After heartbreaking near misses the past two years, the Coupeville High School softball team is going to the state tournament May 24 and 25 in Richland’s Columbia Fields.
Two years ago, Coupeville came within one pitch of reaching state; last year the Wolves fell to a team it defeated three times earlier in the season in a winner-to-state, loser-out game.
The Wolves wrapped up a berth this year by defeating Meridian 15-0 in four innings and Granite Falls 11-10 Thursday at the district tournament in Sedro-Woolley.
Coupeville plays Lynden Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, in the the district title game, which will decide the first and second seeds into the state tournament.
The Wolves return to state for the first time since 2014 and for only the third time in school history.
Coupeville buried Meridian with an 11-run third inning.
Veronica Crownover finished 3-for-3 with a double and home run, Scout Smith added a double and single, Chelsea Prescott doubled and Emma Mathusek, Sarah Wright, Mollie Bailey and Coral Caveness all singled.
Smith pitched a two-hitter for the win.
Coupeville built an 11-5 lead and then held on as Granite Falls rallied in the seventh to cut the gap to one.
The Wolves jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first inning. Smith led off with a home run and Crownover smacked her second of the day later in the inning.
After Granite Falls sliced the lead to 5-4, the Wolves erupted for five runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Coupeville led 11-5 going into the final inning, but Granite Falls’ high-powered offense got rolling. The Tigers came into the game averaging more than 19 runs per game.
Granite Falls put five on the board, but the Wolves escaped with the win and the state berth.
The victory by Coupeville also evened the season series with the Tigers at 2-2. Coupeville, Granite Falls and Cedar Park Christian all tied for first place in the North Sound Conference.
When the Tigers rallied in the seventh, coach Kevin McGranahan met with his club mid-inning in the circle.
“The kids said, ‘We are ending it right here,’” McGranahan said. “They have ice water in their veins.”
Pitcher Izzy Wells enticed the Tigers’ No. 3 hitter to ground to shortstop Prescott for the final out.