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Missed chances lead to Coupeville loss | Softball

Coupeville pitcher McKayla Bailey, center, is flanked by third baseman Emily Licence, left, and first baseman Hailey Hammer in Thursday
Coupeville pitcher McKayla Bailey, center, is flanked by third baseman Emily Licence, left, and first baseman Hailey Hammer in Thursday's game with South Whidbey.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / South Whidbey Record

Leaving 10 runners stranded, the Coupeville High School softball team came up one run short in a 5-4 loss at South Whidbey Thursday, April 24.

Coupeville (3-8, 4-8) and South Whidbey (3-10, 4-10) are now tied in the win column in the Cascade Conference standings. The Wolves have seven and the Falcons five league games left. The team which finishes highest in the standings receives the highest seed into the 1A playoffs.

Coupeville holds the tie-breaker, winning two of the three games between the two schools.

The Wolves failed to sweep South Whidbey because they couldn't drive in runs when they had the chance Thursday.

Down 5-1, Coupeville rallied late, getting a run in the sixth and two in the seventh.

In the sixth, McKayla Bailey walked, Madi Roberts singled and Tiffany Briscoe rapped a run-scoring hit.

In the seventh with one out, Bree Messner, Hailey Hammer and Bailey singled to load the bases. Madeline Strasburg drove in one run with an infield hit, then Emily Coulter walked to force in a run.

In fitting with the theme of the game, the Wolves finished the game with the bases loaded.

Coupeville's first run came in the opening inning when Roberts led off the game with a single and scored on Messner's double.

South Whidbey scored early, plating two runs in the first and three in the second. The final two runs were unearned off starter Bailey.

Bailey and the CHS defense stiffened after the second, blanking the Falcons with the help of a nice throw from center fielder Strasburg to cut down a runner at the plate and a double play.

South Whidbey collected eight of its 12 hits in the first two innings.

For Coupeville, Messner finished with three hits; Strasburg had two; and Roberts, Hammer, Bailey, Coulter and Briscoe one each.

"Right now we are struggling with the mental part of the game," co-coach David King said. "Players are working hard every day, know what needs to be fixed, but when we get into games we revert back to being too anxious and not showing discipline at the plate and not staying back on the ball.

"Bree has been our most consistent hitter up to this point; this is her second game out of three with collecting three hits. Madi Roberts is putting pressure on the defense with walking or getting her hits. If we can get others to join in, we will be a team that will turn these one run losses into wins."

Coupeville plays a double header at Sultan (5-3, 6-3) beginning at 3 p.m. Monday, April 28, and then hosts Archbishop Murphy (7-3, 8-3) at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 29.

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