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Lakewood ace trumps Coupeville | Softball
Excuse the Coupeville High School softball team if it doesn't care to see Lakewood's Hailey Malakowski again.
Malakowski picked up two pitching wins and smacked a pair of two-run home runs as the first-place Cougars (6-1, 7-2)took two, 14-4 and 6-5, from visiting Coupeville Tuesday, April 2.
Malakowski pitched a five-inning four hitter in the opening game as the Wolves struggled to get their offense going.
Coupeville finally put together a rally in the fifth, plating three runs. Madeline Roberts and McKayla Bailey walked and Hailey Hammer singled to load the bases. Bessie Walstad's fielder's choice scored one run, then Madi Strasburg singled in two more.
Strasburg had two of the Wolves' four hits, Hammer and Haley Sherman singled and Bree Messner walked three times.
While Malakowski was holding down the Coupeville attack, the Cougars thumped 13 hits, including two doubles, a triple and two home runs.
The second game was as close as the first won was a rout. A few missed opportunities and a few questionable calls hurt the Wolves in their attempt to pull off the split.
Co-coach Amy King said, "We took a deep breath, got more focused and came out fighting."
Singles by Roberts and Walstad helped the Wolves get two runs in the first inning, but Coupeville left the bases loaded. Stranded runners would haunt the Wolves the entire game.
The Cougars got one run back in the bottom of the first, then Coupeville scored again in the second. Roberts singled and eventually scored on a passed ball. The Wolves left two more on base.
Lakewood scored one in the second to make it 3-2, then each team scored one in the fourth. Hammer crushed a home run for the Wolves to get Coupeville's run. It looked like the rally would continue with runners at the corners and one out. Messner bunted and was out at first on a call that could have gone either way. On the throw to first, the runner at third broke for home and was cut down on a suspect call to complete the double play.
Coupeville scored its final run in the fifth. Bailey singled and eventually scored on Hammer's ground out.
The Wolves played stout defense during the double header, but an error in the fifth was costly. With two out an error put one on, then Malakowski – who else — drilled a two-run home run to tie the game at 5.
The Wolves were unable to score in the seventh, leaving runners at second and third.
Lakewood's leadoff hitter singled and stole second. With two outs, she scored on another disputed call. The hitter drove the ball down the line by the Wolves's diving third baseman. Although the ball appeared to be foul, according to the Coupeville faithful, it was ruled fair and drove in the winning run.
Bailey "pitched one of her best games all year," King said, and Strasburg led the offense with a double and two singles. Hammer had a single to go along with the homer, Roberts recorded two singles and Walstad and Bailey had one single each.
Strasburg finished the day 5-for-6 and Messner had five walks and two sacrifice bunts.
King said, "The great thing is the team came out and played with confidence in the second game. They didn't let the first game affect them, and this will help us as the season progresses."
Coupeville (3-4) welcomes South Whidbey (0-7) at 4 p.m. Monday, April 8.