It may only be the school’s seventh softball season, but history was still made Tuesday afternoon for Lakeshore High School.
The fourth-seeded team in Class 4A, the Titans defeated No. 29 Franklinton for the school’s 10-0 first softball playoff victory. The game was called in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Lakeshore (16-5) advances to take on No. 20 Cabrini in the regional round.
The game was the third of the season between the District 8-4A teams. Lakeshore swept the first two matchups by a combined score of 26-5.
“First playoff win for the school is big,” Lakeshore coach Nick McIntosh said. “Franklinton, of course, is familiar to us being a district opponent, so we had a pretty good idea of what they were going to try and do.
“I’m happy with the win, but, looking at the bigger picture, we just have to do a better job at hitting the ball. I’m proud of my team.”
The Titans got on the board in their second at-bat. With one out, Rachel Hunter and Breanna Caruso had back-to-back singles. With two outs, Paige Hulin lined an RBI single into center and Emma Austin had an RBI single to make it 2-0.
Lakeshore added three an inning later. Kaitlyn Dalferes drew a lead-off walk and was sacrificed to second by Katie Gunther. Nichole Ferrara’s second hit drove in Dalferes to make it 3-0.
After a Hunter walk and an infield single by Caruso, Marin Thomas’ ground ball was misplayed, allowing two runs to score to make it 5-0 Lakeshore.
Things started get away from Franklinton (13-14) in the fourth as the Demons gave up three more unearned runs thanks to errors and a defensive obstruction call. Hulin added her second RBI single to make it 9-0 Titans.
“The (mark) of a championship team is when you finish,” McIntosh said. “We had one run to get in the bottom of the fifth inning and we finished.”
Freshman Tracy Mashaw picked up the win. In three innings, she allowed two hits and struck out two.
“I haven’t been here that long but I know picking up this playoff win is a big deal for us as a program,” she said. “I’m just as excited as everybody else. I’m excited that I was able to do my part.
“I’ve been to Sulphur before to watch the state tournament, and now we are only one win away from being able to go there and take part in it.”
“I have to credit my offense for getting the runs on the board for us and allowing me to pitch with a lead. It is a pitcher’s dream to be able to always pitch with a lead, and my offense did that for me tonight.”