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Posts Tagged ‘Jill Prince’

   CWLL coach Mimi Johnson celebrates with daughter Stella. (Renae Mulholland photos)

Kylie Van Velkinburgh enjoys a post-game interview.

District 11 champs. (Photo courtesy Mimi Johnson)

They won when it mattered most.

After dropping a pair of one-run games to Orcas Island earlier in the season, the Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball squad was hankering for some sweet revenge.

And they found it Saturday.

Playing at home in Coupeville, the Mayhem rallied for back-to-back wins, clinching the District 11 title and a trip to the state tourney.

The big dance kicks off June 27 in Monroe.

To punch its ticket, Central Whidbey erupted for five runs in the eighth inning to pull out a 10-5 win in the opener, then rallied for three in the bottom of the seventh to nab the nightcap 10-9.

The tying and winning runs came home on a two-run single off the bat of Jill Prince.

Central Whidbey’s lineup Saturday included eight players from its regular season roster — Coral Caveness, Audrianna Shaw, Melody Wilkie, Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Stella Johnson, Prince, Marenna Rebischke-Smith and Mollie Bailey — and three new additions.

That trio is Madelyn Tucker, McKenzie Hodges and Annabelle Thayer.

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   Leave early, come home late, live on the ferry and play ball all day — it’s the life of a Central Whidbey softball player. (Mimi Johnson photo)

Everything but the win.

The Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball squad picked up a million lessons — and some free ice cream — Saturday during a never-ending trip to Orcas Island.

After taking off at the crack of dawn (“the 7:30 AM boat is way too early!”), the Adrenaline fought until the final batter in both ends of a doubleheader.

While Central Whidbey fell 6-5 and 7-6, with the second game going into extra innings, coach Mimi Johnson came away very satisfied with what she saw from her team.

“Our girls were tired, but it was great – Orcas is the best team we’ve played so far!,” Johnson said. “They had a great pitcher who really worked the pitches she knew. Our girls haven’t seen pitching like that yet, so it was great to see what they could do.

“We lost both games but I would much rather lose playing softball like this than win on a blowout.”

On the trip back, the Adrenaline hit up Mad Hatters Ice Cream in Anacortes, where assistant coach Connie Lippo paid off “ice cream bribes,” a reward for the team pulling off a nifty double play in the opening game.

Jill Prince sparked the play, getting the force at first then pivoting and firing a laser to Audrianna Shaw at third to nail an incoming runner for the double dip.

Central Whidbey held the lead deep into both games, only to have their well-rested foes sting them at the end.

In game one, Orcas rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth to overcome a 5-3 deficit, while in the nightcap, it twice scored under pressure to pull out the win.

Down 5-2 headed into the bottom of the fourth, the hometown nine scraped out runs in the fourth and fifth, then netted the tying score in the bottom of the seventh and final inning of regulation.

After the two teams exchanged goose eggs in the eighth, Central Whidbey retook the lead in the top of the ninth — Marenna Rebischke-Smith knocked in Taylor Fifield — only to see Orcas score twice in the bottom half of the inning for a walk-off win.

The Adrenaline racked up 23 hits across the twin-bill, with all 10 players getting at least one.

Anya Leavell and Coral Caveness led the way with four base-knocks apiece, with Melody Wilkie, Caveness and Prince ringing up extra-base hits.

The Adrenaline also played masterful small ball, with Stella Johnson and Rebischke-Smith dropping successful bunts for hits.

Mollie Bailey and Kylie Van Velkinburgh rounded out the Central Whidbey hit parade.

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