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Scout Smith crunched two doubles Monday, but Coupeville lost a tough road game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sela Flynn had an amazing Monday afternoon.

Sadly, that’s not good news for Coupeville High School softball fans.

Flynn, who suits up for Cedar Park Christian, went on a rampage like you rarely see, smacking two home runs, and narrowly missing a third, while picking up eight RBI’s.

Fueled by a white-hot slugger, two defensive plays which ripped the heart out of the Wolves, and one of the most inconsistent home plate umps to ever go into a semi-crouch, CPC defended its turf, sending Coupeville home on the wrong end of a 9-5 score.

The loss drops the Wolves to 5-3 in North Sound Conference play, 8-7 overall, and (for the moment) knocks them into 3rd place in the standings.

Coupeville trails Granite Falls (8-1, 11-5) and CPC (6-3, 11-4), while Sultan (1-6, 1-9) and South Whidbey (1-8, 4-11) bring up the rear.

There is a silver lining, however.

The Wolves play their final four regular-season games on Whidbey, with Granite coming to Coupeville Wednesday and Sultan arriving Friday for a doubleheader.

CHS closes with a short trip to Langley May 7 to face South Whidbey.

While Coupeville is a half-game off of Cedar Park, if the teams finish tied, the Wolves would get the higher seed to the district playoffs, as they own the tiebreaker, having beaten the Eagles two out of three this season.

In the early going Monday it looked like it would be three out of three.

Coupeville pushed across three runs in the top of the first, mainly by taking advantage of CPC mistakes.

Scout Smith suffered an extremely-rare strikeout to lead off the game, but alertly bolted to first when the catcher missed the ball and could only watch in horror as it ping-ponged off the backstop and away from her.

A walk to Emma Mathusek, followed by a crisp single to right off of Chelsea Prescott’s bat, juiced the bags with no one out, and it looked like the Wolves were preparing to savage their hosts.

No matter how many times the home plate ump changed his entire strike zone pitch to pitch.

It wasn’t to be, though, as runs came home twice on errors by the CPC defense and once on a walk to Mackenzie Davis, but the Wolves couldn’t find another hit in the inning.

Still, with fab frosh Izzy Wells carrying a no-hitter into the bottom of the third, Coupeville looked solid. Even if its own offense stranded three more runners across the next two innings.

Things took a dire turn though, when the indecisive, inconsistent ump finally got consistent about one thing – not giving Coupeville’s hurler any strike calls unless she all but grooved the ball.

Forced to enter Flynn’s power zone, the Wolves paid dearly, as the Eagle slugger crunched a three-run home run to straight-away center – her team’s first hit and a game-changer at that.

If nothing else, the blow seemed to knock some of the lethargy out of the Wolves, who responded by almost, but not quite, blowing the game back open in the top of the fourth.

Doubles from Smith and Prescott gave CHS the lead back at 4-3, and a walk to Sarah Wright put two aboard as Mollie Bailey strode to the plate.

The sophomore third-baseman, who has spent the season lashing big hits, did it again, smoking a ball into the gap between second and first.

Except…

Ellie Chi, CPC’s sophomore second-baseman, made a play which was nothing less than sensational.

You can hate the result if you’re a Wolf fan, but dang, you have to (reluctantly) applaud.

Launching her body airborne while jerking to the left, glove parallel to the ground, Chi yanked Bailey’s hot shot out of the air, holding on as she crashed back to bounce off the soccer-field turf the Eagles have dropped their makeshift softball diamond upon.

Ball gets through, both runners come home, it’s a three-run lead and a big inning is brewing.

Chi makes the play, though, and it deflates everything.

Well, except for the Eagles, who, having escaped their jam, went out and added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to snatch the lead.

An RBI single tied things up, before Flynn bounced a two-run double off the wall in left-center.

And yet, the game wasn’t lost at that point.

The two pitchers buzzed through the fifth, then Coupeville made another move to blow things open in the top of the sixth, only to be denied again by the thinnest of margins.

Smith conked another double, this one flying to the wall in the left field corner, then scampered home on an RBI ground-out by Prescott, and it was a one-run game.

Tying run at second, clean-up hitter Wright bending her bat in half at the plate, just one out, and things looked promising.

And, just like with Bailey in the fourth, Wright cracked the heck out of the ball, sending a rocket back up the middle, where it connected with the CPC pitcher’s leg.

Ball hitting flesh made a sound reminiscent of a watermelon being fired out of a cannon before colliding with a brick wall, and yet, to the amazement of all, Eagle hurler Erica Giles stayed on her feet.

Which would be an accomplishment in itself.

That she staggered backward for a second, before ignoring whatever pain was coursing through her body and scrambled to retrieve the ball and nail Wright by a step at first, deserves a tip of the hat.

Hate the result maybe, but credit where credit is due – it was a gutsy play.

Given another reprieve, Cedar Park made it official in the bottom of the sixth.

Coupeville decided to play with fire and pitch to Flynn, and she bombed another three-run tater, dropping this one over the left field fence to cap a remarkable offensive show.

For CHS coach Kevin McGranahan, the game was a missed opportunity, one which could have turned out better if one or two plays went differently.

“We came out a little flat and paid for it later,” he said. “We just couldn’t get our big bats going when we needed them.

“All in all, we beat ourselves, but they played good defense and we didn’t hit like we can.”

Smith (two doubles) and Prescott (1B, 2B) led Coupeville at the plate, while Nicole Laxton and Mathusek added singles.

Laxton had the most entertaining steal of the season after her base-knock, beating the throw to second base by pulling off a fairly-spectacular face-first dive into the bag, just evading the sweeping tag.

Wright and Mathusek walked twice apiece, while Davis eked out a free pass to round out the attack.

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Sarah Wright (left) and Lindsey Roberts are coming for all your postseason awards. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Two titles won, two to go.

The battle for regular-season North Sound Conference pennants came to an end in baseball and boys soccer this past week, with Cedar Park Christian and South Whidbey triumphing, respectively.

That leaves girls tennis and softball still in the middle of heated battles, as the teams involved have a chunk of the regular season left to play.

The week ahead (Apr. 29-May 4) is a busy one for Coupeville High School, with a heady mix of regular and postseason play on tap.

Three of five Wolf programs are all about the playoffs as we head for the start of May.

Soccer hosts Cedar Park Christian Monday in a loser-out district game. Win and the Wolves play again May 1 and 4, both on the road, as they try to qualify for bi-districts.

Track heads to Granite Falls May 2 for the league championships. After that comes districts, bi-districts, and state in the weeks ahead.

Baseball gets to rest a bit, then heads to Sehome High School May 4 for the start of the bi-district tourney. The Wolves play twice Saturday, and need at least one win to keep their season alive.

Meanwhile, softball and girls tennis still have a chunk of the regular season to finish.

The netters are set to play four matches next week, starting with the home finale Apr. 30 against Friday Harbor.

After a road trip to Chimacum for a non-conference match-up May 1, the Wolves have a doubleheader May 2 at Granite.

Or, more like a match-and-a-half, as they need to finish an earlier tussle halted by rain, then play the regularly-scheduled finale.

Softball faces its biggest week yet, with four games in five days, and a title on the line.

Monday, the Wolves travel to Bothell to face Cedar Park Christian, then it’s home to rumble with Granite May 1 and for a Senior Night double-header May 3 with Sultan.

Coupeville has one more regular-season game the following week, a short trip to Langley to play South Whidbey, but league title hopes will be decided this coming week.

The Wolves sit right behind Granite in the standings, and absolutely have to topple the Tigers, or pray for a ginormous miracle from other teams, if they want to hang a banner for a second-straight season.

As we await the nail-biting, legacy-defining week on its way, a look at league standings through Apr. 28:

 

North Sound Conference softball:

School League Overall
Granite Falls 7-1 10-5
Coupeville 5-2 8-6
CPC-Bothell 5-3 10-4
Sultan 1-6 1-9
South Whidbey 1-7 4-10

 

North Sound Conference baseball:

School League Overall
CPC-Bothell 13-2 17-3
South Whidbey 12-3 17-3
King’s 10-5 11-9
Coupeville 7-8 7-12
Granite Falls 2-13 4-16
Sultan 1-14 1-19

 

North Sound Conference girls tennis:

School League Overall
King’s 5-0 6-0
South Whidbey 5-1 5-4
Granite Falls 2-3 3-8
Coupeville 1-4 1-4
Friday Harbor 0-5 0-5

 

North Sound Conference boys soccer:

School League Overall
South Whidbey 8-0 12-1
King’s 6-2 7-3-1
Coupeville 3-5 5-8
Sultan 3-5 4-10
CPC-Bothell 0-8 0-10

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Jake Pease beats the tag Friday as Coupeville drills Granite Falls 8-1. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s been like two seasons wrapped in one.

The 2019 campaign has been an unusual one for the Coupeville High School baseball team.

Having lost eight seniors, the new-look Wolves struggled to mount a consistent offensive attack in the early going this spring, scoring just 13 runs while starting the season 0-12.

And then something clicked.

After an 8-1 win Friday over visiting Granite Falls, Coupeville heads to the playoffs on a seven-game winning streak.

During that torrid stretch, the Wolves have plated 66 runners, ultimately cost arch-rival South Whidbey a chance to win a league title, and swept three-game series from Sultan and Granite.

The win which started the redemption arc, a 4-3 shocker over their next-door neighbors, proved to be huge.

If South Whidbey had won that Island rivalry game, it would have entered Friday guaranteed of earning at least a tie for the North Sound Conference pennant with Cedar Park Christian.

Instead, the Falcons faced a winner-takes-all finale in Bothell, and CPC pulled out a 5-4 win thanks to a sixth-inning three-run pinch-hit home run.

Cedar Park, which has been to the state semifinals two years running, finishes 13-2 in league play, while South Whidbey is 12-3.

Coupeville, the hottest team in the conference at the moment, wraps at 7-8 in league action, 7-12 overall, and heads to the playoffs as the #4 NSC team.

The Wolves open the double-elimination bi-district tourney May 4 with a game against Meridian at Sehome High School. Win or lose, CHS plays a second game that afternoon.

But that’s still a week away, and Friday the focus was on honoring Coupeville’s seniors — Bryce Payne, Shane Losey, Jake Pease, Matt Hilborn, and Dane Lucero — while finishing the regular season on a strong note.

Both missions accomplished.

The Wolves jumped on Granite right away, sending 11 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning and bringing six of them around to score.

Three walks, with Hilborn and Gavin Knoblich being plunked, set the table, but it was Coupeville’s bats which did the most damage.

Six singles, accounting for 60% of Coupeville’s hits on the day, sent runners scrambling and Granite coaches to weeping silently in their dugout.

Hawthorne Wolfe started the hit parade, and then Pease, Ulrik Wells, Payne, Losey, and Hilborn (in his second at-bat of the inning) all collected base-knocks.

After the early run-fest, Coupeville didn’t need much more, but it did tack on a run in the second, on a Daniel Olson sacrifice bunt, and a final score in the sixth, on an RBI single off the bat of Pease.

The senior starter led the way with three hits in his home swan song, while Hilborn banged out a pair of singles.

Olson, Wolfe, Payne, Wells, and Losey also had hits, Lucero walked three times and a game after smashing up his face during a collision in the outfield, Mason Grove returned to eke out a walk.

While Coupeville pounded the ball to all fields, Granite had no answers for Wolf hurler Hilborn, who came two outs away from tossing a no-hitter.

He finally got touched in the seventh, giving up a one-out double, but was otherwise in control all game, whiffing eight and walking just a single batter.

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Emily Fiedler and her doubles partner, Eryn Wood, teamed up to notch their first win of the season Friday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a very good day.

Less than 24 hours after being swept by South Whidbey, the Coupeville High School girls tennis team rebounded with a vengeance Friday afternoon.

With eight different Wolves winning for the first time this season, CHS swept host Friday Harbor 5-0 in varsity play, then fought to a 3-3 tie in JV action.

The varsity win lifts Coupeville to 1-4 on the season, and it bodes well for the Wolves starting a winning streak.

Friday Harbor travels to Whidbey Apr. 30 for a rematch, and, unless something radically changes, back-to-back team wins seems pretty likely.

Varsity singles players Genna Wright and Jillian Mayne, and first-year doubles duo Eryn Wood and Emily Fielder all tasted victory for the first time, as did JV doubles players Cassidy Holmes, Cecelia Camarena, Bruna Moratori, and Lola Jimenez.

 

Complete Friday results:

 

Varsity:

1st Singles — Genna Wright beat Lucy Urbach 6-1, 6-1

2nd Singles — Jillian Mayne beat Kai Di Bona 6-3, 6-4

1st Doubles — Tia Wurzrainer/Avalon Renninger beat Katy Kulseth/Tori Polda 6-4, 6-0

2nd Doubles — Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler beat Joely Loucks/Ren Di Bona 6-0, 6-1

3rd Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Abby Mulholland beat Ayla Ridwan/Allie Fleming 6-0, 6-1

 

JV:

4th Doubles — Noelle Daigneault/Bruna Moratori lost 8-4

5th Doubles — Katelin McCormick/Daigneault won 4-2

6th Doubles — Maddy Andrews/Mary Milnes lost 6-3

7th Doubles — Lola Jimenez/Annika Heller lost 6-4

8th Doubles — Cecilia Camarena/Cassidy Holmes won 6-1

9th Doubles — Jimenez/Moratori won 4-2

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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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