Lakers softball sweeps opener

Barnes at bat

The Lady Lakers (2-0) softball team kicked off their season Sunday as they traveled to Ohio University-Chillicothe. Despite the frigid temperatures, Lakeland managed an astounding 25 hits and 20 runs in a two game sweep of the Hilltoppers.

In the opening game, Lakeland took a 6-0 leading after their half of the fourth before hanging on for a 7-6 win. Freshman Amber Liederbach started things off for the Lakers by hitting a grand slam in the first inning. Justine Barnes followed that up by hitting a solo shot in the second. The game winning run was scored when Danae Scoville led off the sixth with a bunt single. She later stole second base and then scored on an RBI double by Emily Woods. For the Lakers, every starter collected a hit while Leiderbach, Scoville, sophomore Sarah Steigerwald, and freshman Jamie Matso each collected two hits.

Freshman Sydney Aey (1-0) started on the mound for the Lakers. She completed 4.1 innings allowing 2 hits and 2 runs. Freshman McKailyn Woodward came on to pitch the final two innings allowing 1 run and striking out 3 to get her first save in a Lakeland uniform.

In the nightcap, Lakeland used a pair of 6 run innings to defeat the Hilltoppers 13-9. Sophomore Taylor Rowe started the game with a bunt single. Later, that was followed by a Justine Barnes two run homer; her second of the season. The inning continued with consecutive singles by Abigail Mowrer and Amber Liederbach. Sophomore Shar Miller then stroked a two run single to give the Lakers a 4-0 lead. After a walk to Laura Matso, Miller scored on a bunt single by Jamie Matso. Laura Matso finally scored the sixth run of the inning on a wild pitch.

The Lakers scored a run in the third when Shar Miller reached on an error. She advanced to third on another single by Jamie Matso. She came home on a sac fly from Taylor Rowe.

In the fourth, the Lakers took advantage of a walk, two hit batters, and some timely hits to score 6 more runs. Keying the inning was a bases clearing triple by Shar Miller and a RBI single from Jamie Matso. In this game, the Lakers were paced by Jamie Matso's 3 hits. Miller, Mowrer, and Rowe each had two hits. Miller added 3 RBI's while Jamie Matso, Sarah Steigerwald, and Justine Barnes each contributed 2 RBI's.

Sydney Aey again started for the Lakers but lasted 2.1 innings as she allowed 7 hits and 5 runs (4 earned). McKailyn Woodward came on and threw the final 4.2 innings to get her first Lakeland win. She allowed 5 hits and 4 runs (2 earned) while striking out 4.

The Lady Lakers next games are scheduled for Sunday, March 19, at Berliner Park (Columbus, OH). In Columbus, they will play host to Schoolcraft College in a noon doubleheader. The Lakers are scheduled to be on the road for the rest of March before hosting Monroe Community College April 2 in a noon doubleheader.

Be sure to continue to follow the Lakeland Lakers on their newly released website at