KIRTLAND, Ohio – Lakeland softball needed someone to step up in extra innings and Cameron Malkamaki accepted the job in the eighth with a walk-off double down the left field line to give the Lakers a 7-6 victory over Sinclair Community College in the second game Sunday.
Lakeland lost the first game 10-6 and so the Lakers split the doubleheader. With the split, Lakeland's overall record moves to 15-13 and 4-6 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference play.
Sinclair 10 – Lakeland 6
Lakeland nearly came back from trailing 8-0 after four innings but the Lakers fell 10-6 to open the doubleheader against Sinclair.
Cameron Malkamaki brought in a pair of runs with two singles. Elizabeth Montgomery, Dana Turchon, Nicole Ulogar and Jamie Matso each brought in a run in the loss. Justine Barnes hit a single and a double.
Sinclair built up an 8-0 lead after four innings with four in the first, three in the third and one in the fourth. Lakeland was trying to avoid the run rule in the fifth as Ulogar singled with one out and then came in to score on a double by Montgomery to get Lakeland within 8-1.
The Lakers kept the momentum going in the sixth when Malkamaki started the inning off with a single and then scored on an RBI double to center by Turchon to get within 8-2. Ulogar brought in the third run with an RBI ground out and then Matso got Lakeland within 8-4 on a bunted RBI. Sinclair did add two more runs in the seventh to take a 10-4 lead.
Lakeland didn't give up in the seventh inning as Montgomery and Barnes both singled to start the inning. Malkamaki brought both in with an RBI single to get the Lakers within 10-6. Unfortunately, that would be the final run scored by Lakeland in the loss.
Lakeland 7 – Sinclair 6
Lakeland led big early on and then let that lead slip away but a walk-off single by Malkamaki in the eighth was enough to give the Lakers a 7-6 victory to earn the split.
Malkamaki supplied more than half of Lakeland's runs as she brought in four of the seven runs, including the game-winner. Malkamaki also hit a home run and a single earlier in the game. Barnes and Kallista Hribar each had an RBI in the win. Matso added three single at the plate.
Nicole Watts pitched all eight innings for the Lakers to pick up her ninth victory of the season as she allowed just three earned runs while striking out two in the solid performance.
Lakeland jumped out to an early lead in the first inning as Matso singled with one out and then scored the first run of the game after an RBI single by Hribar to left for a 1-0 lead.
The Lakers opened the game up in the second as Barnes made it 2-0 with an RBI single to left. Malkamaki followed with a three-run home run over the fence in center for a 5-0 lead. Sinclair battled back to take a 6-5 lead with five runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Lakeland did stay alive in the seventh as Hribar singled to begin the inning and then she later scored on an error to knot the game up at 6-6.
In the extra frame, it was all Lakeland as Malkamaki ripped her game-winning double down the line in left to give the Lakers a 7-6 victory.
Lakeland will be back home on Thursday, April 26 for a doubleheader against University of Northwestern Ohio JV beginning at 3:30 p.m.
For more information about Lakeland athletics, visit www.athletics.lakelandcc.edu.
About Lakeland Community College
Founded in 1967, Lakeland Community College was the first college in Ohio created by a vote of the people. True to our mission, Lakeland provides quality learning opportunities to meet the social and economic needs of the community.
Offering day, evening, weekend and online classes, the college serves more than 10,800 credit and 2,800 noncredit students (2016). For more information about the College, visit www.lakelandcc.edu.