Wolves drop season-opener

LAKEWOOD — The sun peeked through the clouds several times Monday afternoon, but quickly disappeared.

The weather wasn’t much different than the Coupeville fastpitch softball team’s execution.

Able to display several bursts of sharpness against 2A Lakewood, the Wolves couldn’t sustain them for long periods of time, losing their season-opener 9-1.

“We made some great plays,” interim head coach Jim Wheat said. “For such a young team, I’m very pleased — it’s just part of that learning process.”

Coupeville started the game off sharp.

Facing a tough pitcher in junior Danielle Bruns, the Wolves’ offense got to work in the top of the first inning.

Number-two hitter Laura Crandall singled up the middle. With the third hitter, Stacy Farmer, coming to the plate, things looked good for Coupeville.

A runner caught stealing and a strikeout, however, quickly ended hopes the Wolves had for taking an early lead.

Although they were unable to get on the scoreboard, Coupeville’s defense also appeared strong early.

Senior pitcher Heather Davis struck out the first two Cougar batters and got a pop out to keep the game scoreless.

The second inning, however, the clouds began to hover over the Wolves.

Coupeville couldn’t find the softball, as over the next two innings five batters struck out.

“You’ve got to put the ball on the bat if you want to have an opportunity to win,” Wheat said.

While the Wolves had struggles hitting, Lakewood found a groove.

After scoring their first run on a wild pitch, the Cougars tacked on two more runs via infield hits for a 3-0 lead after two innings. They added two more in the fourth on another wild pitch and an RBI double.

“They pretty much hit them where we weren’t and that’s the game, you’ve got to applaud that,” Wheat said.

Down 6-0 in the top of the fifth, Coupeville was finally able to find success off of Bruns. Alisson Ceci led the inning off with a single up the middle. She worked her way around the bases, stealing second and third, before scoring Coupeville’s lone run on a wild pitch.

Despite the lack of runs, Coupeville was able to get the ball on the bat against a tough pitcher regularly after the third inning. CHS had seven strikeouts over the first three innings, but only three over the last four.

Wheat was happy with the teams’ ability to adjust and put the ball in play.

“What pleases me is we were making contact...we were fouling the ball,” he said. “When we get into our league we won’t see that kind of pitching and I think we’ll see some better stuff from us.”

Davis ended the game with eight strikeouts for Coupeville. She had difficulty with control at times, however, throwing five wild pitches. Three of those resulted in runs scored.

Offensviely, the Wolves’ only other hit of the game came in the third inning from number nine hitter Michelle Peleer, who beat out a throw to first, and eventually stole second.

Lakewood second baseman Susie Strickler led the way for the Cougars, going 2-for-3 for with two runs.

Coupeville plays its next game at 3:30 p.m., today, March 23 at home against 2A Port Townsend. It’s their only home game in a span of three weeks.

Coupeville 000 010 0 — 1 3 5

Lakewood 032 103 x — 9 10 1

Davis, Caldwell and Larson (5). Bruns and Stewart. WP-Bruns (1-0). LP-Davis (0-1).

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