June 8, 2012 — Success can often come when you least expect it.
This is exactly what happened for the Lakeside softball team this season, as it finished its successful run with a KCAA state runner-up finish this past Saturday at Georgetown College.
Ending its season with a final record of 9-4, LCA Head Coach Billy Winkleman said he couldn’t be happier with this year’s squad.
“Well, to be honest, I think we kind of shocked ourselves to end up with a great season like this,” Winkleman said. “I am beyond proud of all that these girls accomplished this year. They played hard and worked diligently to get better…an excellent group of kids to coach.”
Headed into tournament play as a three seed, the Lady Falcons garnered some much-needed momentum, winning four-straight games to end the regular season.
LCA’s girls did as they were expected in the first game, destroying an overmatched Somerset Christian, 17-2, Friday afternoon.
The following day’s second-round matchup pitted the Lady Falcons against a familiar foe in the form of Heritage Christian Academy.
After falling in a tooth-and-nail matchup against the Lady Warriors earlier in the year, Lakeside buckled down on defense to grab the 10-6 upset.
Senior pitcher Morgan Ravenscraft provided a strong effort on the hill, picking up four strikeouts, while allowing just three hits for the solid Heritage offense.
Though its defense was restrictive, hitting turned out to be the real game changer in the affair.
After a slow start, the Lady Falcons got the bats going in the third by scoring seven of its 11 runs in the game.
Third baseman Farah Weaver and catcher Allie Winkleman made a big impact two RBIs apiece, with Winkleman tallying two triples.
Eleven hits, including three by Weaver, and a trio of two hits apiece for Winkleman, Haley Skidmore and Devon Wells, gave the Lady Flacons offense the fuel it needed to pull away in the latter innings.
Ravenscraft, Abby Hicks and Ally McGhee also contributed in the batter’s box with one rip apiece.
“We really had some momentum going in those first two games,” coach Winkleman said. “The bats were on for us offensively, and it was great to see these girls have success down here.”
Saturday’s big championship matchup on Saturday saw a quick turnaround for Winkleman and his girls, with just a 15-minute break to head onto the field for the final time.
The small window to catch its breath proved to be a disadvantage for the young team, as the Lady Falcons fell to number-four seed Danville, 25-8.
Despite the loss, Winkleman says he is nothing but pleased to be able to call his team the state runner-up.
“There was a point at the beginning of the year when I think these girls didn’t think they were going to win many games,” Winkleman said. “This is a program on the rise and this season will doubt go a long way in helping to build for future program success. I am so proud of my team, and it was a great year for Lakeside softball.”
Grant Stevens can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 784-4116.