Posts Tagged ‘varsity vs. JV’

Abby Meyers reached base five times Wednesday as Coupeville’s JV softball sluggers rallied to beat Concrete’s varsity. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

No lead is safe on the prairie.

A week after their varsity counterparts roared back from 10 runs down to win, the Coupeville High School JV softball squad showed the same kind of moxie.

Rebounding from an 11-2 deficit against Concrete’s varsity team Wednesday, the Wolf sluggers blew up the scoreboard en route to an 18-15 victory.

The home win lifts Coupeville’s JV to a flawless 2-0 on the young season.

“Total team effort, well done ladies,” said Wolf JV coach Greg Thomas.

His boss, Coupeville varsity coach Kevin McGranahan, was channeling Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon after watching his second miracle comeback of the spring.

“Yeah … I am too old for that,” he said with a laugh.

Playing under sunny skies, as opposed to the howling wind and sideways rain which generally accompanies softball season, the young Wolves struggled a bit in the early going against more-seasoned competition.

Despite eking out five walks in its half of the first inning, Coupeville found itself trailing 11-2 just an inning and a half into the game.

Six of Concrete’s first seven hitters reached base, and the Lions bashed a pair of home runs to set off the scoring.

Tack on a third round-tripper in the top of the second, and things looked dire.

Unless you know what wonders can happen out here on the prairie, then it was nothing much to worry about.

Coupeville’s pitching snapped into shut-down mode after that, limiting Concrete to just three hits total, and no more home runs, over the final five innings.

That gave the offense time to heat up, and once it did, the Wolves rained pain down on the Lion hurlers to the tune of 13 hits, including a double, triple and home run.

Tack on 13 walks, and every one of the 12 CHS players to see the field reached base at least once, with 10 of them scoring.

Leading the way were the Meyers sisters, Abby and Heidi, who combined to reach base eight times, and tap home plate on five of those trips.

Coupeville began to scrape its way back into the game with a five-run second.

Walks to Amanda Thomas and Abby Meyers, packaged around singles from Kylie Van Velkinburgh and Lily Leedy, set the stage, with Chelsea Prescott capping things by mashing a home-run of her own.

The Wolves finally knotted things at 13-13 in the fourth, an inning in which they collected singles from Prescott and Ivy Leedy, a double from Chloe Wheeler and a triple by Mckenna Somes.

Concrete still had some life left in its bats, however, going back up 14-13 in the fifth, then retying the game at 15 in the top of the sixth.

CHS was having none of that, however, plating three in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to base-knocks from Van Velkinburgh, Somes, and Abby Meyers.

With the lead firmly in place and the sun starting to sink, Prescott stormed into the pitcher’s circle and slammed home the final dagger, hurling nasty heat as she gunned down the final Lion hitters.

Coupeville spread out its offense all day, with Prescott (1B, 1B, HR), Van Velkinburgh (1B, 1B), and Somes (1B, 3B) peppering the ball.

Wheeler (2B), Ivy Leedy (1B), Izzy Wells (1B), Lily Leedy (1B), Audrianna Shaw (1B), and Abby Meyers (1B) rounded out the hit parade.

Heidi Meyers, Morgan Stevens, and Thomas combined to collect four walks and four runs.

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   Matt Hilborn, seen here in an earlier game, was a vacuum at short Thursday afternoon. (John Fisken photo)

They held their own.

Playing against a varsity squad Thursday, the Coupeville High School JV baseball team strung together five-plus really solid innings, but fell 6-1 to visiting Bush on the first truly sunny day of the spring sports season.

What stung the Wolves was a brief bit of sustained trouble in the first inning, and a momentary burp at the very end of the game.

Otherwise, take the second through the sixth inning and it was a 1-1 deadlock.

The loss drops the CHS young guns to 1-3 on the season, while Bush, a private school out of Seattle, improves to 4-1.

The game was set up because the Blazers first-year head coach, Greg Conley, played baseball at Sequim High School for Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith.

“One of the best players I ever coached,” Smith said. “Great kid, good baseball guy.”

After high school, Conley went on play at Oregon State and was drafted in 1995 by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

While he’s only been in his current job for a short time, you can see the Bush players are learning quickly from their new mentor, and they played with poise and polish.

Or, basically, played a lot like Willie Smith’s own hardball teams, at Sequim and Coupeville, always did.

Conley’s counterpart at CHS, Chris Smith, salted his JV lineup at the top with three varsity players, Matt Hilborn, Joey Lippo and Julian Welling, and that trio combined to collect all five of Coupeville’s hits.

But the Wolves also treated the game as an effective way to give their true JV players solid innings against strong competition, with Chris Smith getting at-bats for 12 different players.

The top of the first was the only poor frame for Coupeville, as Bush used three solid hits and a couple of Wolf miscues on attempted pick-offs to build an early 3-0 lead.

After that, Wolf hurler Jonathan Thurston locked in and was deadly effective for the remainder of his five-inning stint.

He retired 13 of the final 17 hitters he faced, whiffing four and not surrendering a hit after the first inning.

“Once Johnny was able to dial it in, he pitched us a gem,” Chris Smith said. “He really threw a beautiful game.”

Coupeville had a golden opportunity to get right back in the game after Lippo laced a one-out double over the head of a Blazer outfielder in the bottom of the first.

It wasn’t to be, however, as Bush fielders made two nice plays back-to-back to deny Welling and Jake Pease base-knocks.

Down 4-0 after the Blazers added an unearned run in the fourth, the Wolves broke through in the bottom half of the inning.

Hilborn and Lippo started the inning off with consecutive singles, then teamed up on a double steal, largely thanks to nimble base-running by Lippo.

Skidding to a stop halfway to second, he drew the throw to him, giving Hilborn a chance to streak home while he then danced out of the pickle and landed safely at second.

After an infield single from Welling on which he couldn’t move up because of where the ball was hit, Lippo successfully stole third, dipping at the last second to slide under the tag.


Every single person in the park, including the Bush third-baseman, who slapped his thigh in frustration, saw it that way.

Just not the ump, who caught everyone by surprise by signalling an out.

That took a bit of the wind out of Coupeville’s sails, and the Wolves couldn’t get a sustained rally going again after that.

Bush scraped out a pair of runs in the sixth to pad the final margin.

Other than their first-inning misfires, the Wolves were fairly solid on defense.

Ulrik Wells pulled down a skyscraper of a popup at second, Hilborn was a vacuum at short, Lippo ran down a pair of deep shots to center and Thurston and Welling made nice plays on come-backers to the mound.

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