paced the torrid offense with three singles, while Pease walked three times.

Hilborn, Wolfe, and Olson had two base-knocks apiece, and Lucero, Sharp, and Ulrik Wells rounded out the attack with singles.

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Gavin Knoblich comes flying in to score Monday during a 13-2 Coupeville win. (Karen Carlson photo)

The playoff chase comes through Coupeville.

Putting together their best offensive game of the season Monday, the Wolf baseball squad pasted visiting Sultan 13-2, and now we’re talking about winning streaks and postseason possibilities.

Having won back-to-back games, Coupeville rises to 2-8 in North Sound Conference play, 2-12 overall.

That puts them a half-game up on Granite Falls (1-8, 3-11) and Sultan (1-8, 1-13) as the trio chase the fourth, and final, NSC playoff berth.

The Wolves play two more against the Turks this week, Wednesday in Sultan, and Friday at home, then closes the regular season with three against Granite.

While CHS can’t catch Cedar Park Christian (12-0, 15-1) or South Whidbey (10-2, 14-2), and has only an outside chance of pulling even with King’s (5-5, 6-9), the Wolves control their own destiny in the chase for the #4 seed.

Monday, that meant coming out and puttin’ a hurtin’ on Turk pitching.

In a season in which their single-game scoring high was four runs — in Friday’s epic upset of South Whidbey — the Wolves unlocked the full potential of their bats on this day.

The game was actually close through two-and-a-half innings, knotted up at 2-2 after the Turks scraped together a pair of runs in the first and Coupeville responded with one each in the first and second.

After a momentary jam in the first frame, Wolf hurler Dane Lucero was lights-out the rest of the way, giving up just a lone hit across the final four innings while whiffing eight Turks.

Both of Coupeville’s early runs came thanks to two-out, no-one-on-base rallies.

In the first, Jake Pease whacked a single, stole second, then came round to score after consecutive walks to Lucero, Gavin Knoblich, and Daniel Olson.

An inning later, it was Matt Hilborn who punched a two-out single. A stolen base put him into scoring position, and Hawthorne Wolfe obliged with another base-knock.

But, if the game was a tight affair until the bottom of the third, it became a blowout once Coupeville came to bat in that frame.

The Wolves sent 14 batters to the plate, with 11 of them coming around to tap home, and the bonanza was set up by a mix of walks, Sultan errors and good old fashioned CHS base hits.

Pease delivered the biggest blow, crunching a double, while Olson came around to hit twice in the inning and smacked singles both times.

Toss in base-knocks for Lucero, Knoblich, and Cody Roberts, and seven of Coupeville’s nine starters collected a hit in the game.

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Maya Lucero, seen during an earlier basketball season, is part of a hard-hitting, undefeated Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball team. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They can’t be stopped by conventional means.

Dodging the rain drops Thursday, the Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball squad obliterated Anacortes #2, throwing down a 17-2 beatin’ at Rhododendron Park.

The win lifts the Wolves to 3-0 on the season, and, along the way, they’ve outscored their foes 58-15.

After dropping 18 runs against South Whidbey and racking up 23 against Anacortes #1, Central Whidbey is a well-oiled offensive juggernaut.

Up next, after six days off, is the team’s first road test, as coach Lark Gustafson and crew play their next three games away from Coupeville.

The Wolves play North Whidbey Apr. 18, Sedro-Woolley Apr. 20, and South Skagit #1 Apr. 25, not returning to Rhodey until Apr. 27.

Until then, they can bask in the glow of Thursday’s win, in which everything was clicking.

Starting pitcher Savina Wells held Anacortes in check, surrendering just one measly hit, while 11 of the 12 Wolves in uniform scored at least once.

Central Whidbey racked up runs in every inning, tossing five on the scoreboard in the first, another seven during a long second inning, then five more in the third to end the game early thanks to the mercy rule.

In each of the three innings, the Wolves used a similar attack plan — get runners aboard thanks to lots and lots of walks, then come up with big hits to send everyone zipping around the bags.

Melanie Navarro and Wells collected key singles in the first, before Wells bashed a double to turbo-charge things in the second inning.

Sofia Peters and Maya Lucero followed with singles in the second, then Navarro launched a double and Gwen Gustafson spanked a single in the third.

To no one’s surprise, Wells and Navarro led the scoring attack, with both tapping home all three times they batted, while Maddie Georges and Jill Prince scored twice apiece.

Gustafson, Allie Lucero, Adrian Burrows, Cypress Socha, Maya Lucero, Vivian Farris, and Peters each scored once, while Karyme Castro also saw playing time for the Wolves.

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   Scout Smith sizzled at the plate, on defense and in the pitcher’s circle Monday as CHS softball swept a doubleheader from Blaine. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

This wasn’t one player having a good day. Or two, or even three.

This was a team, from top to bottom, firing on all cylinders and beating the living snot out of their foes in one fiery, day-long assault on the scoreboard.

By the time the red-hot Coupeville High School softball sluggers were done Monday, they had rocked Blaine pitching for 29 hits, including four doubles, two triples and a home run to straight-away center field.

So it should come as little surprise that the Wolves returned from the Canadian border bearing not one, but two wins, having swept the Borderites 12-1 and 20-6.

The non-conference victories, coming against a large 2A school, stretches Coupeville’s win streak to three games and lifts its record to 5-1.

After a couple of days to enjoy spring break, the Wolves play three home games in two days, hosting Meridian Friday and Forks Saturday. The second of those match-ups will be another doubleheader.

If CHS comes out swinging like it did against Blaine, the games will be over quickly, though it may not be painless for their opponents.

Coupeville scored in 12 of 13 innings at Blaine, failing to notch at least one run in just the top of the third in game #2.

Even then, they came within an inch of doing so, their run-scoring dream only denied when Blaine’s pitcher made a fairly spectacular snag on a scorching liner off the bat of Sarah Wright.

Mostly a wild defensive move, a bid to save her rib cage from being tattooed by the incoming laser, it earned well-deserved cheers from both teams.

Pretty much every other applause-worthy moment on the afternoon came courtesy of a Coupeville player, as the Wolves mashed from the top of the lineup to the bottom.

Toss in a nearly error-free defense, including a couple of great throws on the move from freshman third-baseman Chelsea Prescott and a “I said, sit down!” throw from Wright to nail a would-be base stealer, and CHS hurlers Katrina McGranahan and Scout Smith just had to be consistent, not inspired.

Not that the duo listened, as they took turns keeping the Blaine hitters off balance and both had stretches where they retired Borderites at a steady clip.

So, a very satisfying, if long, day for CHS coach Kevin McGranahan.

“We came off the bus ready to go; the whole offense just chipped away and kept fighting,” he said. “Everybody got a lot of solid playing time and we gained a lot of experience for our younger players against a big 2A school.

“This is how we build our program and these girls are all buying into the program and giving everything they have every game,” McGranahan added. “Game to game there are stars of the game, but really, this is a TEAM, and they all play for each other. Outstanding day for the Wolves!!”

Game #1:

Using speed and base-running guile to their advantage, the Wolves steadily built a lead, scoring in every inning and pushing the game into 10-run rule territory after the sixth inning.

Early RBI’s from Katrina McGranahan and Nicole Laxton staked CHS to a 2-0 lead, then Wright and Veronica Crownover bashed back-to-back run-producing base-knocks in the third to help their team begin to pull away.

Coupeville really surged in the fourth, when Laxton and Mackenzie Davis came around to score on a two-run single by Lauren Rose.

Davis beat the throw to home by a millisecond, dipping to get below the tag at just the right moment.

Hope Lodell cranked a wicked liner to center field to spur a rally in the fifth, and the Wolves came within an out of pulling off the shutout before Blaine scored its solitary run.

The bottom of the sixth also included some major Katrina McGranahan mojo, as she recorded her seventh and eighth strikeouts, then accidentally exploded an inside pitch off a Borderite batter’s hip.

Ball hit bone with the kind of sound normally reserved for runaway semi trucks hitting grocery carts full of glass bottles, causing even the toughest softball lifers to flinch and mutter under their breath, “Dang! She’s probably dead!!”

She wasn’t, thankfully, and even stayed in the game, after much hobbling around while wailing “Take me now, sweet Jesus!”

Katrina McGranahan, among the classiest of all classy athletes, profusely apologized to her inadvertent bulls-eye, even while knowing, deep in the back of her brain, that not a single Blaine hitter would even remotely crowd the plate the rest of the season.

Game #2:

Showing some chippiness, the Borderites returned from the between-games snack break ready to do some damage, and actually carried a 5-3 lead into the fifth inning.

Coupeville mixed up its lineup a bit, with freshmen Coral Caveness and Mollie Bailey getting major playing time and Smith coming on to replace McGranahan in the pitcher’s circle in the third.

After scraping out a run in both the first and second, thanks largely to hits from Smith and Prescott, CHS briefly stalled out.

Falling behind 5-2, the Wolves chipped back with a run in the fourth, courtesy an RBI single into the gap from Smith, then turned the volume to 11 in the fifth.

Seven of the first eight CHS hitters reached base in the inning, with Prescott lashing a two-run triple to tie the game, before Crownover poked an RBI single over the bag at first to put the Wolves back ahead for good.

RBI’s from Laxton and Smith, packaged around Emma Mathusek being drilled (in the toe, not the hip, and she appreciates it) stretched the lead to 9-5, and then it was time to get medieval.

With two on and two away, Wright hefted her bat like Thor wielding his hammer and sauntered to the plate.

At that exact moment, a particularly cold gust of wind surprise-attacked from behind the bleachers, ripping through the souls (and across the exposed legs) of any fans dumb enough to be wearing shorts.

The goosebumps hadn’t even settled, though, when Coupeville’s catcher turned on a pitch and tore the stitching off the ball.

By the time the hapless orb dropped out of sight, landing on the other side of the center field fence, Wright was halfway to second, and she only slowed down when her teammates charged out of the dugout, ready to gang-tackle her as the ump twirled his hand to signal a three-run dagger of a long-ball.

Her home run marked the end of Wright’s day, as Bailey, who had already taken over her catching duties several innings earlier, also took her spot in the hitting order after that.

Bailey walked during a seven-run seventh, a final Wolf explosion which included RBI singles from Mathusek and Crownover and a gut-check slide into home from Laxton.

Arriving at the same moment as an incoming ball, the Wolf junior collided with the Blaine catcher and took the brunt of the blow.

While it obviously hurt, she was safe, however, and limped back to the bench to be healed by her teammate’s extended cheers.

By the time the stats were totaled up, Crownover came out as the Hit Queen, rattling off five base-knocks on the day, including a double.

Smith and Prescott had four hits apiece, with Lodell, Wright and Caveness each collecting three.

Mathusek (2), Laxton (2), Rose (1), Davis (1) and Katrina McGranahan (1) rounded out the attack.

Seven of those 29 hits were of the extra-base variety, with Wright (2B, HR), Lodell (2B, 3B), Prescott (3B), Crownover (2B) and Katrina McGranahan (2B) all making the big turn at first and heading off to extended glory.

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   Kory Score lashed a three-run double Monday, sparking a 12-4 Wolf win. (John Fisken photo)

It’s a good thing they don’t use wood bats in high school baseball.

With the red-hot swings Coupeville High School hitters were laying down Monday, the Wolves would have burnt holes through some old-fashioned ash, hickory or maple.

Seven different CHS sluggers recorded at least one base-knock, including a bases-clearing double from Kory Score, en route to smashing 13 hits in a 12-4 romp over visiting Sultan.

The non-league victory, coming against a former longtime Cascade Conference rival, stretched Coupeville’s win streak to four and brings it to 4-2 on the season.

Riding high, the Wolves kick off defense of their Olympic League crown with a home game against Klahowya Wednesday and a road trip Friday to Port Townsend.

When they do, they’ll still be carrying good memories from smashing the Turks.

Coupeville came out loaded for bear, erupting for 11 runs in the first three innings to quickly derail any Sultan hopes.

After loading the bags in the first on singles by Joey Lippo and Clay Reilly and a walk to Dane Lucero, the Wolves got ruthless.

Ethan Marx eked out a walk to force in the game’s first run, but that was just the prelude.

Score, Coupeville’s lanky first-baseman, who comes equipped with a die-hard fan section led by girlfriend Amanda Neitzel, promptly messed up the Turk pitcher’s day by ripping a resounding double to plate Reilly, pinch-runner Jonathan Thurston and Marx.

Once the runs started coming, they didn’t stop, as CHS piled together four more hits in the second and amassed another three runs.

Hunter Smith started things off with a double, while Jake Hoagland capped things with a two-run single.

Determined to ten-run the Turks, Coupeville ran the score to 11-0 in the bottom of the third, despite starting the inning with two outs and nobody on base.

Smith and Lippo rapped out singles, Reilly walked, Lucero plated two more, and, finally, Hoagland delivered again, this time with an RBI single.

While the offense was wailing away, Lucero was shutting Sultan down in style on the mound.

The sophomore hurler, putting together a second consecutive strong outing, retired the first eight batters and carried a no-hitter into the top of the fourth.

While Lucero hit a brief speed bump in that inning — as Sultan used a pair of singles, two walks and an error to score all four of its runs — he got out of the inning and was virtually untouched after that.

He threw a complete game, scattering four hits and striking out two on 85 pitches.

Coupeville added a final run in the sixth, with Marx reaching on an error, moving up on a single from Nick Etzell, then scoring on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Matt Hilborn.

Lippo led the Wolf hit attack with three singles, while Smith, Reilly, Lucero and Hoagland all chipped in with two base-knocks apiece.

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