With every batter in the lineup either driving in a run or getting a hit, the Lakeshore Titans softball team defeated Salmen 15-0 Wednesday morning in District 8-4A action, in a game called after three innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
In an effort to beat inclement weather expected to hit the north shore later in the day and throughout the week, the game was moved up to a 10 a.m. start.
Lakeshore (11-5, 6-0) batted around in the first inning, scoring four runs on four hits. Second baseman Skyler Rogowski had an RBI, double and catcher Katie Gunther drove in a run with a triple.
Rogowski drove in another run in the second inning, as did third baseman Kaitlyn Dalferes to extend the Lakeshore lead to 6-0.
The Titans put the game away for good in the third inning, exploding for nine runs on seven hits. Shortstop Emma Autin had a pair of RBI singles in the inning, as did Dalferes, Gunther and designated player Cali Church. Paige Hulin added an RBI groundout.
“Games like today are tough,” Lakeshore coach Jennie Jones said. “And it doesn’t help things when the girls aren’t used to playing this early in the day. They were walking in the locker room before the game, and they were yawning. We woke up and did what we had to do.
“We were expected to win, but I told our team it doesn’t mean you will, by any means. I have told them before: On any given day, any team can win. It’s who shows up. I think it is a girl thing. They can show up one day and not be there the next. The pep talk before the game went a long way to getting us focused for this matchup.”
Autin was the leading hitter for Lakeshore, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs, three runs scored and three stolen bases. Dalferes finished 2-for-2 with two RBIs, and Gunther went 2-for-3 with a triple, double and two RBIs.
“You can lose focus in a game like this,” Dalferes said. “We knew coming into this game to be ready for the slow pitching, so we were ready for it. I think this team is getting better at focusing on one game at a time and not overlooking someone because a bigger game may be happening later in the season.”
Expected to beat the Spartans, Gunther said staying focused mentally was the team’s biggest area of emphasis Wednesday morning.
“Games like this are actually harder in my opinion,” she said. “Because you expect a lot out of yourself in these kinds of games. You have to live up to expectations, and that can be difficult at times. Games like this are fun in a way, but I would much rather play a game that I’m under pressure and have to do well.”
In the circle, sophomore right-hander Tracy Marshaw picked up the win. She allowed a single hit, struck out one and didn’t walk a batter.
“Getting the run support like I got today in the circle only makes my job easier,” she said. “It completely takes the pressure off of me out there.”