While the district season isn’t over yet, the Lakeshore softball team took a big step to clinching the District 8-4A title.
Behind a complete-game, one run performance by Tracy Mashaw in the circle, Lakeshore defeated St. Scholastica 4-1 Thursday afternoon at the SSA softball complex.
With the win, the Titans (14-9, 8-0) take a two-game lead over SSA (14-7, 8-2) in district play. Lakeshore has two games remaining in 8-4A action, against Pearl River on April 11 and Loranger on April 12.
Lakeshore scored three runs in the first inning. After Paige Hulin led off with a walk and Grace Decker reached on an infield single, the Titans had runners on second and third with two outs. Catcher Sam Conley lined an RBI single into center field to make it 1-0. One batter later, Katie Gunther’s two-run double scored Decker and Conley to make it 3-1.
That’s all the run support Mashaw needed. The sophomore picked up the win with one of her better performances, allowing only one run on six hits.
“Having my teammates give me a three-run lead before I ever had to pick up the ball was great,” Mashaw said. “It took a lot of pressure off of me, that’s for sure. Whenever you can add such a phenomenal defense like the one I had playing behind me tonight too, you have less pressure in the circle.
“This is a huge win. This (SSA) is our biggest district rival. It’s a big win.”
Lakeshore coach Jennie Jones said she just had a feeling her Mashaw was the right choice in the circle.
“I went back and looked at the scorebook from the last time we played (SSA),” Jones said. “The thing about Tracy is that she can take some of these strong hitting teams and just kind of completely throw them off their game. She has a natural drop to her pitches. If I were to have kept stats of having many times I called her drop ball, it would have to be possibly more than 90-percent of the time.
“The other thing is she has such a solid defense behind her right now. They played phenomenal. As a first-year coach, with this group of girls, I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
St. Scholastica’s Samantha Zelden got the Doves on scoreboard in the third inning with an RBI single that scored shortstop Riley De Laval, cutting the Titans lead to 3-1.
Lakeshore added an insurance run in the seventh after a RBI sacrifice fly by second baseman Skyler Rogowski.
“We played a clean game today,” SSA coach Charles Richard said. “You have to take your hats off to Lakeshore. They got a couple of base runners early and were able to put the bat on the ball.
“We just have to be able to put this behind us. We have to win out, and if we do that, we will be in the postseason. We just want to still give ourselves a good chance to get a good draw.”