Even without seniors, Lakes still strong enough

HANCOCK – On a first-year softball team, everyone’s a senior leader, and Lake Linden-Hubbell showed that with a pair of strong wins at Hancock Driving Park Wednesday, defeating the host Bulldogs 11-4 and 12-6.

The LL-H seniors were on a class trip, but the Lakes got the job done with the bats, rapping out 30 hits over the doubleheader.

“Every game, it’s been getting a little bit better and I think we’re coming around. That’s one thing I wasn’t worried about, was hitting at the beginning of the year. It’s just taken a little while to get going and everything seems to be coming together,” LL-H coach Jeff Shepeard said.

Hancock’s still searching for its first win. Building consistency is an issue, but coach Randy Meyer pointed to several areas where his young team is coming around.

“We still make some errors and don’t think all the time, but the fielding has gotten better,” he said.

Hancock had an early lead in game one, scoring twice in the bottom of the first as Brianne Maggio, Claire Meyer, Laura Berg and Heather Huffmaster had early hits.

That would be all for Hancock’s offense for a while, and LL-H filled in the vacuum, scoring its first run in the third when Kyleigh Audette doubled and came around on Taylor Shepeard’s single. The Lakes then took control of the game with four runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

“We get into a funk sometimes. We get one or two bad innings and that’s what happens to us,” coach Meyer said.

Sarah Audette got the pitching win, while Kyleigh Audette finished 3-for-4 and scored three times. Six other Lakes had two-hit games, including Jana Hendrickson, Julia Hendrickson, Kierstyn Codere, Taylor Shepeard, Peyton Gast and Carli Ongie.

Claire Meyer and Laura Berg had three hits each for the Bulldogs.

LL-H kept the pressure up in game two, scoring three times and nearly batting around in their first at-bat. The Lakes added two more in the second and retired Hancock in order in back-to-back innings to take a commanding 5-0 lead after two.

Hancock slowed the Lakes down in the middle of the game, but was down 8-0 by the time it finally dented the scoreboard on a fifth-inning two-out rally that led to three runs.

Kyleigh Audette, Jana Hendrickson, Shepeard and Ongie had two-hit games, while Sarah Audette made it two wins in the circle and scored three times.

Hancock is scheduled to make up a game with Jeffers Friday, while LL-H is at home against Calumet Friday.