North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Lakewood softball works to build on last year's success

Cougars lose key players from last year, will rely on younger players to fill the void

 


The Lakewood girls softball team dominated the league last season as they finished with a 10-3 record and an overall record of 16-6.

With a near perfect regular season, Lakewood kicked off their postseason campaign with an 11-1 win over Blaine. However, after their hot start they lost their next two back-to-back games and were kicked out of the race for State.

In the offseason the Cougars were forced to get a lot younger as they lost three seniors to graduation and two sophomores to other sports. With the loss of their primary pitcher and other starting players, they will look to younger players to step up in a big way.

Another addition to Lakewood this year is the return of former head coach Steve Barker. As a mentor to the current head coach he will operate as an assistant in getting the young players up to speed.

“We play in a very competitive conference and have a lot of young players stepping up, I guess we'll see what happens. We’re losing a handful of players from last year so leadership will be something that we need to focus on and build,” said Lakewood Head Coach Travis Boortz.

The two seniors, Jelly Perry and Carmen Lopez, will be big-time leaders for the Cougars alongside junior captain Olivia Poulton. Perry will be a strong contributor from the outfield as she is one of the most athletic on girls on the team and possesses a great sense for the ball. Lopez looks to lockdown the third base spot and provide some consistency to the infield. Poulton will be looked to for leadership as a multi-year starter at the second base position and work her way onto the scoreboard with her solid at-bats.

The two freshmen that will be relied upon heavily will be Riley Swanson and Ashtyn Fowler. Swanson will step in as the primary starting pitcher and Fowler will be her catcher as they will need to learn and grow quickly into their roles.

“It’s a different team this year and I have people looking up to me instead of me looking up to the upperclassmen. We’re all going to be big players that are going to do big things for each other,” said Poulton.

If you want to support the Cougars, they will be competing at home for the first time against the Granite Falls Tigers on Tuesday, March 13, at 4 p.m.

 

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