The Coupeville High School softball team’s offense returned from vacation just in time to help the Wolves pick up a win in the district softball tournament at Sedro-Woolley’s Janiki Fields Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11.
The Wolves entered the tournament after scoring only one run and getting only seven hits over its previous two games. The bats continued to be on leave, getting just two hits as Coupeville lost 2-0 to Lynden Christian in the tournament opener.
When Meridian scored four runs in the first inning of the second round, loser-out game, the Wolves looked to be in deep trouble. But the offense finally returned back to work, scoring five runs in the fifth inning to pull out a 5-4 win.
Coupeville, needing to win one more game to earn a tri-district berth, generated some offense against No. 1 seeded Blaine, but couldn’t slow the Borderites, losing 9-5 Saturday.
Against Lynden Christian, Madi Roberts led off the fourth with a single, but three ground outs ended the threat.
Bessie Walstad started the next inning with Coupeville' other hit, but she was erased on a double play.
Those were the Wolves' only base runners as Lyncs’ pitcher Bridget Kruck faced only one hitter over the minimum.
LC, which had only four hits itself off pitchers McKayla Bailey and Maria Rockwell, loaded the bases in the fourth with no outs and failed to score.
In the fifth, a leadoff walk and then a two-out single scored the first run. The Lyncs added an insurance run in the top of the seventh without a hit. A walk, sacrifice and a wild pitch produced the run.
In Friday’s second game, Meridian exploded for four runs in the first inning. After three runs had crossed, Bailey took over in the circle for Coupeville. The first batter she faced grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring the Trojans’ fourth run, then she, along with an errorless defense, kept Meridian off the board the rest of the way.
Coupeville’s offense continued to put zeros on the board until the fifth.
The inning started with a strikeout, then Haley Sherman boarded on an error. Chevy Reyes and Roberts singled to load the bases. After a force out at the plate, Walstad, Rockwell and Hailey Hammer hit consecutive doubles to score five runs.
Walstad finished with three hits, including two doubles, and Reyes added two singles.
Against Blaine, offense wasn’t a problem but getting key hits and stopping the Borderites were.
In the top of the first, Bree Messner doubled and Walstad singled to put two on. Singles by Rockwell and Hammer produced two runs.
Blaine responded by scoring twice in the bottom half, then took the lead with a run in the third.
Coupeville, which left two runners stranded in the second, got its first two hitters aboard in the fourth but again failed to score.
Blaine took command with a four-run fourth, going up 7-2. The damage could have been worse but the Wolves' leftfielder Roberts, third baseman Hammer and catcher Messner turned an unusual 7-5-2-5-2-5 double play to stop the rally.
In the fifth, Walstad and Hammer singled, but once Coupeville failed to get the clutch hit to drive in the runners.
In the sixth, Sherman singled and Roberts finally gave Coupeville a big hit, a two-run home run with two outs.
Blaine, however, used two walks and two hits to score two more runs off starter Rockwell.
Senior Walstad, playing in her final game, collected her third hit in the seventh. (She went 7-for-9 for the tournament). Rockwell, the Wolves only other senior, walked. After an out, Bailey singled in Walstad for the final run.
Co-coach David King said, “This team never gave up, played solid defensively once again along with good pitching. The great thing is they came out today and eight of the nine batters had at least one hit. They battled until the very end. McKayla said it well after the game: ‘Blaine had to earn the win with how well we played.’”
King added, “We put everything together in this game. We out-hit them 13 to 12; they just had some clutch hits we couldn't get.”
King had praise for his two seniors. “Bessie and Maria really came on strong at the end of the season with their hitting. Maria played this weekend with a very sore hamstring, slightly pulled, and led by example. Bessie carried this team this weekend with her hitting and leadership. These two will be missed for the many things they bring to the team.”