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Posts Tagged ‘Island rivalry’

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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“Who’s the best softball team in the North Sound Conference?”

“We are!!” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

We’re #1.

Most likely.

Capping a wild regular season, the Coupeville High School softball team thrashed host South Whidbey 18-5 Tuesday, giving them a three-game season sweep of their Island rivals.

With the victory, the Wolves clinch at least a share of the North Sound Conference title, and put themselves in position to be the league’s #1 seed to districts.

The Wolves, who have won eight of their last 10 games, finish 9-3 in league play, and are 12-7 overall heading into the postseason, which starts May 16.

Coupeville won’t know for sure until Thursday if they are the #1 or #2 seed to districts.

That day Granite Falls (8-3, 11-7) travels to Sultan (1-10, 1-13) and Cedar Park Christian (8-3, 13-4) hosts South Whidbey (2-9, 5-12).

Here are the possible outcomes, with Coupeville earning the #1 playoff seed in three of four scenarios:

**Granite and CPC lose = Coupeville is undisputed league champs.

**Granite wins, CPC loses = Coupeville finishes in a tie with Granite.

Tigers get #1 seed based on tiebreaker, thanks to beating Wolves in two of three games.

**Granite loses, CPC wins = Coupeville finishes in a tie with CPC.

Wolves get #1 seed, since they took two of three against Eagles.

**Granite and CPC win = it’s a three-way tie for the title.

Head-to-head tiebreakers don’t work here, as each team won two of three against one foe, while losing two of three against the other opponent.

In this scenario, the most likely of the four, the seeding decision comes down to a blind draw done before the season by league AD’s.

And this is where it gets golden for Coupeville, since Willie Smith beat the odds and pulled the best number, which would make CHS the #1 seed.

However it breaks down Thursday, the Wolves are headed to the playoffs with a full head of steam.

Tuesday, CHS came out locked and loaded offensively and defensively, racking up 13 hits while also pulling off a season-best three double plays in the field.

The game started with one kind of splat — Wolf lead-off hitter Scout Smith being drilled with a wayward pitch — and ended with another, as Coupeville blew up the scoreboard for eight runs in the final inning.

Before the sting of being bonked had time to ease, Smith was on the move around the base-paths.

The Wolf junior scooted to second in a hurry when South Whidbey bobbled an Emma Mathusek grounder, before shooting home on an RBI single smacked sharply to left by Chelsea Prescott.

An out later, it was time for Mollie Bailey to remind folks that while her family has been anchored on the Coupeville prairie for decades, she’s more than willing to tear it up all over the Island.

Turning viciously on the ball, she paddled the offering back up the middle, skipping it between defenders and sending Mathusek and Prescott scrambling for home.

With Smith tossing BB’s from the pitcher’s circle, Coupeville carried the 3-0 lead into the top of the third, then tacked on a few more runs.

The first run came around thanks to an absolute laser off of the bat of Wolf catcher Sarah Wright, who smoked a double to deep left.

The next score might have been even better, because it came after South Whidbey intentionally walked the scariest batter they’ve known this season.

Wolf first-baseman Veronica Crownover smashed fences-clearing home runs in both the previous games this season between the Island rivals, and the Falcons were feeling a bit gun-shy in their third tango.

Twice Tuesday they waved her to first base on intentional passes, then breathed deep sighs of relief as she stopped twisting her bat o’ death, gave the Falcon hurler a long, quietly-menacing stare, then jogged down to first-base.

Your season totals for South Whidbey pitchers: three intentional walks to Crownover, counting one in an earlier game, but none to a single other Wolf.

The Falcons still paid in the third inning, though certainly not with the same sting a grand-slam would have offered.

Mackenzie Davis, following Crownover to the plate, whipped a low, blistering shot off the pitcher’s mitt, plating one Wolf, then Nicole Laxton sent a final run across the plate on a ground-out, garnering the first of her four RBI in the game.

Up 6-0, Coupeville was humming, but hit a brief bit of trouble in the third.

Rallying from two outs and nobody aboard, the Falcons strung together three straight hits and put their own three-spot on the scoreboard.

But, while it was a stumble, it was a brief one.

The Wolves answered right back in the fourth, with Laxton crushing a two-out, two-run single to stretch the margin back to 8-3, before the entire team started throwing down stellar defensive plays.

The first came from Smith, who moved to second base in the fourth, with freshman Izzy Wells stalking to the pitcher’s circle to take the ball.

Smith pulled off a nifty double-play to end the bottom of the inning, snagging a hot chopper, tagging a runner trying to sneak by, then pegging the ball deep into Crownover’s mitt.

The two teams exchanged two-run rallies in the fifth, then both went scoreless in the sixth, keeping the Wolf lead semi-safe at 10-5.

Bailey had the big blow in the fifth, walloping a two-run double, while Prescott and Crownover pulled off their own double plays to end the fifth and sixth, respectively.

Prescott scooped up a grounder, jumped on second for one out, then nailed the runner headed to first, all in one fluid move.

Crownover went her one better, moving only a single step for her twin-killing.

Glove snapping up, she yanked a liner out of the air, then nonchalantly stepped backwards and onto the bag at first, subtly waving bye-bye-bye to a Falcon runner who had taken off at bat contact only to find herself stuck in no man’s land.

While Coupeville led the entire way, the five-run margin still might have made for some tight collars, so the Wolves erased any doubts in the top of the seventh.

The first 10 batters in the inning reached base, and South Whidbey didn’t get an out until the field ump went blind and called Prescott out after she beat out a bunt by a good three steps.

Not that it mattered, as the Wolves had pushed eight runs across in the frame at that point, with the biggest hits being yet another RBI single by the smokin’ hot Laxton and a two-run double from Smith.

“We came out and scored in the first and never looked back,” CHS coach Kevin McGranahan said. “They fought us for a little while, but, in the end, we outhit them and played good defense.”

Coupeville spread its offense around, with Prescott (three singles), Wright (two doubles), Bailey (1B, 2B), Mathusek (two singles), and Laxton (two singles) leading the way.

Smith added a double, while Coral Caveness singled.

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Freshman Eryn Wood has been a strong addition to the CHS varsity tennis team this spring. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It gets easier from here on out.

Most likely.

The Coupeville High School girls tennis team has played an odd schedule this spring, thanks to numerous issues, from weather to lack of non-conference foes.

When they have been able to take the court, the Wolves have clashed with two top teams, King’s and South Whidbey, and been stung twice by both schools.

A 5-0 loss at Langley Thursday leaves Coupeville sitting at 0-4 on the season heading into a road match Friday afternoon.

That opponent, Friday Harbor, is also 0-4, and the two schools meet for back-to-back contests today and then on Whidbey Apr. 30.

After that comes Coupeville’s lone non-conference match May 1 at Chimacum (2-11), before a doubleheader May 2 at Granite Falls (3-7).

The North Sound Conference tourney is set for May 7-8, also at Granite Falls, where a long string of tennis courts stretch into the sunset.

After that, if any Wolves qualify, is bi-districts May 17, and state, which goes down May 24-25.

 

Complete Thursday results:

 

Varsity:

1st Singles — Genna Wright lost to Ashley Ricketts 6-2, 6-3

2nd Singles — Jillian Mayne lost to McKenna Kelley 6-0, 6-2

1st Doubles — Tia Wurzrainer/Avalon Renninger lost to Allison Papritz/Mary Zisette 6-0, 6-2

2nd Doubles — Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler lost to Farriss Jokinen/Ainsley Nelson 6-0, 6-0

3rd Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Abby Mulholland lost to Oliana Stange/Chloe Loehr 6-1, 6-0

 

JV:

4th Doubles — Bruna Moratori/Elaira Nicolle lost to Elizabeth/Erin 8-0

5th Doubles — Katelin McCormick/Noelle Daigneault lost to Annika/Emma 6-1

6th Doubles — Annika Heller/Lola Jimenez lost 6-3

7th Doubles — Mary Milnes/Maddy Andrews lost to Joanie/Jessie 6-1

8th Doubles — Cassidy Holmes/Cecilia Camarena lost to Avery/Ella 7-5

9th Doubles — Moratori/Nicolle lost to Ashley/Sadie 6-0

10th Doubles — McCormick/Daigneault lost 6-4

11th Doubles — Heller/Jimenez lost to Sarah/Kilynn 6-0

12th Doubles — Mortatori/Nicolle lost to Lexi/Maya 6-2

13th Doubles — Milnes/Andrews lost to Drayah/Ali 6-2

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Freshman Xavier Murdy played strongly Tuesday in Coupeville soccer’s regular-season finale. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

In small bursts, there were positives.

For one thing, the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad got to play on its own field Tuesday, something which hasn’t happened in more than a full month.

After five straight road games, and then a scheduled home game which turned into a win by forfeit, when Cedar Park Christian declined to travel, it was about time.

Or at least that’s probably what the folks running the concession stand were thinking.

With hot dogs and candy being doled out, and the stands fairly full thanks to it being a rivalry game, that was positive.

The final result on the scoreboard, with visiting South Whidbey romping to an 8-1 victory, and maybe, possibly, running the score up a bit at the end, was less positive.

But, even with the loss, Coupeville, which wraps league play at 3-5, is sitting in a decent place.

The Wolves, 5-8 overall, are the #3 seed from the North Sound Conference heading into the district playoffs, which means they get to host a postseason game.

And truly host it this time.

While playing in District 3, Coupeville’s “home” playoff games were held at Oak Harbor’s stadium, because of that district’s insistence on all soccer playoff games being held on turf fields.

Back in District 1 this year, the Wolves don’t face the same restriction.

That means Monday, Apr. 29, they’re slated to host Cedar Park in a loser-out playoff game on the grass at Coupeville’s Mickey Clark Field.

Kickoff is 6 PM and, because it’s a playoff game, admission will be charged.

Win against CPC and Coupeville advances to play at least two more playoff games, with a solid shot at advancing to bi-districts.

Tuesday night, the scrappy Wolves didn’t play all that badly, but they did run into a bit of a buzz-saw in a Falcon squad which is 7-0 in league, 11-1 overall.

“We had plenty of good minutes, just not a good game,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson. “Give South Whidbey their due, though, they’re a good, tough team.”

The Falcons scored early and often, finding holes in the Wolf defense and rattling home five unanswered goals in the first half.

After the break, the Wolves played aggressively, with Derek Leyva lofting in his 12th goal of the season, before narrowly missing on another score the very next time down the field.

Coupeville, which was playing without several starters, including goaltender Dewitt Cole, was the more physical team and bounced a few bodies around in the late going.

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Coupeville High School freshman Hawthorne Wolfe, circling a ball in an earlier game, cracked a single Wednesday at South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Seize the moment and build on it.

While they fell 8-3 at South Whidbey Wednesday, remaining win-less on the season, the Coupeville High School baseball squad exited rainy Langley with some positives.

For one, the Wolves, who have struggled mightily to push runs across, tied their season-best output, and did it by getting key hits at the right moment.

Also, while Coupeville is now 0-8 in North Sound Conference play, 0-12 overall, it once again pushed a strong team and made them play the full seven innings.

South Whidbey is off to the best start in program history at 13-1, and at 10-1 in league play sits just a half-game off of state power Cedar Park Christian (11-0, 13-1).

And yet, through the first two games of a three-game set (the series wraps Friday in Coupeville), the Wolves have been competitive with the Falcons.

Wednesday, CHS fell behind 7-0 after three innings, before scratching its way back into the game.

South Whidbey put two runs on the board in the bottom of the first, with the big blow coming off of Kody Newman’s bat, then tacked on five more in the third.

Using a mixture of hits, walks and a badly-timed Coupeville fielding error, the Falcons surged ahead and seemed on the verge of ten-running the Wolves.

But CHS starting pitcher Daniel Olson and reliever Jonny Carlson fought their way out of jams in the fourth and fifth, respectively, both stranding two runners and blanking the Falcons.

Olson induced a ground-out to end his final inning of work, while Carlson got a Falcon swinging to bring a close to his temporary problem.

Freshman Cody Roberts came on in the sixth to get an out, as Coupeville’s pitching trio matched up fairly well with Falcon hurlers Brent Batchelor and Drew Fry.

Coupeville had a shot at scoring way back in the first inning, but couldn’t quite come up with the magic touch.

Matt Hilborn led off the game with a single, but was thrown out on a steal attempt.

Bouncing right back, the Wolves put two more aboard in the inning, thanks to a Jake Pease walk and a Dane Lucero single, only to come up short when Falcon catcher Dexter Jokinen pounced on a ball and threw the hitter out.

After not getting much of anything through the next two innings, Coupeville finally cracked the code, tossing a single run on the board in the fourth, fifth, and sixth.

The Wolves set the table by eking out walks, but for one of the rare times this season, came up with hits in crucial run-scoring opportunities.

Gavin Knoblich got the base-knock in the fourth, Hawthorne Wolfe in the fifth, and Hilborn in the sixth.

It was an especially strong day for the Wolf senior, as Hilborn reached base all four times he stepped to the plate, singling twice and walking twice.

Coupeville entered the day having scored just two runs across four games in April, and was sitting with 10 runs in its first 11 games.

The three-run outburst tied the Wolves showing against Cedar Park back on Mar. 20.

The Wolves and Falcons wrap their series Friday, with Hilborn slated to take the mound for Coupeville. First pitch is 4 PM.

After that, CHS closes the regular season with three-game sets against Sultan (0-7, 0-12) and Granite Falls (1-6, 3-9), with two of three at home in both series.

With four of six NSC teams making the playoffs, there’s a huge gap between the top two teams — CPC and South Whidbey — and everyone else.

King’s (4-4, 5-8) is semi-comfortable in third-place currently, but with seven games left to play, Coupeville could still finish anywhere from third to sixth.

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