By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Group
Continuing its undefeated season, the Central Whidbey Little League Junior (13/14-year-olds) softball team won the first of a best-of-three series 14-2 over North Whidbey in five innings in the District 11 tournament at Coupeville High School on Monday, July 7.
The two teams met again at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the second game; the third game, if necessary, is slated for 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The series winner will represent District 11 in the state softball tournament and take on Ridgefield at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at Meridian Park in Shoreline.
Between power hitting and powerful pitching by Bella Northup of Freeland, the Central Whidbey squad cruised over North Whidbey.
Central Whidbey built a 4-0 lead heading into the fourth inning and then erupted for eight runs to cement the win.
The big inning started with four consecutive singles by Hope Lodell, Lauren Rose, Katrina McGranahan and Sarah Wright. After an error and an out, a double by Veronica Crownover and a single by Robin Cedillo continued the rally. Rose added another hit, a double, to collect the seventh hit in the inning.
North Whidbey scored both its runs in the fifth inning.
Walks to Sam Payne, Brooke Wilson and Yesenia Keiser loaded the bases, then Megan Flood singled in two runs.
The fifth inning was the only hiccup for Northup. She pitched a two-hitter with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Central Whidbey scored once in the first. With two outs, McGranahan doubled and scored on an error.
In the third, Central Whidbey added three runs. The big blast was a two-run triple by Wright.
In the fifth, Crownover doubled and Emily Licence singled to help produce two runs.
McGranahan finished 3-for-3 with a double, a walk and three runs. Wright was also 3-for-3, ripping two triples and scoring two runs. Crownover slugged a pair of doubles and scored two runs. Rose was 2-for-3 with a double, walk and two runs.
Lodell, Tamika Nastali, Cedillo and Licence all added one single.
Lyndsay Duchnowski and Flood collected North Whidbey’s only hits.