Spring preview: Coupeville High School fastpitch

Young and experienced are two terms that usually don’t go hand-in-hand when discussing athletic teams, but those adjectives describe this year’s Coupeville fastpitch squad.

The Wolves’ experience comes in the form of 12 returning letter winners; the youth comes in the form of seven sophomores who saw enough playing time last year to earn varsity letters.

Veteran coach Denny Zylstra is in his second year at the helm of the Coupeville program. Zylstra guided the Skagit Valley College program for many years and also served a stint as the Oak Harbor High School coach.

He said, “We are looking for bigger and better things this year.” The Wolves are coming off a 6-15 season.

Zylstra said, “Our focus is on pitching and timely hitting.”

Sophomore second baseman Katie Smith, a first-team all-league selection last spring, and senior shortstop Megan Smith, a second-team pick, anchor the team.

Other returning letter winners include the following: senior centerfielder Julie Swankee, senior outfielder Emma Puharce, senior outfielder Kaylie Kellison, junior third baseman Rebecca Armstrong, sophomore first basman Roxy Piechowski, sophomore catcher Tayler Lawson, sophomore outfielder Grace LaPoint, sophomore outfielder Kaya Boonstra, sophomore pitcher Autumn Stevenson and sophomore pitcher Alexis Trumbull.

Zylstra said freshman pitcher-third baseman Maria Rockwell and freshman catcher Bessie Walstad will also contribute.

Granite Falls appears to be the team to beat in the Cascade Conference title chase, according to Zylstra.

Coupeville opens at home Tuesday, March 16, with Concrete at 4 p.m.

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