Posts Tagged ‘North Sound Conference’

Coupeville junior Tia Wurzrainer and doubles partner Avalon Renninger finished 2nd at the North Sound Conference tennis tourney, and are now off to bi-districts. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, at least they got to skip some school.

Coupeville High School netters Avalon Renninger and Tia Wurzrainer went back to Granite Falls Wednesday for day two of the North Sound Conference tennis tournament, but never had to play.

The Wolf duo, after going 2-1 Tuesday, had already clinched a spot at bi-districts, but didn’t know if they would go as the #2 or #3 seed from District 1.

Turns out they will be #2, and all without lifting a racket this afternoon.

Wurzrainer and Renninger waited as four other teams battled Wednesday, and when the last team standing was Ainsley Nelson and Farris Jokinen of South Whidbey, Coupeville got a walk-over win in the 2nd/3rd place match.

That was because the Wolves top doubles duo beat the #2 Falcon team Tuesday, claiming a 6-0, 7-6(7-2) win.

Coupeville would have only had to play Wednesday if King’s #2 team or Granite Falls #1 duo had emerged victorious from the four-team rumble.

Renninger and Wurzrainer open bi-districts Tuesday, May 14 at the Overlake School in Redmond, facing the #3 team from District 2’s Emerald City League in a loser’s out match.

Nelson and Jokinen face the Emerald City League’s #2 team the same day at the same location.

If either or both Whidbey teams survive, they advance to the semifinals May 17 at the Redmond Tennis Club.

Wurzrainer and Renninger would face the Emerald City League’s #1 team, while Nelson and Jokinen would run up against their own teammates, as Falcons Allison Papritz and Mary Zisette are the #1 seed from the North Sound Conference.

Two teams advance to state.

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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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Lucy Sandahl and Daniel Olson root for their softball-playing classmates. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Playoff fever rages across the land.

Four of five spring sports – baseball, boys soccer, girls tennis, and track – are actively involved in postseason action, while softball is the lone activity still wrapping up regular-season play.

For Coupeville, the season came to an end Saturday night for the diamond men and the booters, as both were knocked out of their respective playoff rumbles.

Track is off to districts at Lynden Christian this coming Thursday and Saturday, with bi-districts and state still to come.

Wolf tennis hits the district tourney Tuesday and Wednesday in Granite Falls, with two singles players and two doubles teams vying to advance to bi-districts.

And softball, coming off a huge week which included an upset of Granite Falls, wraps its regular season Tuesday at South Whidbey.

Win that one, and the Wolves clinch at least a share of the league title, then get some time to rest as their district tourney doesn’t go down until May 16 and 18.

As we juggle regular season and playoff activity, and try to figure out how the softball league title battle will be decided (more on that in a separate story later today), a look at league standings through May 5:


North Sound Conference softball:

School League Overall
Coupeville 8-3 11-7
Granite Falls 8-3 11-7
CPC-Bothell 7-3 12-4
South Whidbey 2-8 5-11
Sultan 1-9 1-12


North Sound Conference baseball:

School League Overall
CPC-Bothell 13-2 19-3
South Whidbey 12-3 18-4
King’s 10-5 12-10
Coupeville 7-8 7-14
Granite Falls 2-13 4-16
Sultan 1-14 1-19


North Sound Conference girls tennis:

School League Overall
King’s 7-1 8-1
South Whidbey 7-1 7-4
Granite Falls 4-4 5-10
Coupeville 2-6 2-7
Friday Harbor 0-8 0-8


North Sound Conference boys soccer:

School League Overall
South Whidbey 8-0 13-2
King’s 6-2 10-3-1
Coupeville 3-5 6-10
Sultan 3-5 4-11
CPC-Bothell 0-8 0-11

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Coupeville athletes and coaches celebrate a strong performance at the North Sound Conference Championships Thursday in Granite Falls. (Brian Vick photos)

Thane Peterson gets ready to launch his discus.

Freshman Alana Mihill had plenty to smile about after setting a PR in the 3200.

Wolf coaches dream about their beds after a long day.

Mallory Kortuem shattered her school record in the pole vault, raising her PR by three inches.

Sean Toomey-Stout, who won league titles in the long jump and 4 x 100 relay, gets some love.

They came, they saw, they more than held their own.

The Coupeville High School track and field squad won eight events, set 24 PR’s and established a new school record in the pole vault Thursday while competing in the inaugural North Sound Conference Championships.

Along the way, the Wolves claimed 2nd in the girls team standings and 3rd in the boys.

King’s topped the league’s six schools in the girls battle with 192 points, with Coupeville (102), South Whidbey (98), host Granite Falls (76), Cedar Park Christian (57), and Sultan (9) rounding out the field.

On the boys side, South Whidbey nipped King’s by the thinnest of margins, winning the team title 142.5-142.

Coupeville (109.5), CPC (69), Granite (41), and Sultan (20) filled out the remainder of the stat sheet.

The Wolves were led by senior Danny Conlisk, who captured league titles in the 200 and 400, while also running a leg on the winning 4 x 100 relay team.

He narrowly missed out on a fourth title when CHS teammate Jean Lund-Olsen nipped him by 0.01 in the 100.

Other Wolf league champs included Emma Smith (shot put), Maya Toomey-Stout (long jump), Koa Davison (high jump), and Sean Toomey-Stout (long jump).

While she narrowly missed out on a league title, junior pole vaulter Mallory Kortuem continued to lay waste to her own school record in the event.

The Wolf junior soared eight feet, six inches Thursday, topping her best previous effort by a solid three inches.

Next up for Coupeville is the district meet, which goes down May 9 and 11 at Lynden Christian.


Complete Thursday results:



100 — Maya Toomey-Stout (3rd) 13.18; Mikaela Labrador (16th) 15.33 *PR*

200 — Ja’Kenya Hoskins (5th) 29.05

400 — Mallory Kortuem (2nd) 1:01.44

800 — Lucy Sandahl (6th) 2:37.79 *PR*

3200 — Alana Mihill (6th) 13:39.43 *PR*

100 Hurdles — Lindsey Roberts (2nd) 16.17; Ja’Tarya Hoskins (6th) 18.17

300 Hurdles — Ja’Tarya Hoskins (4th) 52.42 *PR*

4 x 100 Relay — M. Toomey-Stout, Ja’Tarya Hoskins, Kortuem, Roberts (2nd) 51.74

4 x 200 Relay — Roberts, Ja’Kenya Hoskins, Kortuem, M. Toomey-Stout (2nd) 1:49.69

4 x 400 Relay — Sandahl, M. Labrador, Ja’Tarya Hoskins, Mihill (2nd) 5:05.37

Shot Put — Emma Smith (1st) 31-09.75; Megan Behan (6th) 24-01 *PR*; Raven Vick (9th) 20-09.25; Aurora Cernick (11th) 20-01

Discus — Smith (2nd) 83-03; Willow Vick (5th) 71-01 *PR*; R. Vick (7th) 60-05; Cernick (10th) 55-03; Behan (11th) 54-10; Mihill (21st) 44-01

Javelin — R. Vick (5th) 77-00; Cernick (9th) 61-08; Mihill (11th) 58-09; Behan (13th) 58-05; W. Vick (15th) 51-10; M. Labrador (16th) 49-06

High Jump — Roberts (3rd) 4-10

Pole Vault — Kortuem (2nd) 8-06 *PR* *SCHOOL RECORD*

Long Jump — M. Toomey-Stout (1st) 15-11.75 *PR*; Ja’Kenya Hoskins (12th) 13-03; W. Vick (13th) 11-09.75; M. Labrador (14th) 11-07



100 — Jean Lund-Olsen (1st) 11.25 *PR*; Danny Conlisk (2nd) 11.26 *PR*; Sean Toomey-Stout (4th) 11.59 *PR*; Tiger Johnson (12th) 12.28 *PR*; Lucious Halstead (21st) 12.61 *PR*; Chris Ruck (28th) 13.41

200 — Conlisk (1st) 22.75; Lund-Olsen (2nd) 23.06; Halstead (8th) 25.51 *PR*; Kyle Burnett (14th) 27.33; Ruck (15th) 28.46

400 — Conlisk (1st) 51.76

110 Hurdles — Jakobi Baumann (7th) 19.23 *PR*

300 Hurdles — Jak. Baumann (10th) 48.53

4 x 100 Relay — Conlisk, Johnson, S. Toomey-Stout, Lund-Olsen (1st) 44.21

4 x 400 Relay — Halstead, Jak. Baumann, Jaschon Baumann, Johnson (5th) 4:01.03

Shot Put — Ryan Labrador (2nd) 44-10.50 *PR*; Chris Battaglia (4th) 41-00 *PR*; Brian Casey (17th) 31-02.75; Logan Martin (19th) 30-08.25

Discus — Martin (7th) 110-05 *PR*; R. Labrador (8th) 109-10 *PR*; Keahi Sorrows (9th) 106-04; Battaglia (10th) 105-03; Thane Peterson (16th) 94-05; Casey (21st) 78-11 *PR*

Javelin — Battaglia (3rd) 130-09; Halstead (14th) 102-04; Koa Davison (15th) 100-02 *PR*; Jas. Baumann (16th) 92-06 *PR*; Burnett (22nd) 78-03; Casey (26th) 67-4

High Jump — Davison (1st) 5-10; Martin (8th) 5-00 *PR*

Pole Vault — Peterson (6th) 9-00; Burnett (10th) 9-00 *PR*; Johnson (12th) 8-06

Long Jump — S. Toomey-Stout (1st) 20-03.75; Jas. Baumann (13th) 14-09; Ruck (14th) 14-07.25; Liem Solow (16th) 12-10.25

Triple Jump — S. Toomey-Stout (2nd) 38-02.25; Jak. Baumann (6th) 35-06.75

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Sophomore Coral Caveness cracked a career-high four hits Wednesday as Coupeville stunned league leader Granite Falls. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolves celebrate one of their two out-of-the-park home-runs.

They came in with a swagger, and they left with a stagger.

Granite Falls still sits atop the North Sound Conference softball standings, but the Tigers got tamed Wednesday afternoon in Cow Town.

Scoring in every inning, then clamping down on defense with the game on the line, Coupeville roared from behind to stun their visitors 20-18 in a wild and woolly affair on the prairie.

The win, emphatically ended by freshman hurler Izzy “Ms. Unflappable” Wells whiffing Granite’s most-dangerous hitter with the nastiest pitch of her career, lifts the Wolves to 6-3 in league play, 9-7 overall.

That moves them back into a 2nd place tie with Cedar Park Christian (6-3, 11-4), though Coupeville owns the tiebreaker with the Eagles, having won two of three against CPC.

Granite (8-2, 11-6) is still in control of the race for the pennant, but Coupeville remains in play to tie or outright win the league title.

The Wolves play a home doubleheader Friday with Sultan (1-7, 1-10), then finish May 7 at South Whidbey (2-8, 5-11).

No matter how the race for the title ends, Wednesday’s clash was a statement game, and the Wolves spoke loudly.

“We finally put a complete game together against them,” said CHS coach Kevin McGranahan. “We made our share of mistakes, but we continued to fight.

“Total team win and they continue to remind me of why I do this,” he added. “I couldn’t be more proud of them and watching them achieve their goals makes every minute I spend out there worth it.”

Nine of the 11 players to see action got a hit Wednesday, as Coupeville smashed a season-high 24 base-knocks, including two out-of-the-park home runs, one from an expected source, one not so much.

Watching senior catcher Sarah Wright launch her fourth tater, a blast which was still going up as it waved bye-bye-bye to the fence, was not a surprise.

Having junior center-fielder Emma Mathusek — a speedy slash hitter who lives to spray hits, then leg out extra bases, go nuclear on the ball — almost made her mom fall out of the stands.

“This is my first home-run ever! Ever, ever, EVVVVVERRRRRRRR!!” Mathusek kept on saying, while circling the bases, while being mobbed by her teammates, even after the game, as she had all of her playing partners sign the ball.

It was a game where the big sluggers came through, where the bottom-of-the-order hitters proved as dangerous as anyone, and where the Wolves, to a player, refused to lose.

In the early going, it looked a bit dire, as Granite, a team which thrives on out-hitting its rivals, jumped to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first and eventually led until the bottom of the fourth.

But McGranahan had a plan, liberally swapping his pitchers as the game wore on.

Scout Smith, who uses precision and guile, got the start, while Wells, fond of flicking fiery mitt-poppers that kiss Wright’s glove with an audible smack, finished.

McGranahan traded the duo out each time Granite ran through its lineup, and the Tigers sputtered for a bit, picking up just five runs total across the second, third, and fourth innings.

Meanwhile, Coupeville was pick-pick-picking at the lead, tossing up three runs in the first, a single score in the second, two in the third, then erupting for nine in the game-changing bottom of the fourth.

The three-spot in the first showcased the many ways the Wolves can hurt rival teams.

Smith beat out an infield single to open things, before scoring all the way from first base on a throwing error.

Two batters later, Wright let everyone move a lot slower, mashing the ball down towards the ferry in Clinton and waltzing around the bags for a two-run homer.

In the second, it was Chelsea Prescott lashing an RBI single, while in the third Smith came back around to smoke a two-run double to left.

But the bottom of the fourth was the beauty, a 14-hitter, nine-hit, nine-run bonanza which featured disputed calls, a deep dive into the rule book and the Granite coach being verbally warned.

Down 10-6 headed into their turn at the plate, the Wolves went crazy.

RBI singles from Mollie Bailey, Veronica Crownover, and Wells cut the lead, and the tying run was waved home after Granite threw the ball into the Coupeville dugout while trying to get it back to the infield on the third of those hits.

The dispute centered around the umps giving the Wolf runner two bases, saying she was already on her way to third, so the extra base on the overthrow should send her home.

Granite’s coach, who looked like he wanted to pull off a Lou Piniella-style tirade, argued unsuccessfully to overturn the call until told to step off by a no-nonsense ump with a photographic memory of the rule book.

If the Tiger headman had a sour look on his face at the moment, it quickly got worse for him, as Coupeville pasted his pitcher for five more runs before she could escape the inning.

Coral Caveness ripped an RBI single to give CHS its first lead, Mathusek sliced a long two-run single (a hint of what was to come), before Bailey and Crownover tattooed run-plating base-knocks of their own.

But Granite worked its way into first-place thanks to owning a certain set of skills – top to bottom, their lineup is chock full of aggressive hitters.

Bouncing back with a vengeance, the Tigers plated seven runs of their own in the top of the fifth, capped by a three-run home run to left.

Back in front 17-15, the visitors seemed to have the momentum again.

To which Wells laughed, and laughed, and laughed some more. All while hiding her mouth behind her mitt, so as not to crack her Terminator facade.

The fab frosh closed the fifth with back-to-back strikeouts, and, whether they knew it or not, the Tigers were done for good.

Wells gave up a bunt single in the sixth, but closed a scoreless frame with a great snag on a come-backer, before getting two of her final three outs via strike-outs in the seventh – while facing the top of the order.

That was all Coupeville needed.

Caveness drilled a single under the shortstop’s glove in the bottom of the fifth, before Mathusek got savage.

Her game-tying, two-out, two-run home-run went dead to center, shocking the young woman who hit it, and delighting her boisterous fan section.

The fourth Wolf to clear the fence this season, Mathusek joins Crownover, Wright, and Smith in the long ball lounge.

Though, arguably, that club should have five occupants, as Nicole Laxton went yard in an earlier game, only to have a blind ump with a bad sight-line call it a ground-rule double.

Still going to argue that one for a long time…

With the game on the line in the bottom of the sixth, Coupeville got big blows from its old-timers and young whippersnappers alike.

Wright and Bailey poked singles to get things rolling, before Crownover and Wells pasted doubles, the first base-knock cracking the tie, the latter tacking on two insurance runs.

And yet, throats were dry in the Wolf fan section as the top of the seventh rolled around.

Granite, down just three, and with its most-lethal hitters striding to the plate, still presented major issues.

To which Wells laughed, and laughed some more. While keeping it all inside, her face impassive under her mask.

The lead-off batter, a very-artful slap hitter, plunked a double to left, then scooted to third on a passed ball, but Coupeville’s freshman pitcher reared back and gunned down the next Tiger swinging.

Facing a full count on the #3 hitter, with big-time masher Samantha Vanderwel on deck, Wells coaxed a deep fly to Mathusek in center.

While the sac fly plated a run, it accomplished two major feats — clearing the bases and pushing the Wolves an out away from the win, while not giving Granite’s cleanup hitter a chance to tie things up.

Vanderwel was still swinging from the bottom of her shoes, though, and her final face-off with Wells resembled two gunfighters circling each other at high noon.

Even if it was pushing 6:30 PM and the game was headed for a three-hour running time.

For one brief, fateful moment, all the birds stopped singing, the sun halted its descent to watch things play out, and the fans forgot to breathe.

Wells arm shot down, the ball exploded forward, Vanderwel’s bat whistled through the evening air, and one loud, joyous pop sounded as a final strike nestled deep in Wright’s mitt.

And then pandemonium broke loose.

Mitts went into the air.

Wolves screamed.

Wells might even have smiled, but only when everyone wasn’t looking, cause that’s how Terminators operate.

The furious comeback, the frantic finish, the emotional end, all capped a remarkably-balanced performance.

Caveness (a “Swiss Army knife” who played three positions), Smith, and Wright collected four hits apiece, while Crownover had three, and Mathusek, Prescott, Wells, and Bailey each ripped a pair.

Rounding out the hit parade was Mackenzie Davis and her single to center in the third inning was a thing of beauty, jumping off her bat, biting a chunk out of the field as it hit, and launching a key rally.

Laxton and Audrianna Shaw also saw playing time, while Chloe Wheeler was a vibrant part of the world’s loudest dugout, as Coupeville once again got contributions from everyone on the roster.

McGranahan has 12 Wolves in uniform, a unit that is rockin’ and rollin’ and not afraid of anyone, any time, any place.

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