Coupeville battles Tigers in Cascade Conference softball

Playing against the 2007 conference champion in the opening game of the season in a daunting task for any high school softball team.

On Monday, Coupeville hosted the talented Archbishop Murphy squad and although the Tigers were 7-2 winners, the Wolf Pack gave the defending Cascade Conference champions one heck of a game.

“Our girls showed up to play today,” coach Jim Wheat said. “They prepared for the last couple of weeks just for this game.”

Archbishop Murphy had one tough pitcher in Brittany Allen who went the distance on the mound, giving up two hits while walking four and striking out 15 Coupeville batters.

Allen struck out six of the first seven batters she faced and her teammates gave the right-hander the lead, scoring five runs in the top of the third inning off Coupeville hurler Nikki Griffin.

Griffin pitched a strong game for the Wolves and gave up no earned runs before Siara Arroyo took over on the mound with one out in the top of the sixth inning.

“Nikki pitched well for us,” Wheat said. “Our new freshman, Siara Arroyo, came in and she also did a good job. She was a little shaky at first, but then she buckled down.”

Arroyo shut the Tigers out in the final two innings of the game without giving up a hit.

Trailing 5-0, the Wolves mounted a rally in the bottom of the third inning when Griffin stroked a two out, two-run double to score Nichole Wright who walked and Kayla Lawson who reached base on a fielder’s choice.

“Overall, we played a phenomenal game against the conference champions,” Wheat said. “If we keep playing like this, it’s something we can build on and we’re going to see more wins this year.”

Kim Weatherford singled in the bottom of the seventh inning for Coupeville’s only other hit in the game.

The Wolves host cross-island rival South Whidbey at 4 p.m. Friday.

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