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Posts Tagged ‘Softball’

Hope Lodell charges out, ready to slice ‘n dice foes as The Surgeon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Pick a sport, and The Surgeon will carve you up.

Hope Lodell is among the most talented athletes I have written about, and it’s far more than just what she did between the lines on a field or court.

From the moment she was born, she was frankly kind of uncanny.

Walking around while doing a handstand, and not just a few lurching feet, but traveling as far as she wanted to, her body never wavering.

In later years, she amused herself by doing pull-ups on the softball dugout during rain delays, effortlessly ripping them off until she realized everyone was watching her, mouths agape.

Dropping back down to the ground, in much the same way a cougar would pounce off of a rock to attack its prey, Lodell shook her head, smiled, rolled her eyes and bounced off to do other feats of strength, away from autograph seekers.

She could have been a hellion on the basketball court.

Actually she was, in middle school, but then left CHS coaches to sob uncontrollably in their morning Cheerios over her decision to not play the sport in high school.

What Lodell did choose was volleyball and softball, and, for four solid years, she was a BEAST. And yes, that word is supposed to be capitalized, thank you.

On the volleyball court, she was a wild woman unleashed, one of the best servers in the entire freakin’ state.

Jumping, twirling, flying into the gym from somewhere out in the hallway, then going airborne and uncorking raw, blistering heat, she peppered foes (and teammates in practice) with balls they had little chance to return.

If that alone, the ability to crush her serves, was all she had, Lodell would have been a star.

But she could do it all on the court, and morphed her game to fit what the coaches asked of her any given day.

That was never more evident than in her senior season, when she slid into the libero position formerly occupied by Valen Trujillo.

Others would have stumbled a bit, learning a new position, and a vitally important one at that, on the fly.

Lodell? She went out, adapted in the blink of an eye, and brought home an Olympic League MVP award, while helping CHS sweep through conference action without losing a set.

Fresh off their second-straight league crown, Lodell and the Wolves advanced to state as well, the first time the Coupeville spikers had gone to the big dance in more than a decade.

Put her on a softball diamond and she was a walking, talking web gem come to life. Just replace “walking” with “sprinting from corner to corner of the outfield on a dead run.”

There were few balls which evaded her glove in four years of anchoring the defense in center, and Lodell was equally dangerous with her bat and her feet.

Multiple All-Conference honors and two runs at qualifying for the state tourney which fell just a pitch or two short, and the highlight reel never stopped running.

But as amazing as she is as an athlete, Lodell is even more impressive in the other aspects of her life.

I call her The Surgeon for two reasons.

One, she carved up opponents in the arena, and two, she will one day be carving people as a doctor.

And probably curing cancer or some disease we haven’t heard about yet, cause her brain is just that impressive.

Some of the athletes I write about I’ve known for a short period of time. Others a few years.

With Hope, I’ve known her since the day she was born, and she has remained the same joyous force of nature, the same kind, caring, high-achieving supernova, every step of her path.

She is going to blow our minds with what she accomplishes post-high school. Of that, there is no doubt.

So, today, before she starts winning all the world-wide awards, I’m slipping in to give her a local honor.

We’re swinging open the doors of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame and welcoming Lodell to our little digital playground.

After this, you’ll find her lounging up at the top of the blog, enshrined under the Legends tab.

Take a peek inside and she’ll be easy to find. She’ll be the one doing one-arm pull-ups on the doorway to the Hall.

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Sarah Wright (front) and Katrina McGranahan have changed uniforms, but are still playing softball deep into the summer. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Softball all day, every day.

That’s pretty much life this summer for former Wolf battery-mates Katrina McGranahan and Sarah Wright.

While the diamond duo hung up their CHS uniforms after the district playoffs in mid-May, they have continued to play the game they love for another two months.

McGranahan, who graduated this year, is playing travel ball with the 18U Seattle Spice, while Wright, who will be a senior this coming school year, suits up with the 16U Snohomish County Express.

Wright is manning her usual station behind the plate as her team’s catcher, while McGranahan is resting her pitching arm and playing shortstop.

Both Coupeville standouts have spent most of their summer bouncing from tournament to tournament.

“It’s been busy!,” Wright said.

McGranahan and the Spice won a state title earlier this summer, and spent last weekend at the huge Canada Cup International Softball Championship in Surrey, BC.

The Spice rallied to win two of their final three games, with Killer Kat playing every inning in five games over three days under a blazing sun.

The summer season wraps up soon for both, with the Wolf stars and their current teammates each having one tournament left to play.

McGranahan is first up, heading to Milwaukie, Oregon July 20-22 for the Western Nationals.

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Former CHS supernova Katrina McGranahan won a state title this weekend with her travel softball team. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Call them the comeback queens. Or, better yet, just call them champs.

Sparked by their Coupeville superstar, Katrina McGranahan, the Seattle Spice travel softball team roared from behind four times in two days this weekend to win the USSSA U18 B state championship.

Playing in Auburn, the Spice spotted each of their rivals an early lead, then convincingly put the hammer down when it mattered.

Fresh off their state title, McGranahan and Co. are off to Canada this coming weekend to play in the Canada Cup. The Spice close the summer ball season at the Western Nationals in Oregon the following week.

McGranahan, who graduated from CHS this spring, won pretty much every honor possible during her stellar run as a volleyball and softball star.

She was an Olympic League MVP in both sports, shared Coupeville High School’s Female Athlete of the Year award as a junior, and was a staple on All-Conference teams.

McGranahan signed a letter of intent with Everett Community College, and is slated to be playing college ball next spring at the same school where former CHS star Hailey Hammer sparkled for two years.

Killer Kat, a terror at the plate and a flame-thrower in the pitcher’s circle, twice carried the Wolf softball team to within a win of the state tourney.

Now, she gets the title she always deserved – state champ.

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Katrina McGranahan, a killer with a soaring spirit. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Already a star, even before she stepped into the hallways at Coupeville High School.

An athlete who enjoyed every moment she was given.

Katrina McGranahan entered as a star, and exited as a legend.

The Coupeville High School senior, who celebrates her 18th birthday today, excelled at every sport she played, even the one she didn’t really enjoy.

And, while she gave up basketball shortly into her high school career, after dominating in middle school, McGranahan embraced stardom and a role as a quiet leader in both volleyball and softball.

On the court, she broke through as a freshman, making her varsity debut late in the season and flashing signs of the big-time power hitter she would become.

For the next three seasons, McGranahan was front and center, an All-Conference pick, a league MVP, an invaluable contributor on squads which won back-to-back league titles and returned to state after a 14-year absence.

Her kills at the net were delivered with precise power, her blocks with high-flying grace and her service aces with an extra bit of zing.

As good as she was on the volleyball court, it is softball which holds her heart, and the diamond is where Killer Kat has truly soared.

A dangerous hitter who combines power, an ability to hit to all fields, speed and smarts, McGranahan has been Coupeville’s most consistent weapon since day one of her freshman campaign.

When she’s at shortstop, she displays a gun for an arm and a nose for always tracking down even the hardest-hit or weirdest-hit balls.

One of the best plays I have ever witnessed on the prairie came courtesy McGranahan, who, battling epic winds, started to retreat as a pop up corkscrewed over her head.

Then the prairie breeze slammed into the ball in mid-air like a runaway freight train, the ball came to a dead stop in mid-flight, made a little scream and pitched forward, careening towards the Earth.

McGranahan spun in mid-stride, launched herself face-first into oblivion and somehow, against all odds and most of the laws of the known universe, reached the ball with the tip of her glove.

That she touched the ball was a miracle.

That she somehow speared said ball was extraordinary.

That she held onto said ball, pulling it back into her body as she slammed into the unforgiving infield dirt, and completed the play, refusing to let the ball separate itself from her glove?

That made even the impartial umpire behind her scream like a little girl who has just gotten a pony.

And, you know, with all this talk of shortstop, McGranahan rarely played there.

Because, from day one to the final moments of her prep career, she was the young woman who reached out, game after game, took the ball and strode into the pitcher’s circle, ready to face whatever came her way.

Instead of easing into the role while being an understudy as a freshman, McGranahan was thrown into the fire right away as veteran hurler McKayla Bailey rehabbed an injury.

Katrina never blinked, never hesitated. She snapped off strikes as a 9th grader and was still snapping off strikes as a 12th grader, and all that changed was who was behind the plate to catch her pitches.

Over the past six years, in all of her sports, I have witnessed her deliver big moment after big moment, capture epic wins and fight to the final moment in agonizing losses.

I have seen her smile many times as an athlete, and I have seen her cry a few times as well, and the fact there was many more smiles than tears makes me happy.

If Katrina had never played a sport, her strength, spirit, warmth and class would have still made her stand out.

But she was an athlete, one of the best I have written about, a young woman who cared deeply for her teammates, a warrior who fought for every play but had the grace to accept the outcome, good or bad.

As she moves on to play college ball, my enduring image of Killer Kat will be of her pacing in the pitcher’s circle, her fingers kneading the ball, the game on the line, and yet, amid the tension, a huge smile on her face.

She was a killer, but one who was enjoying every moment.

So, today, we wish Miss McGranahan a happy birthday (and much cake) and we officially welcome her into the company of her fellow legends, inducting her into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find her name up at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

There was never a doubt she would end up here.

I knew it from the first time I watched her play in middle school, and the last six years have simply reinforced my first opinion.

Sometimes it’s nice to be right.

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Justine McGranahan, the final word on softball stats. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The games ended Saturday, but the stats-perusing will go on for awhile.

With the season having come to an end for the Coupeville High School softball squad, the focus turns from the field to the agate, with every last walk and stolen base totaled up.

Wolf senior Katrina McGranahan finished atop the heap, leading her team in six of 11 offensive categories and all 11 pitching categories.

Also landing atop at least one offensive category were senior Lauren Rose, juniors Veronica Crownover and Sarah Wright and freshman Chelsea Prescott.

A final look at season-to-date stats, as compiled by CHS coaches and posted on MaxPreps:

 

Hitting:

Player AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR SB BB RBI Avg. OBP
C. Caveness 44 10 11 4 3 7 .250 .298
H. Lodell 61 11 18 4 1 3 5 4 .295 .358
E. Mathusek 43 8 11 3 5 8 .256 .347
S. Smith 74 23 24 3 3 4 17 .324 .367
L. Rose 52 21 15 2 1 6 11 5 .288 .413
C. Prescott 61 22 15 2 2 5 6 13 .246 .313
M. Davis 23 4 4 2 3 3 .174 .296
K. McGranahan 70 30 30 1 4 1 14 9 16 .429 .518
M. Bailey 21 8 6 1 1 4 5 .286 .400
V. Crownover 69 15 28 7 3 4 19 .406 .438
S. Wright 76 24 27 5 3 2 1 1 27 .355 .364
N. Laxton 20 2 4 1 5 .200 .273

 

Pitching:

Player W/L ERA Gms CG SO Hits Runs BB K IP BF
K. McGranahan 10-6 3.37 19 13 3 89 92 42 103 108 516
S. Smith 2-3 9.00 6 1 31 40 9 6 21 120
C. Prescott 0-0 3.50 1 3 1 2 2 12

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