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Posts Tagged ‘Lynden Christian’

After finishing second at the district tourney, Mollie Bailey and Coupeville softball are state-bound. (Karen Carlson photo)

Trust me, it’s not that bad.

Yes, the Coupeville High School softball squad fell 10-2 to Lynden Christian Saturday in the District 1 title game at Sedro-Woolley’s Janicki Fields.

But never forget, the Wolves were playing with house money.

They had already clinched a trip to state, their first visit to the big dance since 2014 and only the third in the program’s 41-year history, after winning Thursday against Meridian and Granite Falls.

Coupeville, 14-8 on the season after losing for the first time in its last seven games, is Richland-bound, one of 16 teams with a chance of winning a 1A state crown during the May 24-25 championships.

And also, while the Wolves lost Saturday, they did not get emotionally savaged like North Sound Conference mates Granite and Cedar Park Christian.

The Tigers, who two weeks ago seemed like a slam dunk to win the NSC title, until Coupeville ruined that for them, completed a late-season collapse with a 14-1 loss to CPC Saturday in a loser-out game.

But, before you get ready to congratulate the Eagles, just know that two hours later, Cedar Park suffered one of the worst gut-shots I’ve ever witnessed on a high school field.

CPC went into the bottom of the seventh leading Mount Baker 8-5 in the 3rd place game, then got two outs.

Players on the Eagles bench were openly discussing not whether they WOULD celebrate, but HOW they would celebrate, when they got out #21 and clinched the district’s third, and final, berth to state.

And then? Oh, my sweet lord…

Four consecutive plays from Hell itself killed the Christians (metaphorically, at least).

A throw went off the Cedar Park first baseman’s glove for an error.

An outfielder went to squeeze a fly ball in left-center and it somehow squirted free for another error.

The third-baseman reached down for a grounder, only to have the ball skitter off her foot, her arm, and her glove as it endlessly ricocheted.

With the game suddenly tied, Cedar Park had one small sliver of hope. Get the third out and at least it could regroup in extra innings and…

Nope.

The very next pitch sailed 10 feet past the Eagle catcher, the winning run scampered home, Mount Baker tried to decide if it was more stunned or joyous and chose joyous, and the bus ride back to Bothell suddenly became a journey no one wanted to take.

It was the kind of ending to a game, a season, a career for some Cedar Park players, that will likely hurt forever.

Heck, it scarred me, and I didn’t really care who won the game.

Most of all though, at least for Coupeville players, coaches, fans, and hanger-on’s, it was solid proof that the Wolf loss was nothing to be too troubled about.

Like I said, there’s plenty of season left for the Cow Town sluggers, who lived up to their #1 seed, and merely ran into a very-efficient team from a school which has a trophy case the size of Mount St. Helens (before it blew its top).

Lynden Christian pumps out one scary-good player after another, two dozen at a time, and regardless of what their record might be, you can always count on the Lyncs to operate with a championship mindset.

But, clean up a few mental mistakes, get the normally red-hot bats smokin’ a little earlier than happened Saturday, and if Coupeville meets Lynden at state, there’s nothing to fear.

The two teams dueled through a scoreless tie until the top of the fourth, as Wolf freshman hurler Izzy Wells matched up well with Lync senior pitcher Anny Jansma.

Wells limited Lynden to a walk in the first, stranded two runners in the second thanks to back-to-back strikeouts, then buzzed the Lyncs in order in the third.

Jansma was no slouch, suffering only a first inning walk to Chelsea Prescott and a third-inning single which tore off of Scout Smith’s bat and slammed off the pitcher’s foot before redirecting into right field.

Things finally broke in the top of the fourth, when Lynden dumped a two-out, two-run single into shallow right field, the ball splashing down just inches away from two Coupeville defenders.

Even when the Lyncs added a run in the top of the fifth to push the margin to 3-0, the game still seemed very winnable for Coupeville.

It was a bit troubling that the Wolves could only scrape out a Prescott single in the fourth, and nothing in the fifth.

But, even though it hadn’t pushed a runner past first base through five frames, Coupeville’s offense has been so torrid recently, a comeback never seemed out of the picture.

Until the wheels fell off in the sixth.

Four Lynden hits, mixed with a few mental mistakes from the Wolves, let the Lyncs slap five runs on the scoreboard, turning a taut thriller into more of a run-away, and it was fatal.

With the odds not in its favor, Coupeville finally broke through against Jansma in the bottom of the sixth, but the Lync hurler denied them a game-busting rally.

Smith singled to open the inning, then, after she was forced at second on a fielder’s choice grounder, Emma Mathusek became the first Wolf to visit a base other than first.

The Wolf junior trotted down to second when Prescott was plunked on the foot, before skittering home on an RBI single by catcher Sarah Wright.

Then came a walk to Veronica Crownover, followed by a second RBI single, this one from Coral Caveness, who was one of several Wolves rockin’ the bare shoulders, gun show look while playing under a blazing Sedro sun.

Two runs in, bases juiced, and the rally caps started to tentatively come out for Wolf Nation, but Jansma was having none of it.

Rearing back and flinging liquid heat, she whiffed her fellow pitcher to end both the inning and the threat, and that was pretty much it.

Lynden tacked on another two runs in the seventh, benefiting from a blown pickle play by the Wolves and a bloop single, and Coupeville was unable to pull off any final inning magic.

The Wolves did get their first two hitters aboard, with Chloe Wheeler walking and Smith spanking a ball to right which was dropped, but Jansma quickly reverted to lights-out mode.

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After losing Wednesday in Lynden, James Wood and Coupeville soccer face a must-win game Saturday night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s backs to the wall time.

Unable to hold a second-half lead Wednesday, the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad fell 3-2 at Lynden Christian in a district playoff game, and finds itself on the cusp of elimination.

The Wolves, now 6-9 on the season, face Meridian Saturday at Whatcom Community College in a make-or-break game.

The winner of the 7 PM clash finishes 5th at the district tourney and advances to bi-districts, while the loser is done for the season.

Meridian (9-7-2) is a familiar foe, and a higher-ranked one than Coupeville might have expected to play.

The Trojans, who beat the Wolves 4-0 in a non-conference game early in the season, is the #1 seed from the Northwest Conference, but was stunned 3-1 Wednesday by Mount Baker.

Lynden Christian and Baker play for 3rd and 4th place Saturday, while King’s and South Whidbey play for 1st and 2nd.

All four of those teams have clinched a trip to bi-districts.

Coupeville, which opened the playoffs with a forfeit win over Cedar Park Christian, played strongly Wednesday, jumping out to a 1-0 lead at the half thanks to a Derek Leyva score.

The opening goal came just a few minutes into the game, when the Wolf junior slipped a shot from distance through the fingers of the Lyncs goaltender.

Leyva then notched another goal 10 minutes into the second half, taking a through ball from Chris Cernick and doin’ what he does best – make the net sing.

The two-goal night gives Coupeville’s scoring ace 14 goals for the season, and 38 for his two-year career in the red and black.

Up 2-0, the Wolves were rockin’ and rollin’, until the refs got involved and sent the game careening in a different direction.

“Looked like we might just cruise to a nice victory at that point,” said CHS coach Kyle Nelson. “Then, things changed.”

Lynden cracked the seal on the net, scoring twice on corner kicks, before being awarded a questionable penalty kick to win the game.

“Sure looked to me to be a bit of a gift,” Nelson said. “The foul sure looked to occur outside of the penalty box.

“We pressed for our own equalizer, but came up just short.”

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Hawthorne Wolfe (second from right) collected one of five hits Friday for a Coupeville baseball squad coached by Chris Smith (middle). (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

After being forced to postpone its season opener Tuesday with 10 of 16 players out sick, just getting on the field Friday was an accomplishment for the Coupeville High School baseball squad.

Once there, a young Wolf squad, which played three freshmen, starting two, out-hit host Lynden Christian, but were undone by errors in a 2-1 non-league loss.

“All things considered, not bad, but we kind of gave it to them,” said CHS coach Chris Smith.

Coupeville gets a chance to bounce right back, hosting Overlake at 1 PM Saturday in another non-conference rumble.

Friday afternoon, the Wolves jumped on their hosts quickly, plating their only run in the first inning, then having a chance to break things open in the second.

The first run of the season came courtesy back-to-back two-out base-knocks from seniors Jake Pease and Dane Lucero.

That would be the only run for the Wolves, however, as Lynden’s pitcher ended the first inning with a strikeout, before escaping a jam in the top of the second.

In that inning, CHS loaded the bases with just one out, as Mason Grove and Sage Sharp walked, followed by Daniel Olson rapping a single.

With the top of the order coming to the plate, the stage seemed set for the Wolves to go bonkers on the Lyncs, but it wasn’t to be on this day.

A strikeout, followed by a ground-out to second shut down the rally, while kicking off a run of 10 straight outs by Wolf hitters.

Coupeville didn’t break the cold streak at the plate until the fifth inning, when freshman Hawthorne Wolfe punched his first high school hit.

A fly-out to center left him stranded, however, and a potential rally in the sixth, sparked by a Lucero walk and an Ulrik Wells single, ended suddenly and savagely with three straight strike-outs.

Lynden only scraped out a single base hit against Coupeville hurlers Lucero, Wolfe and Matt Hilborn, and it went nowhere.

But the Lyncs benefited from some Wolf stumbles, turning three walks and two errors into their only two runs in the bottom of the second inning.

Coupeville finished with four errors on the afternoon.

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CHS sophomore Chelsea Prescott smacked three hits, including a triple, and made a sensational defensive play Friday in a close loss to Lynden Christian. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They filled up the highlight reel.

Three different Coupeville High School softball players pulled off sensational defensive plays Friday, but it wasn’t quite enough to topple perennial power Lynden Christian.

Despite web gems from Mollie Bailey, Mackenzie Davis, and Chelsea Prescott, the Wolves fell just short, dropping a 9-6 non-league decision on the road.

The loss evens Coupeville’s early-season record at 1-1, heading into a doubleheader Saturday at Oak Harbor High School.

The 1A Wolves face 2A Lakewood at 11 AM, then return to the field at 3 PM for a Island rivalry showdown with their 3A hosts.

Friday, CHS jumped on Lynden early, scraping together a run in the top of the first thanks to the fleet feet of Emma Mathusek and the hot bats of Prescott and Sarah Wright.

Mathusek got things started by ripping a shot to third base, then using her go-go wheels to make the Lync fielder come up with the ball too quickly.

The ball was juggled, the throw was low, and the Wolf junior shot across the bag a step ahead of the incoming orb, earning a big cheer from first-base coach Ron Wright.

Coupeville’s sluggers took over from that point, with Prescott rifling a single into center, before Wright whacked an RBI single to virtually the same spot on the field.

Lynden Christian’s hurler escaped, tossing back-to-back strikeouts after that, but some damage was done.

Wolf freshman hurler Izzy Wells started strongly in the bottom of the first, whiffing a pair of Lyncs, and getting the first of the day’s three web gems from her defense.

This time it was Bailey at third, who almost had her head taken off by a line-drive from Lynden’s lead-off hitter.

The ball came screaming down the line, but the ever-easy-going Bailey snapped her mitt in front of her face at the very last millisecond, snagging the frozen rope, then nonchalantly flipping the ball back to her pitcher.

While she didn’t seem overly-impressed with herself, the play made her coach jump to attention.

Mollie caught a life-saving hard line, and then we had to restart her heart,” CHS coach Kevin McGranahan said with a small chuckle.

Despite the great snag, Lynden got on the board in the bottom of the first, thanks to a high looping ball that dropped into the gap behind short, plating the tying runner.

The game remained knotted at 1-1 until the bottom of the third, and part of that was due to the second Wolf web gem.

Lynden’s lead-off hitter in the second smoked a shot into right which had extra bases written all over it, but Davis was having none of those shenanigans.

Charging the ball, she snagged the rapidly-sinking liner an inch off the ground, her mitt mowing the grass as she kept moving forward.

To the amazement of everyone in attendance, the ball stayed in her mitt, Davis stayed on her feet, even while churning across the turf, and the Lync batter could do little more than throw her hands in the air in frustration and amazement as the field ump emphatically punched the air to signal an out.

The tie was finally broken thanks to the one bad inning Coupeville endured.

Lynden put together four hits, and took advantage of a few bobbled balls, to pile up five runs in the bottom of the third, threatening to blow the game open.

Prescott finally snuffed out the rally with a pair of strong defensive plays.

The first was the eye-opener, as the Wolf shortstop pulled in a throw from Mathusek after a long RBI double to center, then alertly whirled and lunged backwards, slapping the tag on the incoming Lync as she came around the base a step too far.

That heads-up play blunted the Lynden rally, and then Prescott gunned down the next hitter, going into the hole, then coming up with a laser to CHS first-baseman Veronica Crownover to end the inning.

Down 6-1 at that point, the Wolves gave up another run in the fourth inning, before launching a comeback rally in the top of the fifth.

Coupeville’s first six batters reached base, with four scoring, thanks to some timely hits and a rare Lynden brain freeze.

Mathusek and Prescott kicked things off with singles, before Wright smashed an RBI base-knock back up the middle.

The Lyncs got helpful on the next batter, when their shortstop straight up muffed a play on a blooper off of Bailey’s bat.

It looked like the fielder was going to pull in the ball while it was still airborne, freezing the Wolf runners to their bags.

When the Lync failed to hold on to the ball, that left everyone scrambling at the last second.

In the heat of the moment, Lynden, instead of getting the easy force at second base, which was three inches from where the ball landed, tried to gun down Prescott heading for third.

It didn’t work, as the Wolf sophomore stretched out her quads in a hurry, then lunged under the tag.

With Lynden suddenly flustered, Coupeville took advantage, striking with a quick one-two combo.

Crownover belted a ball off of the right fielder’s glove to plate a run, then Davis lashed a two-run single to get her dugout really jumping.

Back to within 7-5, with two runners on and no outs, the Wolves sent Lync fans into a panic.

Unfortunately, the audible prayers of the Lynden faithful were answered, as their squad escaped thanks to a bang-bang double-play and a strikeout.

The two teams exchanged runs from there, with the home sluggers notching a single run in both the fifth and sixth, while Coupeville got one more back in its half of the sixth.

That final Wolf run came courtesy of a two-out rally, with Prescott launching a moon shot to right field, then sliding under the tag for a triple.

A pitch later, Wright smashed another RBI single, skipping to second when the ball was bobbled.

Coupeville’s last best hope ended a few feet short of nirvana, however, as Bailey’s ensuing blast to left was tracked down and caught.

Despite a one-two-three top of the seventh, McGranahan came away pleased with much of what he saw from his team in a road game against a school which regularly advances to the state tourney.

“Well, little errors got us today,” he said. “It was still a good game; there were a lot of positives to take away.

“If we clean it up we will be fine,” McGranahan added. “Young team making young team errors. It is only game two of a long season. No need to panic.”

Wright paced Coupeville, collecting four singles and three RBI in four trips to the plate, while Prescott racked up a triple, two singles, and a walk.

Mathusek, Crownover, and Davis also had base-knocks, while Coral Caveness eked out a base on balls.

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“Get out of here snow, you bum!!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mother Nature will do whatever she wants.

After the winter gods dumped snow all over Western Washington in the early hours Monday, the start of high school basketball playoffs went into a deep freeze.

Games were slated for multiple locations tonight, with the Coupeville girls set to travel to Lynden Christian.

Instead, that game, and every other one, in the double-elimination District 1 tourney, have been bumped back at least a day.

The new plan is to play first-round games Tuesday, Feb. 5, with second-round games also bumped, from Wednesday, Feb. 6 to Thursday, Feb. 7.

The tourney is still scheduled to wrap up with games in multiple locations Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9.

Of course, that all depends on how fast snow, and maybe more importantly, the ice on some roads, comes under control.

So prepare for hoops action, but keep checking back for updates.

For now, the revised district playoff bracket:

http://www.nscathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2827&sport=12

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