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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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Vivian Farris and her CHS tennis teammates had a sensational spring. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Eryn Wood (left) and Noelle Daigneault are expected to be team leaders when they return next spring.

They ran the table.

6-0 in team matches.

30-0 in individual varsity matches.

The battle for the Northwest 2B/1B League title during this pandemic-shortened season was a two-school rumble between Coupeville and Friday Harbor, and the former dominated the latter.

Putting a final punctuation mark on the whole affair, the Wolves closed their most-recent campaign with another 5-0 win over the Wolverines, this one coming Monday at Friday Harbor.

Now, in a lightning-fast turnaround, Coupeville coach Ken Stange bids adieu to his female netters, and will be back on the CHS courts Tuesday to welcome his boys squad back to action.

With traditional fall sports being played AFTER spring sports as everyone deals with the fallout from Covid, the Wolf boys will play the first of their six matches April 7.

Stange, now in his 16th year of coaching both CHS net squads, got the most he could out of the girls season, shuffling players around and giving as many volleyers as possible a crack at playing in a varsity match.

Monday’s road trip was the final prep tennis match for three Wolf seniors, as Jaimee Masters, Emily Fiedler, and Genna Wright wrapped up long, successful runs.

Masters and Fiedler played as Stange’s #1 doubles duo during their senior campaign, while Wright lived at #1 singles for her entire four-year CHS journey.

 

Complete Monday results:

 

Varsity:

1st Singles — Genna Wright beat Allie Fleming 6-0, 6-1

2nd Singles — Abby Mulholland beat Lucy Martin 6-2, 6-1

1st Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Emily Fiedler beat Liliia Gamez/Emilie Mason 6-0, 6-0

2nd Doubles — Eryn Wood/Helen Strelow beat Amelia Eltinge/Ava Martin 6-3, 6-1

3rd Doubles — Mary Milnes/Katelin McCormick beat Lucy Marinkovich/Eleanor Rollins 4-6, 6-1, 10-5

 

JV:

4th Doubles — Lucy Tenore/Sophie Martin beat Trinity Cullen/Isabella VanderYacht 8-0

5th Doubles — Hayley Fiedler/Vivian Farris beat Elanor Gislason/Sidney Herda 8-2

6th Doubles — Nozomi Hagihara/Hayley Thomas beat Eva Sanabria/Lilli Turnbow 8-5

7th Doubles — Gwen Crowder/Strelow beat Annabelle Mountford/? 8-3

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Kylie Van Velkinburgh was one of three Wolves to collect six or more hits Tuesday, as undefeated Coupeville shredded Orcas Island pitching during a doubleheader sweep. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Get off the tracks or get run over.

Back in action after losing a season to the pandemic, the Coupeville High School softball squad has returned with a vengeance.

Start with fireball-flinging hurler Izzy Wells, toss in a lineup chock full of booming bats, sprinkle with some opportunistic defense, and it’s little wonder the Wolves sit atop the Northwest 2B/1B League with a flawless 7-0 record.

Coupeville’s latest wins came Tuesday, as Kevin McGranahan’s team of assassins swept a doubleheader on Orcas Island, capturing 16-4 and 12-6 wins.

“So we started hitting as soon as we got off the bus and never looked back,” said the CHS diamond guru. “Bella (Whalen) and Chelsea (Prescott) had great games at the plate and were great leaders on the field.

“We are playing good softball, but, of course, we have some stuff to work on. On to Concrete this Friday.”

The Wolves have back-to-back games to finish off this week, following up that road trip Friday with a home game Saturday against Darrington.

That latter game is Senior Night, with first pitch set for 1 PM.

How Tuesday played out:

 

Game 1:

One game, three stages.

First, a somewhat-surprising opening, as Coupeville fell behind 2-0 after an inning of play, a rare deficit for this high-flying squad.

Second, the Wolves chipped away, retaking the lead in the top of the second, then stretching it out (slightly) to 6-2.

Third, and finally, total freakin’ domination, as CHS went off for five-run explosions in both of the final two frames, sending the lead into double-digits while still getting to play a full seven innings.

The “rally” began with three runs in the second, then two more in the third.

Whalen, who was wailin’ on the ball all day, ripped a one-out single, setting off a string of four straight hits for the Wolves, with Gwen Gustafson, Kylie Van Velkinburgh, and Maya Lucero all dropping balls between fielders.

Next time around, Mollie Bailey slapped a single, before Wells and Whalen smoked back-to-back doubles, with the latter picking up a pair of RBI as the lead moved out to 5-2.

A Gustafson RBI single in the fifth tacked on another run, but the Wolves saved the best part of their 25-hit assault in the opener for the game’s final two innings.

The hits came fast and furious in the sixth and seventh, with Bailey’s double to straight-away center and Audrianna Shaw’s laser shot, which destroyed an Orcas glove, vying for most explosive.

While all nine CHS starters had at least two hits in the game, sophomores Gustafson and Whalen put a little extra shine on things.

Gustafson raked four singles, while Whalen went slightly berserk, torching Viking pitching for five hits, including a thunderous triple and a pair of still-pretty-loud doubles.

 

Game 2:

After failing to score in the first inning in the opener, Coupeville’s high-octane offense actually went scoreless until the top of the third in the night-cap.

The Wolves had runners on base early, but couldn’t get them around the bags.

They stranded Coral Caveness after she whacked a one-out double to left in the first, then frittered away Whalen and Heidi Meyers after they connected on back-to-back singles in the second.

Wells was on point in the pitcher’s circle, however, keeping the game scoreless until her team’s bats popped back to life.

That happened in the third, as the Wolves first five hitters all reached base, with three scoring.

Singles from Shaw and Van Velkinburgh set the table, before big boppers Prescott (an RBI double) and Bailey (a two-run single) sent their teammates scampering for home.

The game took on the look of a blowout as Coupeville plated six more in the fourth, coming on the heels of Wells firing off another 1-2-3 inning.

While the Orcas book lost a run somewhere that frame, it shouldn’t be too hard to find if the Vikings go back and look for it.

This time, eight of 10 hitters reached base, with only a well-timed double play by Orcas, off of a wicked Wells liner back to the mound, helping the Vikings escape.

Shaw dumped an RBI single in front of a defender, with Allie Lucero sliding under the tag at home to kick things off.

Runs also came in courtesy a bases-loaded walk by Bailey, a hard smash by Whalen which was booted at third, a Meyers RBI single, a titanic RBI double to dead center from Jill Prince, and a passed ball which allowed Gustafson to sprint home.

One-two-three-four-five-six. Go count ’em a second time, overly-defensive Orcas announcer.

Up 9-0, and not 8-0, the Wolves gave some back, with Orcas eking out three runs apiece in both the fourth and fifth.

But Coupeville also put up its own three-spot in the fifth, with Prescott’s two-run single the defining blow, to keep the final margin at 12-6.

After Wells gunned down the Vikings 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the game, which was already official, was called for darkness.

Since softball was humming along, and the two school’s baseball teams still managed to play for another 20 minutes or so to reach the official end of their second game, I kind of agree with the Orcas announcer that the umps could have “let them play.”

But, both coaches seemed fine with the decision, knowing if Coupeville ran off a long offensive explosion in the top of the seventh, Orcas would never see the plate again.

On the day, Whalen crunched a team-high seven base-knocks, including three of her team’s seven extra-base hits.

Shaw (6), Van Velkinburgh (6), Bailey (5), Prescott (4), Gustafson (4), Caveness (3), Maya Lucero (2), Wells (2), Meyers (1), Prince (1), and Allie Lucero (1) all added hits, as every Wolf to play had at least one.

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Coupeville’s softball bats have thumped a merry tune this season, with the Wolves outscoring foes 42-13. (Jackie Saia photo)

The path to a league title comes through Coupeville.

Winning at home, winning on the road, winning blowouts and close games, the Wolf softball sluggers are shaking up their new home.

After thunking host Friday Harbor 8-3 on a blustery afternoon Friday, CHS is a spotless 5-0 in its first season back in the Northwest 2B/1B League.

The Wolves have the most-imposing pitcher in the conference in flame-throwing junior Izzy Wells, big bats, and slick defenders.

While there are still nine games left in this pandemic-shortened season — if La Conner is able to return from a COVID-related hiatus — Coupeville is setting the pace, and doing it with conviction.

Kevin McGranahan’s squad, which hosts Concrete (0-2) at 1 PM Saturday, has outscored its foes 42-13.

Facing off with the defending league champs on their home turf Friday, the Wolves handed Friday Harbor its third loss, all of which have come in games against Coupeville.

This time around, the CHS sluggers survived the struggles of island-hopping, their arrival delayed by bus reservation issues which forced both them and Coupeville’s baseball squad to walk on the ferry at the last second.

Once on Friday Harbor the Wolves came out swinging hot, with senior catcher Mollie Bailey having herself an afternoon.

She reached base four times in five trips to the plate, bashing three doubles and racking up five RBI.

Bailey wasn’t the only one cranking out the hits, as Chelsea Prescott scorched a single and double, and Audrianna Shaw pasted a two-bagger of her own.

Kylie Van Velkinburgh and Jill Prince added singles, Wells (3) and Gwen Gustafson (2) combined for five walks, and Bella Whalen picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice.

Coupeville got on the board in the first inning, with Prescott doubling home Shaw, who led off the game with a walk, before Whalen sent Prescott scooting for home.

After that Bailey brought out the big lumber, connecting on two-run doubles in the second and fourth, before topping things with an old-fashioned RBI double in the seventh.

In between, Coupeville put up a run in the third thanks to a walk from Coral Caveness, a single from Van Velkinburgh, and some smart base-running.

While her offense was clicking, Wells was making Bailey’s mitt pop, peppering Friday Harbor for eight strikeouts while scattering just three hits.

As he contemplated a long trip home, McGranahan marinated in the win. At least for the moment.

Izzy pitched her normal game and we hit the ball hard all day,” he said. “We have some stuff to work on, but all in all, we are playing good ball and will only get better.”

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