Bear Lake sweeps Baldwin

 

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BEAR LAKE — They may be young but that’s not going to stop Bear Lake softball from winning this season as they took two more wins on Wednesday night against Baldwin.

The Lakers won the first game by a 5-inning mercy 13-2.

The Panthers scored twice in the first inning, but the Bear Lake defense settled in and didn’t allow one in  the final 4 innings.

Hayley May pitched all 5 innings in the first game. She allowed 10 hits but only allowed 2 runs while walking 2 and striking 6 batters out.

With 10 hits but only 2 runs Bear Lake didn’t give away many free bases with errand fielding.

“We’ve really been working hard at that. We know that Hayley is young and she doesn’t throw really hard, but she is accurate so we’re anticipating teams hitting her,” Bear Lake coach Garret Waller said. “That means we have to play solid defense behind her. It’s something that a young team usually struggles with, so we’ve been working hard on that.”

She helped her own cause at the plate by going 2-for-2 with a triple, 3 runs and 4 stolen bases. Jenna Cross was 2-for-2 with a double, an RBI, 2 runs, and a stolen base. Abby Cross was 2-for-3 with 2 runs and 3 stolen bases, Briann Buckner was 2-for-3 with 3 RBI, 2 runs and 2 stolen bases.

In the second game Bear Lake won again 8-4 behind May’s pitching again.

May got another win in 6 innings with 4 earned runs. She allowed 6 hits, 3 walks, and she struck out 5 batters.

“For a freshman she’s doing fine. I want her to be accurate and keep the walks down. That’s huge,” Waller said. “She’s doing pretty well. Even when they hit the ball, that means she’s throwing strikes.”

Rachael Makowski was 2-for-3 with 2 doubles and 2 stolen bases, Abby Cross was 1-for-3 with a stolen base, May was 1-for-3 with a run and stolen base and Kaitlynn Omar was 1-for-2 with a double and a stolen base.

Bear Lake (4-2, 2-0) is one of the youngest teams around with 9 out of its 15 players being either freshman or 8th graders.

So far, that hasn’t mattered though with the young players gaining some important experience to go along with a series of early season wins.

“Every practice they are catching more balls or their throwing is more accurate. If their not doing it they’re hearing from me. They have to know that they are playing varsity ball and they have to make these plays. They can’t let balls get by them and routine stuff has to happen,” Waller said. “They’re doing it. They are coming along. We’ve only played six games, so we have a lot of work to do, but I like the progress so far.”

The Lakers will be back today at Manistee Catholic Central.

“We know who we played tonight and that we’re going to see a much better team tomorrow. The players know that. We just need to get games in to get better,” Waller said. “We made some mistakes tonight, but we talked about them and we’ll learn from the mistakes. They’ll not make them anymore and continue to get better.”

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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