Posts Tagged ‘Softball’

Sofia Peters (left) and Gwen Gustafson are part of a “bright future” for Coupeville High School softball. (Photo courtesy Irene Gustafson)

Wins are nice, growth even better.

Getting some of both, the Coupeville High School softball squad strolled to an 8-2 win over next door neighbor Oak Harbor Wednesday, running its summer league winning streak to four games.

The Wolves enjoyed a bigger roster than before, with incoming freshmen who played on the Whidbey Island All-Star juniors team in uniform for the first time.

That group was coming off a district title and a four-game run at the state little league tourney.

“All the new freshmen played for the first time last night and did a great job, with some minor hiccups along the way,” said CHS coach Kevin McGranahan.

“But, all in all, I was impressed with their poise and how they competed,” he added. “The Wolf fastpitch program has a very bright future.”

With the influx of new players, McGranahan had to shuffle his lineup a bit to insure playing time for the newcomers.

“It is impossible to play 20 girls in one game, so I want to thank those that I asked to take a week off,” he said. “You gave the younger girls valuable experience last night.

“Thanks for being unselfish and “taking one for the team”.”

Coupeville closes summer league play next Wednesday, July 28, when it plays its final two games of the off-season.

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Jada Heaton (left) and Mia Farris, ready to rock the softball diamond. (Jennifer Heaton photo)

“I have a great group of friends I play softball with. Every year we strive to be better.”

That’s working out quite nicely for Jada Heaton, as she and her playing companions have done exactly that — get progressively stronger and more-talented with each season.

The group has piled up wins, captured district titles, and made runs at the state tourney as little leaguers, capped by a recent fourth-place finish at the big dance in Vancouver while playing as the Whidbey Island All-Star juniors squad.

Along the way, a quick scan of photos shows Heaton almost always wearing a huge smile while in action, whether spraying hits at the plate or chasing down long bombs to the outfield.

“Get back here, you!” Heaton pulls off a Willie Mays-style catch near the outfield wall. (Jackie Saia photo)

The young star on the rise derives a great deal of joy from her time on the field, and her time spent with a close-knit group of friends.

“Softball is my favorite, because I’ve been playing since I was little,” Heaton said. “I like playing sports with my friends as a team. Win or lose. Trying to always get better.”

Now, with her little league days having come to an end after big wins at the state tourney over teams from Puyallup and Mukilteo, she’s on the path to beginning a new career as an athlete.

Heaton will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, and plans to play volleyball, basketball, and softball for the Wolves.

“I’m excited to play them all in high school,” she said. “I want to keep getting better; hopefully letter in all three of those sports.”

“Hand me my bat, ladies. Mama has to go wreck some fools!” (Jackie Saia photo)

Athletics keep Heaton hopping — “Not much time for anything besides sports,” she said with a laugh — but she did have a great time in one particular class.

“I enjoyed working on the middle school yearbook,” she said. “Hoping I will be on the yearbook staff for high school.”

In everything she does, Heaton leans on those close to her for positive reinforcement.

“My family is always supporting me,” she said. “I (also) have an amazing group of friends.

“Most of us have been together since preschool,” Heaton added. “I am thankful for their friendship.”

Regardless of which of her sports she’s playing at a given moment, she always tries to approach things with a can-do outlook.

“One of my strengths as an athlete would be my attitude,” Heaton said. “I try hard to encourage my teammates.

“I also listen to my coaches good and bad. Learn from what they are telling me,” she added. “I will work 110% and not give up. Working hard, but also having fun doing it.”

The happy warrior. (Corinn Parker photo)

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Taylor Brotemarkle, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, is a high-achiever with a bright future. (Jackie Saia photo)

Taylor Brotemarkle has big dreams.

The Coupeville High School freshman-to-be is coming off a very-successful trip to the state tourney with the Whidbey Island All-Star juniors softball team.

Brotemarkle and her squad, which included seven girls each from Coupeville and Oak Harbor, rolled to a district title, then split four games at the big dance, finishing fourth out of eight teams.

As the Inferno eliminated teams from Puyallup and Mukilteo, a key player, on both offense and defense, was their go-go sparkplug.

A three-sport athlete who loves the animated super hero film Incredibles 2, hanging out with her pack of close friends, and attending language arts class, she’s part of a very-promising group from the CHS Class of 2025.

Now, as Brotemarkle gets ready for the next stage of her school days, she has a bold plan in place for her high school athletic career.

“(I want) to win a state title for softball,” she said.

“I dare you to throw that ball, sister!” (Jackie Saia photo)

Don’t doubt her commitment to the cause, as Brotemarkle has already shown a strong work ethic, and a high desire to achieve.

The young star, who delights in “the memories I get to make, and the competitiveness” of being an athlete, hails a future teammate and a current coach with a close personal connection for their help along the way.

“My friend Bella (Whalen) has helped me grow so much as an athlete, as well as my mom, (Kimberly), who is one of my softball coaches,” Brotemarkle said.

Mom and daughter celebrate winning a district softball title in 2019. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

After playing volleyball, basketball, and softball through middle school, she plans to “definitely stick with softball as well as volleyball” in high school.

While she enjoys, and excels, in all of her activities, Brotemarkle would choose diamond life as her #1 path.

“Softball (is my favorite), because I have one of the most amazing groups of girls for a team,” she said. “And they make it so much fun, and we have made such great memories.”

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Adyson Morales digs in at the state tourney. (Jackie Saia photos)

They fought to the last swing, and the last click of the camera.

The Whidbey Island All-Star juniors softball squad claimed a district title, then finished fourth at state despite missing key players with injury and illness.

Along the way, team mom Jackie Saia (whose daughter, Teagan Calkins, was on fire at the plate) snapped away, and the pics above and below are courtesy her.

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Izzy Wells fired BB’s Wednesday as the Coupeville High School summer softball squad won its third-straight game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Everything is coming together quite nicely.

Fighting back for a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Lynden Wednesday, the Coupeville High School summer softball squad captured its third-straight victory.

With the triumph, the Wolves are 3-2, and about to expand their roster.

Kevin McGranahan’s squad will balloon with the arrival of a group of sluggers who just finished playing four games at the state tourney for Whidbey Island’s All-Star juniors team.

That group, which includes incoming freshmen such as Taylor Brotemarkle and Jada Heaton, will get a chance to mesh with veterans like Izzy Wells, Bella Whalen, and Audrianna Shaw.

The first game for the expanded team comes next Wednesday, July 21, when Coupeville clashes with Island rival Oak Harbor.

Against Lynden, the Wolves fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, then snapped into lock-down mode.

Wells was dominant in the pitcher’s circle, while her defense brought the good leather to their efforts, not allowing the big city girls a chance to add to their run total.

Coupeville “battled against a very good, hard-throwing pitcher,” breaking through for three runs in the bottom of the fourth to retake the lead.

After holding Lynden scoreless in the top of the fifth, the game was called due to a summer league rule which limits game times.

With back-to-back league titles, in different conferences, CHS softball continues to soar, and the purpose of playing in the summer was to help the program reach a new level.

Consider McGranahan pleased with what he has seen.

“The team showed its heart of a champion today, and never let up,” he said. “This summer league is working out great; the team is gelling nicely.

“Couldn’t be happier with the effort and development of this young team.

“Scores don’t matter in the off-season, but always nice to come from behind late and show the heart.”

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