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Posts Tagged ‘Veronica Crownover’

CHS softball lead-off hitter Scout Smith is in the top three on her team in 10 of 11 offensive categories. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re on a tear, and it shows on the stat sheet.

The Coupeville High School softball team has won seven of its last nine games heading into Tuesday’s regular-season finale at South Whidbey.

During that run the bats have been booming, and the runs have been shooting across home plate.

Seven starters are hitting .312 or better on the season, lead-off hitter Scout Smith has scored 35 times in 18 games, and, as a team, the Wolves have smacked nine home runs.

Well, 10 if you count the one a blind ump stole from Nicole Laxton

As you prepare for Tuesday’s game, and the district tourney out there on the horizon, take a gander at season-to-date numbers:

 

Hitting:

Player AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR SB BB RBI Avg. OBP
A. Shaw 16 4 2 1 6 .125 .364
I. Wells 40 9 8 2 3 4 2 .200 .289
C. Wheeler 9 1 1 1 4 3 .111 .385
C. Caveness 32 10 10 1 8 5 .312 .476
E. Mathusek 50 24 18 4 1 1 2 19 23 .360 .549
S. Smith 62 35 26 10 1 1 5 13 16 .419 .538
C. Prescott 64 23 20 3 3 7 9 18 .312 .405
M. Davis 30 4 5 1 1 8 5 .167 .359
M. Bailey 51 15 17 2 3 10 12 .333 .443
V. Crownover 55 15 26 9 3 8 26 .473 .537
S. Wright 61 28 36 8 2 4 3 7 29 .590 .643
N. Laxton 30 7 7 1 4 5 .233 .410

 

Pitching:

Player W/L ERA Gms CG SO Hits Runs BB K IP BF
I. Wells 8-4 6.83 13 8 90 87 48 77 69.2 377
S. Smith 3-3 6.74 9 4 46 53 17 18 36.1 194
C. Prescott 0-0 12.25 2 5 11 3 1 4.0 25

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“Oh, they see me strollin’, they see me rollin’, but they can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man…” Veronica Crownover cruises in with yet another run. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Scout Smith fires the nasty stuff.

Emma Mathusek double-knots her laces just to be sure. Moments later, though, she rocked a two-run home-run to dead center and came right back out of her shoes.

“No one look at me, I’m just a little invisible deer out here, munching on my tasty tidbits…”

CHS coach Kevin McGranahan likes what he sees.

Coral Caveness was rocking a red-hot bat, smacking four base-hits on the afternoon.

“You dare to run on me? Sarah Wright???? Are you a fool? She’s a fool…”

The runs came crashing across the plate, accompanied by the sound of cameras clicking madly in the distance.

As the Coupeville High School softball squad pulled off a major win over Granite Falls Wednesday, wandering paparazzi John Fisken stayed busy, and the pics above are courtesy him.

To see everything he shot, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Softball-2018-2019/SB-2019-05-01-vs-Granite-Falls/

And, if you purchase any glossies for grandma, you’ll help CHS student/athletes, as a percentage of all sales goes back in to fund scholarships. So there’s that.

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Scout Smith reached base all four times she hit Tuesday as Coupeville walloped South Whidbey 13-3. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Veronica Crownover clears the bases with a grand slam.

The bat stays home.

After years of Coupeville and South Whidbey’s high school football teams playing for ownership of The Bucket, softball decided to get into the trophy biz this year.

CHS coach Kevin McGranahan, after consulting with SWHS head man Brad Jaeger, crafted a bat which has the Wolf logo and colors on one side, and the Falcon’s on the other.

Whichever team wins the most games in a given season will lay claim to the award for a year, and the first time out, with absolutely no doubt, it’s bound for Coupeville’s trophy case.

Sparked by a first-inning grand slam off the bat of senior slugger Veronica Crownover Tuesday, CHS roared to a 13-3 win over its rivals, and has taken the first two of three games the North Sound Conference rivals are slated to play this spring.

The two schools also meet May 7 in Langley in the regular-season finale.

With the win, their fourth in their last five games, the Wolves jump to 5-2 in league play, 8-6 overall.

That puts Coupeville just a game back of Granite Falls (6-1, 9-5) and a game-and-a-half up on Cedar Park Christian (3-3, 8-4) in the race for a league crown.

Sultan (1-4, 1-7) and South Whidbey (1-6, 4-9) bring up the rear.

Tuesday’s game was, for a moment or two, a lot closer than the first time the Island rivals put their dukes up.

Two weeks ago, the Wolves tattooed the Falcons 18-1, but this time out, South Whidbey pushed the game’s first run across thanks to two singles and a wild pitch in the top of the first.

The lead would not last long.

Scout Smith led off the Coupeville half of the first with a hard chopper through the gap between short and third — the first of four consecutive times she would reach base — then walks to Sarah Wright and Mollie Bailey set the stage.

South Whidbey freshman hurler Chanel Sterba was dealing heat from the pitcher’s circle, but Crownover, who claims she has watched very little Game of Thrones, was in full-on Brienne of Tarth mode.

In other words, hide the kids and those with heart problems, cause we’re headed to Carnage City.

Her bat crashing down on the ball like a sword slicin’ and dicin’ its way through gristle and bone, Crownover’s first monster blast went deep to left.

How deep? They might want to check if any of the windows at The Tyee got themselves broken this afternoon.

But it was ultimately a long (very long) foul ball, and, for half a second, the Falcons thought they might live to see another day.

They would not.

Crownover’s next swing was smooth, precise and violent enough to deposit the ball well over the fence in the deepest part of center field, plating four runs and effectively ending the game on the spot.

Not that the Falcons gave up, however.

South Whidbey catcher Ari Marshall stung Coupeville in the top of the second, lacing a two-run single to left field to pull her squad back to within 4-3, but that would be the last time the Falcons did any damage against Izzy Wells.

Coupeville’s fab frosh pitcher ended the threat with a strikeout, and went on to retire 10 of the final 11 hitters she faced in the five-inning game.

Other than a ball which popped out of a Wolf mitt in the fifth inning, the Falcons were completely iced by Wells after Marshall’s base-knock.

And, while Coupeville didn’t hit any more home runs after Crownover‘s rocket launch, they continued to hammer the snot out of the ball just the same.

Four more runs in the bottom of the second, all coming after they faced a two-outs-and-no-one-on-base situation, sealed the deal.

Smith kick-started the rally, reaching on an error, Emma Mathusek walked, and then the ball started rocketing every which way.

Coupeville piled up three straight RBI base-hits, with Chelsea Prescott lacing a single to right, Sarah Wright smashing a two-run double to center, and Mollie Bailey slicing a single to center.

Denying Crownover a chance to go deep a second time, South Whidbey intentionally walked the Wolf first-baseman as wails of “Nooooooo” erupted from the amped-up Wolf bench.

I like to imagine the conversation in the pitcher’s circle at that moment went something like this:

“You know, I could always hit her with a pitch. That way she can’t go yard again.”

“You do that, and she’s liable to walk out here, take that bat and bend it around your head.”

“OK, maybe I’ll just walk her…”

“Yeah, you think???”

It mattered not, as Coupeville’s offense was poppin’ and getting big hits from everyone.

Nicole Laxton legged out an infield single in the third, hitting the bag with an emphatic foot tap as first-base coach Ron Wright jumped close to 10 feet in the air during his celebration dance.

That, and a walk to Smith, set Mathusek up, and the sweet-swingin’ center-fielder responded, lobbing a two-run double to center as the Wolves run total hit double digits.

An RBI double from Wright, who tied Smith by reaching base during all four of her at-bats, stretched the lead to 11-3, and from there, the end was right around the bend.

South Whidbey threw one small wrinkle in, holding the Wolves scoreless in the fourth thanks to nice work from relief pitcher Melody Wilkie.

Her best play came on a towering pop-up by Wells.

As Marshall popped up from her catcher’s crouch and Sterba charged from first, Wilkie took off like a sprinter, glove out, and made a gorgeous snare on the rapidly-falling ball while splitting her teammates and almost crashing into her own dugout.

It was a standout play from a young woman with a lot of fans in Coupeville from back when she played with Central Whidbey Little League, but it would be the last highlight for the Falcons.

CHS stamped the gas pedal down in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two to take advantage of the mercy rule and bring the day’s activity to a close.

A walk and a Falcon error got things going, before Prescott and Bailey smashed RBI singles back up the middle to close the scoring.

Racking up 10 hits and seven walks, the Wolves kept their hot streak at the plate alive on a cold day, something which pleased their coach.

“We set the tone in the first inning when Veronica blasted a frozen rope … pun intended,” McGranahan said. “We won every inning today and also did it Saturday (against Meridian.)

“We are playing good ball right and are hitting the ball hard,” he added. “I am very happy with how we are hitting hard line drives and hitting as a team. We need to carry this momentum into the postseason.”

Crownover (HR), Wright (two doubles), Prescott (two singles), Bailey (two singles), Mathusek (2B), Laxton (1B), and Smith (1B) all collected hits, with Wright and Smith each walking twice.

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Sarah Wright cracked an inside-the-park two-run home-run Saturday as Coupeville softball pasted Meridian 11-1. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a message, loud and clear.

Playing under blue skies on the prairie Saturday, the Coupeville High School softball team put visiting Meridian down hard, rolling to an 11-1 win thanks to a hail of extra-base hits.

In the moment, it’s just one win, and a non-conference one at that, but it was a warning to a school the Wolves might face in the playoffs, and a shot in general across the bow of the Northwest Conference.

Now 7-6, after winning for the third time in its last four games, Coupeville first turns its attention to chasing a league title.

The Wolves are nipping at the heels of North Sound Conference leader Granite Falls, and begin a final six-game stretch of regular-season contests with games Monday and Tuesday against cellar dwellers Sultan and South Whidbey.

After that comes the district playoffs, an eight-team double-elimination tourney May 16 & 18, which pits the five NSC teams against the four NWC squads in the pursuit of three tickets to state.

Coupeville has its win against Meridian, and a narrow 9-6 loss at Lynden Christian, but doesn’t face Mount Baker or Nooksack Valley during the regular season.

The game against Meridian was delayed a week by rain, and the weather looked iffy for much of Saturday morning.

But five minutes before the first pitch, the clouds peeled away, the sun came pouring in, followed soon after by a never-ending stream of bubbles from somewhere around the first-base dugout, and the Wolves started flexing their biceps.

In the early going, CHS showed off an uncanny ability to deliver the goods with no room for error, building a lead it would never relinquish.

With Emma Mathusek rocking back and forth at first-base after eking out a walk, the Wolves dropped three consecutive two-out RBI base-knocks, using all three parts of the field.

Sarah Wright smashed a single to center, Mollie Bailey lobbed a single to right, then Veronica Crownover pasted a double to left, leaving Meridian’s pitcher reeling, and trailing 3-0 on the scoreboard.

While the Trojans eventually got out of that jam thanks to a nice snag to rob Nicole Laxton on a liner, things had been set in motion.

Coupeville added another run in the third, on a two-out Crownover RBI single, before smashing things open in the fourth inning.

Scout Smith cracked a majestic, run-scoring double to kick things off, then came around to score herself on a Chelsea Prescott ground-out.

Meridian tried to pull off an inning-ending double play on the ball, but Smith, pulling off some Matrix-style moves, limbo’d under the tag to the delight of her boisterous fan section.

Not only did her heroics add another run to the big board, they kept the inning alive, giving Sarah Wright a chance to go big time.

Coupeville’s catcher got a day off behind the plate, playing third while Bailey caught, so her legs might have been a little more limber than if she had been crouched down all day.

Or maybe she’s just that quick all the time.

Tagging a shot to right field, Wright hit maximum warp speed three steps towards the first-base bag and never let up, crashing around the base-paths for a legit two-run, inside-the-park home run.

Her third tater of the season (the first two cleared the fence) it staked the Wolves to an 8-0 lead and raised the idea of the 10-run mercy rule being visible on the horizon.

It would take a little bit longer to get there, though, as Meridian snuffed out a rally in the fifth.

The Trojans robbed Laxton for a second time, intercepting a missile back up the middle and turning it into a surprise double-play.

The visitors also scraped together a single, lonely run in the top of the sixth, thanks to a couple of walks and a couple of artfully-placed bunts, but Coupeville’s defense remained stingy.

Freshman hurler Izzy Wells, who whiffed five (and drilled one unlucky Trojan with an especially nasty, tear-inducing fastball gone rogue) made a nice play on a liner back to the circle.

Very next pitch, it was Crownover’s turn to snag a hot shot in the air at first-base, and, just like that, Meridian’s scoring was over and done.

While they couldn’t end the game in five innings, the Wolves got the job done in the sixth, plating the first three hitters to approach the plate.

Wells conked a double to left to lead off the frame, bouncing the ball off the wall on one hop, before Smith hammered an RBI single up the middle, and Emma Mathusek got medieval.

Moments before being asked to Prom by CHS baseball star Gavin Knoblich, the Wolf center-fielder thumped an RBI triple and almost (but not quite) made the turn like she wanted to match Wright’s inside-the-park round-tripper.

Mathusek got to come home a moment later, anyway, as Prescott once again put the ball exactly in the right place.

While she didn’t get a base hit on the day, the sophomore shortstop placed both of her RBI ground-outs precisely where the Meridian fielder was unable to nail the runner coming home.

If Mathusek’s slide into home wasn’t as graceful as the one by Smith, it was still pretty dang crowd-pleasing.

Rumbling and stumbling, she did the world’s most-awkward, yet effective, half-cartwheel, reaching back to tap her hand on the plate as she crashed by in a tangle of body parts.

The final run capped a day in which eight of 10 Wolves reached base, six had hits, and six collected RBI’s.

Smith (2B, 1B), Crownover (2B, 1B) and Wright (1B, 1B, HR) led the hit parade, with Mathusek (3B), Wells (2B), and Bailey (1B) all collecting base-knocks.

Chloe Wheeler and Mackenzie Davis both walked, while Prescott racked up two RBI, joining Wright (3), Crownover (2), Smith (2), Mathusek (1), and Bailey (1) as run-producers.

And Laxton, who was flat-out robbed twice of big hits by quick (and lucky) Meridian gloves, and Coral Caveness, in street clothes as she recovers from being drilled in the funny bone a game earlier?

They sung as loudly as anyone in the post-game victory song, smiles stretching across the prairie, basking in the glow of their teammate’s achievements and ready to get some of their own next time out.

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Chloe Wheeler smashed her first varsity softball hit Wednesday and it was a big one, a thunderous two-run double to the wall in left field. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Every team needs a Chloe Wheeler.

The Coupeville High School junior softball slugger isn’t a full-time starter (yet) or an All-Conference player (yet), but she is the sort of player every coach, and fan, appreciates.

A hard worker, always upbeat, always supporting her teammates, a quiet but friendly, intelligent young woman with aspirations of helping others one day as a substance abuse counselor.

Playing on a team with a deep, experienced roster, Wheeler has had to wait for her opportunities, but Wednesday afternoon, given one, she soared.

Getting the first varsity hit of her career, she didn’t dribble a hit back up the middle, or chop a roller that evaded a glove.

Instead, swinging from the heels, Wheeler belted a two-run double to the deepest, darkest part of left field, a blow which sent the ball skidding off the wall while her teammates pounded the dugout fence.

Part of a furious final-inning rally which fell just short in a 12-8 loss to host Granite Falls, her big bash speaks well for her future, and her team’s.

While the defeat drops Coupeville a game back of Granite in the chase for a North Sound Conference title, there are still six league rumbles left on the schedule.

And with the final rally sparked by consecutive hits from their 5-6-7-8-9 hitters, the Wolves may have found a way to balance a hot-hitting top of the order with what has been a somewhat lukewarm-hitting bottom of the lineup.

For now, Granite sits at 5-1 in league play, 8-5 overall, with Coupeville (4-2, 6-6), Cedar Park Christian (3-2, 8-3), Sultan (1-4, 1-7), and South Whidbey (1-5, 4-8) in pursuit.

After a non-conference game Saturday against Meridian, CHS wades into the second half of league play, a time when they will play cellar dwellers Sultan and South Whidbey twice apiece.

Coupeville also has a road game against CPC, which it has taken two games from, and a home clash with Granite, the only conference squad it hasn’t fully solved yet.

Wednesday’s game was much closer than the first meeting between the two teams, when a rash of errors on fly balls doomed the Wolves in a somewhat-lopsided 23-11 loss.

This time out, Coupeville fell behind early, trailing 8-1 after two innings, then largely controlled the game in the latter stages.

Freshman hurler Izzy Wells, who started in left field, but then moved into the pitcher’s circle early in the second inning, whiffed eight Tigers, while the Wolves collected 14 hits.

“Well, our bats were half awake through six and in the 7th came alive,” said CHS coach Kevin McGranahan. “Much better than last time, so we are making progress.

“Few bounces here and there and we were right there.”

Coupeville jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but were denied more when Granite pulled off a slick double play, the first of two times the Tigers closed an inning with a twin killing.

Wolf lead-off hitter Scout Smith, making her first plate appearance since conking a walk-off grand slam against Cedar Park Monday, lashed a double to deep center to get things crackin’.

After advancing to third on a ground-out, she alertly bolted home when the Granite catcher airmailed a pick-off throw into left field.

Then things went sour for an inning-and-a-half, and that proved largely to be the game.

The Tigers plated three in their half of the first and another five in the second, while Coupeville lost second baseman Coral Caveness when she was drilled in the elbow with a pitch.

Any time you wear a pitch it hurts, but this wayward heave connected with bone with a sickening thwack which carried across multiple fields, forcing the CHS sophomore to spend the rest of the game icing an arm which progressively swelled.

Trailing 8-1 and down a player headed into the third, things looked bleak for the Wolves, but they went to work, chipping away at Granite.

A spark of offense in the third, set up by singles from Emma Mathusek and Chelsea Prescott, and delivered by a thunderous two-run single off of Veronica Crownover’s smokin’ bat, cut the lead to 8-3.

Unfortunately for the Wolf faithful, Granite went back into lock-down mode for a bit after that, before adding three runs in the fourth for a mini-rally which was greatly helped by a field ump absolutely whiffing on a call.

Somehow ignoring Prescott slapping a tag on a runner going by, even though he was peering right over the Wolf shortstop’s shoulder at the time, the blind man walking gave the home team extra life, and, to their credit, they took advantage.

Each time Granite started to creep away, Coupeville would slice away at the lead, but was never able to find the magic key to unlocking a truly big inning.

An RBI single from Mollie Bailey and a deep sac fly from Crownover in the fifth made it 11-5, before Granite tacked on a final run in the bottom of the inning.

With Wells flinging liquid heat, Prescott and Smith made strong defensive plays behind their young ace, and the two teams marched to the final inning.

Where the Wolves, a team which has launched multiple comeback wins this season, almost (but not quite) found another miracle.

The run started after Granite shortstop Samantha Vanderwel, who had a sensational defensive day, robbed Wolf cleanup hitter Sarah Wright on a hard smash into the hole.

Deciding to hit away from the Tiger superstar, who has a vacuum for a glove, and a cannon in place of a throwing arm, Coupeville found immediate success.

Five straight hits, to be exact, with Bailey, Crownover, Nicole Laxton, Wells, and Wheeler all finding pay-dirt in the outfield, and three runners careening across home plate.

Laxton picked up the first RBI, mashing a laser shot to right, before Wheeler got dynamic.

When Smith followed the hitting outburst by walking to juice the bags with just one out, anything seemed possible.

The Wolves had the tying run at the plate, the Granite hurler was on the ropes, and one more good pop would have fractured the local fans, who were collectively breathing into one giant brown paper sack in an attempt to not hyperventilate and pass out.

But there would be no miracle finish for the visitors, as Mathusek and Prescott both launched high, arcing, deep blasts with big-time extra-base potential, only to see sure-handed Granite outfielders chase down the moon shots.

Ten of Coupeville’s 12 players collected a hit Wednesday, with Crownover, Smith, Prescott, and Bailey each notching two base-knocks.

Mackenzie Davis, Laxton, Wheeler, Mathusek, Wright, and Wells rounded out the hit parade.

While it was a loss, it was a “good” loss, and now the countdown towards May 1, when the Tigers come to Whidbey, begins.

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