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Posts Tagged ‘Veronica Crownover’

Veronica Crownover, home-run hitting prairie legend. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Now a college player, Crownover (back, center) had four hits, including a long ball, as Wazzu won two of three on opening weekend. (Photo courtesy Kelly Crownover)

Different town, different uniform, same booming bat.

Coupeville High School grad Veronica Crownover made her college softball debut this weekend, and she filled the Pullman sky with the sight of a bashed ball flying far, far away.

Just the way she used to do it as a Wolf.

Crownover is now a freshman at Washington State University, and she and her teammates on the school’s club softball squad took two of three games from visiting Boise State.

The Cougars dropped the season opener Saturday, falling 11-3, then bounced back to sweep a doubleheader Sunday, winning 9-5 and 13-4.

Crownover’s bat was smokin’ in the 38-degree weather, as she peppered Bronco pitching.

After picking up her first two collegiate hits and coming around to score in Sunday’s opener, she smacked a third single to open the nightcap, then went deep.

Her two-run home run was still climbing as it cleared the center-field fence 310 feet away, while parents Darren and Kelly out-screamed the entire rest of the fan base of both teams.

Trotting home with her first college tater, Veronica Crownover, who has picked up the nickname “Bro” from her Wazzu teammates (since she uses the word as a noun, verb, and adjective in most conversations), was all smiles.

“Today was a really good day,” she said. “I can die happy.”

Along with her offensive explosion, Crownover was her usual slick-fielding presence at first base, pulling in throws no matter where they were headed.

The Cougars, who play year-round, return to action the last weekend of October, when they’ll put their 2-1 record on the line against Gonzaga.

During her time in Coupeville, Crownover earned a truck load of softball awards from her team and various leagues for her play.

Before graduating last spring, she and fellow Wolf seniors Sarah Wright and Nicole Laxton led CHS to the state tournament in Richland, where Coupeville won a game for the first time since 2002.

The Wolves held up well against eventual state champ Montesano, upset Deer Park, which had taken out the defending state champs, then came within a play of also knocking off Cle Elum.

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After four seasons of blasting dingers for Coupeville, Veronica Crownover (and her boomin’ bat) will play for the Washington State University softball team. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Good-bye, softball.

Veronica Crownover isn’t ready to retire just yet.

The 2019 Coupeville High School grad, who launched towering home-runs to all fields and made opposing pitchers cry sweet, sweet tears during her time as a prep softball slugger, has officially made the team at Washington State University.

Tryouts were this week, and the former Wolf first-baseman impressed with both her glove and bat. The Wazzu freshman is in the mix for a starting position, as well.

Washington State competes as an NCAA D-I school in 11 sports, and supplements those varsity programs with 27 club sports teams.

Softball, which has been active at WSU since 1996, is part of the club system, along with sports such as wrestling, ice hockey, bowling, cricket, rugby, and lacrosse.

The Cougar softball team is a member of the National Club Softball Association, which boasts 143 colleges.

Wazzu plays out of the Pacific – North division, which also includes club teams from the University of Oregon, Eastern Washington University, Boise State University, and Gonzaga University.

Games begin in October, and Crownover and her new teammates play in both the fall and spring.

The former Wolf will have a busy schedule, as she’s also pulling a double major, studying Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Sciences along with Zoology, while being on a pre-vet track.

While that makes for a lot of class time, mixed with life on the diamond, it’s something Crownover has handled before.

She graduated twice this spring, earning degrees from both CHS and Skagit Valley College.

Her softball roots go back to little league, when she and future high school teammates like Sarah Wright, who will play for Sewanee: The University of the South this year, tore up the diamond.

Once she hit high school, Crownover made an immediate impact, earning All-League honors as a freshman, then adding enough awards over the next three years to build her own shrine.

She was a nimble defensive player at first base, providing a soft mitt for her fellow infielders to aim for, while pulling in just about any throw which came within 10 feet of her.

But it was Crownover’s bat, “Thunder,” which made her reputation.

The sultan of swat carved up pitcher after pitcher, from future D1 hurlers like Klahowya’s Amber Bumbalough and South Whidbey’s Mackenzee Collins, to the best playoff rivals could throw her way.

She crashed a home run deep over a very tall left-field fence at Oak Harbor to stun Coupeville’s big-city rivals, hurt South Whidbey so badly, so often that the Falcons intentionally walked her multiple times in one game, and played her best in the spotlight.

Crownover and Wright, along with fellow senior Nicole Laxton, led the Wolves to the state tourney this spring, where they won for the first time since 2002.

That victory came against Deer Park, a juggernaut which had upended the defending state champs, and CHS also came within a play of knocking off Cle Elum at the big dance.

Playing three games in one day at the state tourney in Richland (the Wolves also tangled with eventual state champ Montesano), Crownover went out in style, swinging for the fences and freakin’ out rival pitchers.

Now, she gets to go out and do it all again, just in a different uniform.

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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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