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Posts Tagged ‘Senior Night’

CHS scorekeeper Justine McGranahan lays down the law. “I said it was an error! You want a hit, maybe don’t smack the ball right at their glove next time.” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Tariana Hunter was one of four Wolf seniors honored Friday.

Sarah Wright comes flying into third after clearing the bags with a booming shot to center.

Nicole Laxton shares her Senior Night with her family.

“You can run, but you can’t hide!” Chelsea Prescott slaps the tag down emphatically.

Veronica Crownover is a homer-hittin’ machine like the CHS diamond has rarely seen.

Wright and (part of) her huge fan club.

Get you someone who looks at you the way Wright looks at confetti.

Prescott gets movin’.

All in all, Friday was a pretty good day on the prairie.

The Coupeville High School softball squad celebrated Senior Night (with confetti cannons), swept a doubleheader, and did it all under blue skies and sunshine.

In between sips of Diet Coke, noted paparazzi John Fisken fired off about a billion photos, give or take a hundred or so, and you can see some of his work above.

To peruse everything he shot, and possibly purchase some glossies to remember the occasion, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Softball-2018-2019/SB-2019-05-03-vs-Sultan/

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Chelsea Prescott had five RBI, three hits, and two slide-induced battle scars Friday as Coupeville softball swept a doubleheader. (Photo by Cory Prescott)

Seniors (l to r) Nicole Laxton, Veronica Crownover, and Sarah Wright celebrate their home finale with confetti cannons. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Two for the price of one.

Rolling hot on Senior Night, the Coupeville High School softball squad swept a doubleheader from visiting Sultan, keeping alive its hopes of sharing a league title.

The Wolves had to scrape a bit in the opener, eventually pulling out a 7-4 win, then let the bats bark in the nightcap, cruising to a 15-2 victory in a game mercy-ruled after five innings.

The sweep gives Coupeville seven wins in its last nine games, lifting it to 8-3 in North Sound Conference action, 11-7 overall.

The Wolves sit a half-game back of Granite Falls (8-2, 11-6) as everyone waits for the result of that team’s Friday game against third-place Cedar Park Christian (6-3, 11-4).

Coupeville has one regular-season game left, next Tuesday at South Whidbey (2-8, 5-11), while Granite travels to Sultan (1-9, 1-12) two days later.

As we wait for the much-anticipated Granite/CPC score to surface, which it hadn’t done as of 11:21 PM Friday, here’s a look at how Coupeville’s twin-bill played out:

 

Game 1:

Coupeville’s varsity seniors — Veronica Crownover, Sarah Wright, and Nicole Laxton — have played all four years for CHS coach Kevin McGranahan, with the first two players beginning with him all the way back in little league.

While the trio didn’t seem to let emotion stumble them too badly, combining for four hits and two walks in the opening game, the Wolves, as a team, didn’t jump out quite as hot as might have been expected.

The first time these teams played Coupeville strolled to a 12-0 win, but this time they had to fight from behind.

At least for a nerve-wracking 90 seconds or so.

The Turks opened the game with three straight singles, pushing a run across and looking like they were in the mood to add more.

And then the Wolves slapped Sultan back into reality.

As the third base-knock bounced into right field, Coupeville fired up the ol’ double play machine, driving a stake through the Turks collective heart like a film critic trashing the mopey vampires of Twilight.

Snagging the bouncing ball, Wolf right-fielder Coral Caveness snapped the ball to second-baseman Scout Smith, who whirled and fired a laser right onto Wright’s glove at home.

The CHS catcher smacked the tag on the incoming Turk for one out, before promptly flicking the ball across the field to shortstop Chelsea Prescott to nail the batter straggling into second.

Wham, bam, game over.

OK, maybe not quite yet according to the scoreboard, but emotionally a lot of the life oozed out of the Turks at that moment.

Taking advantage, the Wolves pushed two runners across in the bottom of the inning to take a lead they would never relinquish.

It started with Smith wearing a pitch, the splat of ball against backside echoing across the prairie.

Two outs later, just at the moment the Turks thought they might escape unscathed, the hits started poppin’ off of bats.

Wright mashed an RBI single to center, Mollie Bailey crunched a wicked liner off of a fielder’s glove, and then Crownover tagged a single to left.

Coupeville looked ready to light off an offensive firework show, only to see its momentum suddenly, freakishly, come to a halt.

While Wolf pitcher Izzy Wells was gunning down batter after batter, the Wolves loaded the bases in both the second and third frame, only to end their rallies prematurely with inning-ending infield pop-ups.

As he scratched his head in wonderment and frustration, McGranahan was a man looking for a spark.

“We came out a little flat,” he said. “Probably due to the anticipation and jitters of Senior Night to come between games.”

Coupeville’s defense, like a pretty play on which Wright and Prescott teamed up to wreck a would-be double-steal, kept the one-run lead intact, and, eventually, the Wolves got more.

CHS added two runs in the fourth, on a passed ball and a Crownover RBI ground-out, and one more in the fifth thanks to a Emma Mathusek sac fly.

Sultan doesn’t have a great record, but they have a scrappy, senior-heavy roster, and the Turks don’t go down easily.

They showed that by rallying for three runs in the top of the sixth, taking advantage of a brief bit of sloppy play by Coupeville, and cutting the margin back to 5-4.

Wells, the freshman hurler who injects ice water into her veins before striding into the pitcher’s circle, never blinked, though, notching her eighth strikeout of the day to end the surge.

Her seniors stepped up immediately to give her a final bit of cushion.

Wright led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, Crownover whaled on a ball, leaving it two inches shy of the fence for a very long sac fly, then Laxton slapped the punctuation mark on the whole affair.

After appearing to ground-out, the irrepressible left-fielder got a second opportunity when the field ump ruled the ball had hit her foot and changed the call to a foul ball.

Given new life, Laxton gave a little smile, strolled back to the plate, and mashed the next pitch past the third-baseman for what would be a game-clinching RBI single.

Sultan had a flicker of a hope in the seventh, getting two aboard, but Wells ended the game by inducing a slow grounder right back to her own glove.

“We battled and eventually came out on top,” said a relieved McGranahan. “Not pretty, but it is a win.”

 

Game 2:

Sultan once again struck first, plating two in the first, and held the lead all the way until the bottom of the second inning.

Then the Wolves brought out their beat-down bats.

Raining down six runs in the second, another six in the third, and three more in the fourth, all while Smith was dazzling the Turks from the pitcher’s circle, Coupeville ended the night on a dramatic note.

“We came out hitting on all cylinders in the second game and quickly took control and never looked back,” McGranahan said. “Our bats finally woke up and the Senior Night jitters were gone.”

Prescott, the slick-fielding, ball-thumping shortstop, was a one-woman wrecking crew, driving in five runs with a wicked two-run single to right and a three-run double.

Staying alert after smashing the stuffing out of the ball, Prescott didn’t stop at second on the last blast, instead coming around to score after Sultan made a bad throw-in, then muffed the catch.

The ball was jumping off everyone’s bats in the nightcap, but two other plays particularly stood out.

On one, Mackenzie Davis smoked a shot just past the outstretched fingers of the Sultan second-baseman, sending Bailey chugging for home.

The player who steadfastly refused to slide during her otherwise legendary little league career is now a high school sophomore, and apparently has changed some things, as she astonished the crowd by executing a note-perfect dive under the tag at the plate.

“Where’d that come from?!?!?!?” screamed one Wolf fan … and I’m pretty sure it was Mollie’s mom, Donna.

The other highlight reel play came on the game’s final runs, with Wright cranking a bases-clearing double, before being thrown out by an inch when she tried to stretch it into a triple.

The three RBI stretched the lead to 15-2, and as she lay in the dirt, letting the prairie soil soak into her pores one last time during a live game against an opposing school, Wright beamed brighter than the sun.

“Hey, I almost made it … and I got dirty! I like that!!”

Coupeville lashed 18 hits and drew 21 walks across the two games, with Wright collecting four singles and a double to lead the way.

Prescott (1B, 1B, 2B), Smith (1B, 1B, 2B), and Caveness (1B, 1B) were hot on her heels, while Bailey (2B), Crownover (1B), Laxton (1B), Davis (1B), and Mathusek (1B) all connected on base-knocks, as well.

Smith and Bailey each walked four times, with Crownover and Caveness earning three free passes.

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Genna Wright slaps another winner. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Eryn Wood patiently awaits a chance to annihilate the tennis ball.

Tia Wurzrainer stretches out for a shot.

Bruna Moratori fires up a serve.

Her name is Avalon Renninger, and beatin’ the crud out of the tennis ball is her game.

Playing far from her native Brazil, Moratori found a second family in Coupeville.

One final time.

The Coupeville High School net crew played its final home match Tuesday, so ever-busy photo bug John Fisken shot through town for a few minutes to snap photos, before hurtling off to Oak Harbor for multiple other shoots.

The pics seen above capture a mix of on and off court action, including the Senior Night celebration for Bruna Moratori.

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Coupeville’s Avalon Renninger – a scary, scary woman on the tennis court. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Second time around, things got a little crazy.

Four days ago, the Coupeville High School girls tennis team swept Friday Harbor 5-0 while on a tour of the outer islands.

Jump forward to Tuesday, the Wolves were back at home, it was Senior Night for foreign exchange student Bruna Moratori, and everything spun off in new, and sometimes, exciting, directions.

Coupeville still won the rematch, but this time it was 4-0 as #1 singles, against all odds, ended in a tie.

Yes, a tie, and not even on the soccer field.

There were a lot of contributing factors.

Friday Harbor showed up a bit later than expected, and when you live in the outer islands, there comes a time when you have to sprint for the last ferry or forever be stuck on Whidbey to deal with rogue wandering bears.

But mainly it was because Coupeville’s Genna Wright and Friday Harbor’s Aida Must waged a war of attrition, mixing up styles of play, swapping power for precision, and refusing to give an inch.

Wright won the first set, Must the second, then the Wolf sophomore dug down deep to save herself in the final frame, roaring back from 5-3 down to knot things up at 5-5.

The only players still on the court as the sun dipped, and, far off, a ferry tooted a plaintive horn, the duo would have stayed out there all night if allowed.

But it wasn’t to be, as reality intruded and the Friday Harbor van screamed out of the Coupeville parking lot on two wheels, the last player diving through the open door on a dead sprint.

It capped a wild afternoon in which three of five varsity matches went the full three sets.

While Wright’s rumble didn’t quite reach the finish line, the Wolf duos of Moratori/Jaimee Masters and Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler both rallied to pull out wins in a third frame.

The only two matches which went (fairly) quickly were Jillian Mayne at #2 singles, who was last on the court and yet still beat Wright off, winning in straight sets, and #1 doubles duo Avalon Renninger and Tia Wurzrainer.

The warriors in white (tennis dresses) demolished their foes, pounding the snot out of the ball, and leaving a notable impression on the players on the other side of the net.

“I’m not built to play that blonde girl!,” whispered one Friday Harbor netter as she marveled at Renninger’s wicked power. “She scared me sometimes!”

“And that other girl … zip, zip, zip, every shot,” murmured her partner as Wurzrainer walked away, twirling her racket like a sword.

With the back-to-back wins over Friday Harbor, the Wolves improve to 2-4 in North Sound Conference play.

Coupeville hits the road the next two days, traveling to Chimacum Wednesday, then Granite Falls Thursday.

The first of those matches is the team’s only non-conference tilt this spring, while the latter will be a doubleheader, as the North Sound Conference rivals finish a rained-out match, then play the regularly-scheduled finale.

The Wolves return to Granite May 7-8, taking two singles players and two doubles teams along for the district tourney.

 

Complete Tuesday results (varsity only):

1st Singles — Genna Wright tied Aida Must 6-3, 5-7, 5-5 (ferry)

2nd Singles — Jillian Mayne beat Alli Benz 6-3, 6-3

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

2nd Doubles — Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler beat Joely Loucks/Lucy Urbach 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

3rd Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Bruna Moratori beat Ayla Ridwan/Kai Di Bona 6-1, 4-6, 6-3

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Lindsey Roberts (left) and Kylie Chernikoff stay warm during Coupeville baseball Senior Night festivities. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jake Pease and his fellow seniors closed their home playing days with an 8-1 win over Granite Falls.

Shane Losey

Dane Lucero

Bryce Payne

Matt Hilborn

Wolf coach Chris Smith joins his seniors.

They went out with a bang, and a click.

Coupeville High School baseball sent its five seniors to the exit door (for home games, at least) with a win Friday, their seventh-straight headed into the playoffs.

Along for the ride was John Fisken, who clicked the glossy photos seen above.

To peruse his action shots from the win over Granite Falls, and possibly support his efforts by buying a pic or seven, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-baseball-2018-2019/BB-2019-04-26-vs-Granite-Falls/

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