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Posts Tagged ‘Veronica Crownover’

Veronica Crownover had a run on the softball diamond few other Wolves can match. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The welcome committee awaits the conquering hero after a mammoth home-run.

Along with being a terror on offense, she was a nimble, sure-handed defender at first-base.

She was feared, respected, and loved, which makes for a pretty potent mix.

Once she got out of middle school, leaving volleyball and basketball behind her, Veronica Crownover tackled softball with a laser focus, becoming one of the best to ever wear a Coupeville High School uniform.

During her four-year run on the prairie, which came to a close this spring, the first-baseman was an integral part in back-to-back league titles (the second and third in 41 years of Wolf softball) and the program’s first win at the state tourney since 2002.

Along the way, she became the first Coupeville softball player I’ve ever seen receive multiple intentional walks in one game.

South Whidbey coach Brad Jaeger looked across the field at Crownover bending her bat in half while waiting in the on-deck circle and said, “No, ma’am, no sir, no how, no way.”

And he was probably right, as Crownover had torched Falcon ace Chanel Sterba in a previous game, bashing a grand-slam which bounced up the street towards Prairie Center.

As impressive as that cannon shot was, it wasn’t even her biggest blow of the year.

Of the five over-the-fence home runs she unloaded as a senior, Crownover’s Pièce De Résistance came in the year’s most-satisfying win.

Given a chance to face next-door neighbor Oak Harbor for the first time in maybe forever, the lil’ 1A Wolves stunned the 3A Wildcats 8-4 on their own field.

The hottest hitter in that game was Crownover, who launched an epic RBI single, smashed a moon shot for a two-run double, was intentionally walked, and, oh yes, cleared the towering left field fence for a game-deciding three-run home run.

To appreciate the full fury of her day, and the joy it brought Wolf nation, pop over to https://coupevillesports.com/2019/03/16/big-hearts-big-win/ to once again marinate in the moment.

But, as awe-inspiring as her performance was that day, it was just one small slice from a career which can stand with any put together by a CHS softball player.

Crownover, hot off a little league run which also included a trip to state (and a brief trial-run as a pitcher), had an immediate impact as a Wolf freshman.

She was selected as a First-Team All-Conference player by Olympic League coaches after bashing the snot out of the ball.

In particular, she was the first Wolf to turn the tide against Klahowya’s Amber Bumbalough.

In the early-going of the league, the Eagle hurler dominated, but then Coupeville turned the tide on the eventual D-I pitcher, beating KSS six straight times.

Jae LeVine and Tiffany Briscoe came through with unexpected, big-time blows against Klahowya during that stretch, while Katrina McGranahan and Sarah Wright upheld their reputations as all-world offensive threats.

But it was Crownover — swinging a bat she should have called “Thunder,” because it made a ferocious rumble every time she connected with the ball — who proved the Wolves could terrorize high-level pitching.

And they did it against other teams, as well.

South Whidbey’s Mackenzee Collins is also now a D-I pitcher, but Crownover tore her pitches to pieces, and the Wolves never lost to the Falcons in the four years Veronica wore the uniform.

By the time she was finished, Coupeville’s titan of swat had been tabbed to three All-Conference teams (and robbed one other time) and piled up stats which compare to any Wolf.

Everyone’s enduring image of Crownover will be of her crushing home-runs, yanking doubles off the top of the wall, or slicing wicked liners that whizzed an inch past a startled pitcher’s face on their way to RBI nirvana.

But she was also a top-level defender, the glue which often held the Wolf infield together.

Crownover had a slick glove, was often surprisingly nimble around the bag, and was a cerebral player, making the smart play time and again.

Her combination of providing a superior target, always being ready, and being capable of pulling off quick tags allowed Wolf catcher Sarah Wright to frequently whizz pick-off throws at unexpected moments, and the duo erased a pleasing amount of runners.

Through it all, from the little league days to her final moments on the field at the state tourney in Richland, where she and her teammates upended highly-ranked Deer Park, Crownover was the same easy-going, fun-loving, deadly-efficient slugger.

Today we induct her into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, where she joins others diamond greats such as Sarah Mouw and Breeanna Messner, and it’s an honor she more than deserves.

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

She’ll be easy to spot.

Just look for the player who has to pull a cart behind her, because she collected too many home-run balls to just carry them in her arms.

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Coupeville catcher Sarah Wright was the North Sound Conference softball Defensive Player of the Year. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Scout Smith was a First-Team All-Conference pick for her work at second base.

Heidi Meyers won the JV team’s “Charlie Hustle” award.

The future is now. Freshmen Izzy Wells (left) and Audrianna Shaw (center) and sophomore Coral Caveness all lettered this season.

Banquet season ended with a bang.

The Coupeville High School softball team, coming off a triumphant return to the state tournament, officially capped spring sports Thursday, handing out awards, letters, and plenty of desserts.

The Wolves, who captured the North Sound Conference title, finished 2nd at a tough district tourney, then played three games at state, including knocking off highly-ranked Deer Park, had plenty to celebrate.

Coupeville saw six of its nine starters earn honors when league coaches voted for All-Conference teams.

Senior catcher Sarah Wright led the way, sharing league MVP honors with Granite Falls senior shortstop Samantha Vanderwel.

Wright was tabbed as the North Sound Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while Vanderwel was named the NSC Offensive Player of the Year.

Junior second-baseman Scout Smith and junior center-fielder Emma Mathusek received First-Team All-Conference honors, with senior first-baseman Veronica Crownover, sophomore shortstop Chelsea Prescott, and freshman pitcher Izzy Wells making Second Team.

Coupeville diamond guru Kevin McGranahan was selected as Coach of the Year by his peers.

While the All-Conference honors were big, they were just the start for the Wolves, who also handed out a bunch of team awards as well.

 

Varsity awards:

Team MVP — Sarah Wright

Offensive MVP — Veronica Crownover

Defensive MVP — Scout Smith

Coaches Award — Chelsea Prescott

Rookie of the Year — Izzy Wells

“Put in the Work” — Emma Mathusek

Four-year recognition — Crownover, Nicole Laxton, Wright

Captains — Smith, Wright

 

JV awards:

Leadership/Sportsmanship — Marenna Rebischke-Smith

Charlie Hustle — Heidi Meyers

Golden Glove — Abby Meyers

Coaches Award — Ivy Leedy

Most Improved — Morgan Stevens

Most Versatile — Mckenna Somes

 

Varsity letter winners:

Mollie Bailey
Coral Caveness
Veronica Crownover
Mackenzie Davis
Nicole Laxton
Emma Mathusek
Chelsea Prescott
Audrianna Shaw
Scout Smith
Izzy Wells
Chloe Wheeler
Sarah Wright

 

JV participation certificates:

Tariana Hunter
Ivy Leedy
Lily Leedy
Abby Meyers
Heidi Meyers
Marenna Rebischke-Smith
McKenna Somes
Morgan Stevens
Amanda Thomas
Kylie Van Velkinburgh

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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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