Hawks Kick off Districts With a Bang


The Lakeland varsity softball team took another step towards their goal of state during the district games on May 9. Lakeland won their first district game against Sandpoint with a score of 15-2 but unfortunately lost their second game to Moscow 11-1. They had minimal fielding errors throughout both games but struggled with getting good hits when up at the plate. 

Going into the games, Lakeland was nervous, given this was their shot at making it to state, but they did not let that discourage them from performing to the best of their ability. “The team was very upbeat and ready for the first game,” head coach DC, Dwyane Curry, said. 

Lakeland’s first game against Sandpoint went well, highlighting their improvement from previous games. They kept defensive errors at an all-time low, making for some great plays. Delilah Zimmerman made a great stop at short, preventing the other team from stealing the next base. Kiersten Drake followed this by creating great plays at third, fielding hard grounders cleanly, and getting outs at first. The outfield made some crucial plays adding to their fantastic performance defensively. Alexis Hanna made a great catch in center, getting their second out of that inning. 

Lakeland depended on Emma Avalos in both games and started pitching a great first game. Avalos was on fire, striking batters out left and right throughout most of the first game. “She was killing it. It hyped up the team,” Hanna said. This carried them into offense. 

Sandpoint pitcher struggled to throw strikes which did not give Lakeland a lot to work with. Lakeland only got four hits in the first game; two by Avalos, one by Hanna, and one by Katie Dewey. For the majority of the game, Lakeland batters got walked but were content with making it on base. They could have had more base running IQ, but overall won the game by 13 runs. They hoped to continue their great plays defensively going into the second game. 

The team started off rocky in the first inning but gathered themselves to show up in the second inning and for the remainder of the game. The team made great plays and had a perfect three-up and three-down inning. Lakeland got three back-to-back outs which excited the team, one by Zimmerman and two by Maddie Cheney. Payten Sterling also did a great job catching. “We needed her to do her job, and she did,” Hanna said. 

Sterling did not let anything past her throughout both games, preventing some runners from stealing. They were able to maintain minimal errors and hoped to carry this into their hitting. 

Lakeland struggled to hit, still only getting four hits in this game, but for a different reason. “We walked into the box expecting ball after ball and getting walked,” Hanna said. This resulted in multiple batters being struck out, limiting the number of runners getting on base and the opportunity to score. 

Their defense performance has improved so much since previous games and showed throughout both district games. “We just need to go into the next game with more confidence, and we need to expect to win,” DC said. 

Lakeland hopes to turn around and win the next game Thursday, May 11, to get their chance at state.