After a long offseason, the Lakewood softball team is geared up to take advantage of every opportunity that they have on the diamond.
However, due to the recent Coronavirus cancellations, all sports are suspended for at least the next six weeks and the WIAA is currently looking to find a solution to salvage the season. It is still unclear whether teams will play the end of their regular season or if there will be some other alternative put in place.
“We’re not sure what is going to happen, so we just need to deal with everything that comes our way. It’s unfortunate, because the team was ready to go and a lot of them had personal goals that they were setting for the season. Even with that, when it comes down to it the health and well-being of everyone comes before sports,” said Lakewood Head Coach Travis Boortz.
Over the past two seasons the Cougars have been in the conversation as one of the best 2A teams in the state. In 2018, they finished as a top 14 team in the State with a record of 18-8, 8-5 in league. They took another step last season as they finished with an overall record of 21-6, league record of 10-2, and placed seventh at the State Tournament.
After their strong finish last year, Lakewood graduated four seniors including longtime leader Olivia Poulton. Poulton was a two-time All-NWC shortstop as a 2018 Second Team and 2019 First Team member.
“We have a young roster, but we have a lot of experience, and when we come back that will be a huge advantage to get back rolling. They put in a lot of work in the offseason and came into this year wanting to find ways to get mentally tough for a long season. They are all leaders and I know they will find ways to stay ready for when we get a chance to play,” said Coach Boortz.
This season the Cougars return nine players including five juniors and four sophomores back from the varsity roster. Two of the returners made All-NWC teams last year including Riley Mae Swanson and Natalie Krueger. Swanson, junior pitcher, has made the All-NWC team in her first two seasons, on the Second Team in 2018 and a First Team member in 2019. Krueger, sophomore second baseman, came in her freshman season and made some noise as she finished the year on the All-NWC Second Team.
The other four returning juniors will be Ashtyn Falor, Addison Wagner, Brittani Boortz and Abby Freeman. Falor, catcher, will be calling the shots from behind the plate and Wagner will be working in the infield alongside her. Boortz will be the only returning outfielder on the roster and Freeman will act as a utility player wherever needed.
Kaci Smith, Makena Lampinen and Madison Graham will round out the rest of the returning sophomores. Smith, infielder, has been voted as the team captain and will play a huge role as an underclassman. Lampinen will round out the infield and Graham will operate as an utility player.
The WIAA is currently in discussions about how to deal with the season. Currently, the Cougars are scheduled to play their first home game against the Sehome Mariners on Tuesday, April 28, at 4:30 p.m.