Posts Tagged ‘Softball’

Junior Izzy Wells was a major force in the pitcher’s circle and at the plate for a CHS softball team which finished 12-0. (Jackie Saia photos)

They are not the best team in the history of Coupeville High School softball, maybe, but they are the only one to go undefeated.

It’s hard to top the 2002 Wolves of Sarah Mouw and Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby, who went 24-3 and finished 3rd at the state tourney.

But 19 years later, this 2021 edition, playing through a pandemic-shortened campaign, knocked down every rival on its schedule, finishing a pristine 12-0.

Along the way to a Northwest 2B/1B League title, Coupeville outscored its foes 154-41 (and it could have been far, far worse) and trailed just once all season.

There are no playoffs, no chance to advance to state for the fourth time in program history, thanks to the pandemic.

Still, these Wolves, led by a group of seniors who lost their junior season to Covid, will stand large.

They had booming bats. A fireball-chucking pitcher. Slick gloves. And most of all, a savvy mix of heart and desire.

Saturday, Coupeville, giving ample playing time to everyone in a uniform, shredded winless La Conner 15-1 and 26-3, earning a season-capping doubleheader sweep.

The final show of domination was appropriate, expected, and delivered with as much respect for their rival’s feelings as possible in a competitive sport.

These diamond queens took an imperfect scenario and crafted a perfect season out of it. They deserve all the kudos.

Mollie Bailey was a terror at the plate during her senior season.


How Saturday played out:


Game 1:

Wolf coach Kevin McGranahan got 16 players on the field, with an emphasis on getting game time for the players of the future.

The Wolves bolted out of the gate with a six-run first inning, sparked by singles from Audrianna Shaw and Chelsea Prescott, and the first of two resounding doubles off the bat of Izzy Wells.

From there, CHS tacked on a run in the second, two more in the third, then put the mercy rule into play with a six-run burst in the top of the fifth.

Wells, who has been virtually lights-out in the pitcher’s circle this season — and should be the Vegas favorite if we’re betting on who wins league MVP honors — only tossed two innings on this day.

After that, McGranahan went to sophomore Allie Lucero, and she threw three strong innings in relief.

For Coupeville, 14 of 16 players reached base in the opener, with 11 of them recording a base-knock.

Wells, Prescott, Bella Whalen, and Maya Lucero blasted doubles, Maya Nottingham and Kylie Van Velkinburgh delivered key hits, and Karyme Castro and Heidi Meyers were among those who eked out walks.

Meanwhile, Mckenna Somes and foreign exchange student River Ozturk each had a pair of singles.

Coming on the heels of her nabbing a hit in an earlier game, Ozturk’s strong afternoon brought a smile to McGranahan’s face.

River hit two lasers right back up the middle. She has come a long way in a month since never playing.”


Game 2:

The second contest was even more of a blowout, despite McGranahan’s best efforts to keep things from getting out of control.

“We batted lefty and bunted a lot, and gave courtesy leaving-early outs, but still couldn’t keep the score down, even with no stealing,” he said.

“We hit the ball well when they threw a strike, but that was few and far between as they were new pitchers just learning.”

Maya Lucero took the ball in game two, stepping into the pitcher’s circle to replace her twin sister, and tossing all five innings of the nightcap.

She got plenty of support thanks to big hits from players such as Sofia Peters, who rapped a standup double.

Saturday’s games were a juggling act, with McGranahan getting a curtain call for his seniors — Mollie Bailey, Prescott, Lacy McCraw-Shirron, Ivy Leedy, Meyers, Coral Caveness, and Elisa Caroppo — while also building for the future.

“Lots of good experience for a young group of hungry Wolves today,” McGranahan said. “It will only make us better.”

Jill Prince (back) and Gwen Gustafson are part of a talented group of younger players with several more seasons to play.

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Heidi Meyers bashed a two-run single Friday, part of a 16-hit, 20-run Coupeville attack. (Jackie Saia photos)

The Big Red (and Black) Machine keeps rolling.

Swinging sizzlin’ bats from the top of the lineup to the bottom, the Coupeville High School softball squad cruised to a 20-5 win Friday afternoon on Friday Harbor.

The victory lifts the Northwest 2B/1B League champ Wolves to a pristine 10-0 headed into their season finale Saturday at La Conner.

Facing off with Friday Harbor, which was the big dog in the NWL before Coupeville arrived this season, CHS went bonkers, running out to a 19-0 lead before taking its collective foot off the gas pedal.

“Everyone was on fire with the bat and we had several long innings,” said Coupeville coach Kevin McGranahan. “We played spoiler on their Senior Night with a lot of extra-base hits, and everyone played and contributed.”

The fireworks were loud and sustained, as the Wolves combined to rap out 16 hits, including four doubles.

On the day, 10 of 12 players reached base, with nine notching at least one base-knock as they methodically shattered Friday Harbor’s pitching staff.

The game was actually close for a hot second, as the two squads exchanged scoreless first innings, each getting a runner aboard but unable to bring them around.

It looked like that might hold in the top of the second as well, but a bit of luck (at least for Coupeville) cracked things open.

With runners at the corners and two out, Jill Prince slapped a grounder towards third base, then lit out for first.

Rushing to make the play and end the inning, Friday Harbor’s third-baseman uncorked a less-than-successful throw, allowing Prince to reach base safely, while Bella Whalen crashed home with the game’s first run.

Given new life, Coupeville tacked on three more runs in the inning, courtesy an RBI single to left from Coral Caveness and a two-run single to center off the bat of Chelsea Prescott.

With Izzy Wells firing BB’s from the pitcher’s circle, the Wolves held Friday Harbor down, then brought out the really big bats, torching Friday Harbor for 15 runs over the next two innings.

Kylie Van Velkinburgh smoked a two-run double as the Wolves won 20-5.

The Wolves sent 15 batters to the plate in the third, scoring nine of them in a variety of ways.

The first two came home on a gorgeous two-run double to deep left from Kylie Van Velkinburgh, then Audrianna Shaw and Caveness plated two more with bases-loaded walks.

The latter of those two free passes was more painful than the first, as Caveness, making a run for Nicole Laxton’s (unofficial) CHS softball record for being plunked, got drilled for the 3,523rd time this season.

Giggling, yet wincing, as she ambled down to first, the Wolf senior drew a round of applause from her teammates, and fans watching long-distance thanks to internet streaming.

Even after getting drilled by yet another pitch, Coral Caveness can smile (under her mask) about being 10-0.

A couple of Friday Harbor wild pitches and a dropped third strike helped pad the lead, which was 13-0 and growing by the end of the inning.

Wanting to toss a little defensive heat into what was largely an offensive extravaganza, Wells promptly got fancy, picking a runner off second in the bottom half of the third.

Whirling and firing a laser, she teamed up with Prescott as the Wolf shortstop went creepin’ behind the runner.

Then it was back to the big bopper show, with Wells lashing a two-run double and Shaw smashing an RBI two-bagger.

In between, senior Heidi Meyers strolled to the plate as a pinch-hitter and promptly laced a two-run single — a fiery shot which singed uniforms as it sailed between defenders.

Friday Harbor’s seniors fought hard, even down 19-0, and put together a couple of short rallies to pick up three runs in the fourth and a final two in the bottom of the fifth.

Coupeville’s final run, cracking the 20-run mark, was Prescott scrambling home in front of a booming Bailey double which left her bat like a circus performer flying out of a cannon.

On the afternoon, Wells finished with five strikeouts from the pitcher’s circle, and a team-high three hits at the plate.

Caveness tied her pitcher, drilling three singles to go with her painful walk, while Bailey (1B, 2B), Van Velkinburgh (2B, 1B), Prescott (1B, 1B), Shaw (2B), Gwen Gustafson (1B), Whalen (1B), and Meyers (1B) all had hits.

The Wolves also walked 10 times, with Gustafson (3) and Shaw (2) leading the way.

Rounding out the roster were the Battlin’ Lucero Twins, Allie and Maya, who both saw time in the field and at bat.

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Lacy McCraw-Shirron (Jackie Saia photo)

McCraw-Shirron with her parents on Senior Night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coupeville High School Class of 2021 moms have created a meal train to help the family affected by a fatal car accident earlier this week.

Joey Glendenning, 44, mother of Wolf softball player Lacy McCraw-Shirron, passed away Wednesday from injuries sustained in a head-on collision on Highway 20 near Winterhawk Lane.

The meal train is being spearheaded by Michelle Cernick.

“It’s time for the community to come together and do what we do best, which is help each other out when we need it the most,” she said. “Right now Lacy could use some love and support from her senior class.

“Please do what you can to help her family. They don’t have any allergies and will eat anything that you bring them. They are not picky, just grateful for anything right now.”

For more info, and to join the meal train, pop over to:

CHS 2021 Senior Class: Meal Train for Lacy McCraw-Shirron (signupgenius.com)

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Sarah Wright

Break time is over.

Bouncing back from a three-week-plus break, Coupeville grad Sarah Wright went right back to tearing up the softball diamond Tuesday in Tennessee.

The former Wolf, who is now a sophomore at Sewanee: The University of the South, hadn’t played since March 6, thanks to the difficulty in scheduling games during a pandemic.

Wright and the Tigers are only playing home contests this spring, as well, as school administrators decided to restrict travel by their sports programs.

Tuesday, however, Fort Valley State University made the trip over from Georgia to start a four-game series, with a second doubleheader set for Wednesday.

The Wildcats, who attend a school where alumni include former NFL players Greg Lloyd of the Steelers and Ricardo Lockette of the Seahawks, won the opener 13-3, but Sewanee rebounded to win the nightcap 8-7 on a walk-off RBI single.

With the split, the Tigers are 2-4 on the season.

Wright had a productive day both behind and at the plate.

In the opener, the Tiger catcher walked, and smashed a pair of hits, including an RBI double to open the scoring.

Wright then came around to tap home herself, thanks to a two-bagger from teammate Peri Prestwood.

Sewanee led 3-2 headed to the fourth, only to have Fort Valley State suddenly find its mojo and start raining down runs.

Surrendering five-run bursts in the top of the fourth and seventh made life tough for the Tigers.

In the nightcap, Wright punched a pair of singles, with the first one driving home a run as Sewanee worked its way back from an early 3-0 deficit.

The Tigers reclaimed the lead at 6-4 heading into the seventh, and final, inning, before things got wild.

Fort Valley State tossed three runs on the scoreboard in the top half of the frame to go up 7-6, and were one out away from completing a doubleheader sweep.

With a runner at first and two outs, however, Sewanee found some magic.

Four straight Tiger hitters reached base, with RBI singles from Kendell Goodrum and Summer Vo tying, then winning, the game.

Through six games, Wright is first on the team in RBI, walks, batting average, and on-base percentage, while sitting second in hits and slugging percentage.

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Allie Lucero gets defensive. (Jackie Saia photos)

The photos rain down as fast as the wins.

As the Coupeville High School softball squad rolls through an undefeated season, there have been frequent visits to the diamond by camera-wielding paparazzi.

One of the best of those lens lovers is Jackie Saia, who provides us with the photos above and below.

Allison Nastali comes up firin’.

Bella Whalen whispers a prayer for the softball she’s about to demolish.

Elisa Caroppo (left) and Ivy Leedy enjoy an afternoon on the chilly prairie.

Lacy McCraw-Shirron fires the ball back in.

Maya Lucero, ready to get medieval on the ball.

Chelsea Prescott slaps the tag on an incoming runner.

Audrianna Shaw hits third gear.

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