1st-inning runs not enough for Coupeville | Softball

Cedarcrest High School's softball team's first inning was better than Coupeville's and the Red Wolves won 4-2 in Duvall Wednesday, May 7.

Cedarcrest High School’s softball team’s first inning was better than Coupeville’s and the Red Wolves won 4-2 in Duvall Wednesday, May 7.

Coupeville scored two runs in its first at bat, Cedarcrest answered with three and that was about it for offense the rest of the afternoon.

The Wolves are 3-13 in Cascade Conference play, tied with South Whidbey in the battle for the top 1A seed heading into the playoffs with two games left.

The Wolves go to Lakewood (8-7, 10-7) at 5 p.m. Friday, May 9, and then finish the regular season at first-place Granite Falls (15-1, 16-2) at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 13.

Coupeville and Lakewood split two earlier meetings. The Cougars won 9-1 March 31 and the Wolves won 8-6 April 16.

Granite Falls defeated Coupeville 13-3 and 3-1.

The district tournament is May 16 and 17 in Sedro-Woolley.

With one out in the top of the first inning in the loss to Cedarcrest, Bree Messner and Hailey Hammer singled, then McKayla Bailey doubled them home. After those three consecutive hits, Coupeville would get only two more the remainder of the game.

Maddi Roberts singled in the second and Hailey Hammer led off the third with a base hit. From there, the final 15 Wolves went down in order.

Cedarcrest strung together four consecutive hits, the final two doubles, to score three runs in the bottom of the first.

Three straight Red Wolves hits scored the game’s only other run in the third.

Coupeville pitcher McKayla Bailey, with the help of an errorless defense, blanked Cedarcrest the rest of the way.

Bailey finished with five strikeouts and no walks.

The Wolves’ offense struggled, but not its defense, according to co-coach David King.

Among the strong plays were Jae LeVine’s backhand stop, Emily Licence’s glove-side grab and throw to second to force the lead runner and Maddi Strasburg’s running catch in center field.

“Offensively we are still trying to find a rhythm and consistency,” King said. “We have a good inning, then we cool off quickly and can’t get things going again.

“We are playing better on defense, and McKayla, with her pitching, has kept us in games. We are right there in our games; once we start having good at bats throughout a seven-inning game, these close games we aren’t winning will start putting us in the win column.”