The Lakewood Lady Leopards’ softball campaign for 2016 came to a close in the first round of the NCHSAA State Playoffs for the 1A ranks. The final game for the Leopards came in a 7-0 defeat by the home team, Perquimans County.
Madison Tart pitched the entire game for the Lady Leopards, and did just what she had done all year, and that’s throw strikes and induce ground balls. Tart played a very solid game, and head coach Dave Yarasheski was once again pleased with his pitcher’s outing.
“I really thought Madison did a good job pitching for us tonight. That’s something she has pretty much done all year, but she did a good job again tonight, no question,” said Yarasheski. “Perquimans was ranked 4th in the bracket, so we were obviously playing a very good team.
Yarasheski saw plenty of improvements throughout the 6-12 season, including seeing his team picking it up towards the end of the season to even find themselves in the state playoffs.
“I am really proud of the girls,” continued the Lady Leopard head coach. “They are a young group of girls, but I tell ya, they really improved as the season went along. I really saw some great strides being taken this season, and the good thing is, I think it can carry over into next season. That’s obviously what we are hoping for anyway.”
Lakewood was led by Jasmine Brown, Savannah Simmons, Skyler Thomas, and Sarah Battle, as they all had hits. Lakewood had several opportunities to get some runs across, but just couldn’t capitalize. However, Yarasheski sees nothing but bright spots heading into the off-season.
“I told the girls after the game that this is how they are capable of playing,” he said. “Sure a 7-0 defeat is nothing too great on the scoreboard, but take away a mistake or an error here and a missed opportunity there, and it is a much closer ball game. I am really excited because I am basically going to have this same group of girls next year. They are really starting to gel together and understand what it takes to be successful, and as a coach that’s an exciting thing.
“Seeing the improvement of the team throughout the final weeks of the year – that is really all I could have asked for from this group of girls.”
Reach Adam Capps at 910-214-9585