The Lakewood girls softball team hosted the Arlington Eagles as they opened the 2019 season on March 11.
Both teams started the first inning with slow bats, as the pitchers came out and quickly began throwing strikeouts. Lakewood managed to turn that around in the bottom of the second inning as they got two players on base early. They capitalized on a few defensive errors by the Eagles in order to go up 2-0.
Arlington came out slow once again in the top of the third, but bounced back with a huge solo-home run to close in on the Cougars, down 2-1. Neither team scored again until Lakewood had another strong inning in the fourth, scoring two runs and extending their lead to 4-1.
However, over the next three innings the Eagles went on to score nine runs with five of them coming in the top of the seventh. Lakewood entered the bottom of the seventh down 10-4 and showed some grit as they scored four runs. Unfortunately, the scoring outburst wasn’t enough as the Eagles took the 10-8 victory.
“It was good to see them battle back and fight in the last inning. But I think that teaches us a lesson that you can’t wait until the last inning to fight, and you have to want that from beginning to end. Good things to learn early on in the season,” said Lakewood Head Coach Travis Boortz.
The Cougars were led by their core of RileyMae Swanson, Olivia Poulton, Natalie Krueger and Brittani Boortz. Swanson, sophomore pitcher, had a great day from the mound as she racked up 10 strikeouts and also showed up at the plate with one hit, one run, and one stolen base. Poulton, senior captain, went 2-3 at the plate with one single, one triple, one run, an RBI and two stolen bases. Krueger, second baseman, led the team in hits with three as she was a perfect 3-3 to go with two runs, two RBIs and three stolen bases. Boortz, sophomore outfielder, went 1-2 at the plate with two walks, two runs and a game-high four stolen bases.
“I’m so proud of the girls. It’s not fun when it’s cold and wet, but with the way they were playing you would think that it was 80 and sunny. It’s great to see them all play together and get aggressive throughout the game,” said Arlington Head Coach Ashleigh Beard.
Arlington had contributions up and down their roster but were led by Elizabeth Durfee, Megan Lawrence, Madisyn Estes, Brooklyn Lamie and Katherine Tsoukalas. Durfee, freshman pitcher, had a big day for her first varsity action as she put up 10 strikeouts. Lawrence, sophomore outfielder, only had one hit but earned two RBIs and one run. Estes, junior third baseman, went 2-3 at the plate with two runs, one RBI, two stolen bases, one double and one home run. Lamie, junior first baseman, led the team in hits going 3-4 with three singles and two runs. Tsoukalas, senior, only had one hit but turned it into a double for two RBIs and one stolen base.
If you want to support the Cougars their next home game will be against Meridian Trojans on Thursday, March 21 at 4:30 p.m. Or if you want to cheer on the Eagles their next home game will be against the Burlington-Edison Tigers on Wednesday, March 20, at 4 p.m.