Lakota West continues to have Lakota East’s number in softball, winning its fourth straight against its school district rival. The latest coming by way of a 6-2 victory Friday over the Thunderhawks.
Last season, Lakota East was ranked No. 1 in the state for most of the spring and lost only three of its 31 games. All three losses came at the hand of the Firebirds, including one that eliminated Lakota East in the state quarterfinals.
“I don’t think they have our number,” Lakota East head coach Steve Castner said. “This is a new year. We have a new group of girls … it is high school softball and the team that scores the most or doesn’t make the most mistakes – wins. That is all it is.”
Entering this season, both schools, which are coached by brothers, Steve and Keith Castner, were tied atop The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Division I Preseason Poll. Entering Friday’s matchup, both high schools were also unbeaten in the Greater Miami Conference in the early going this spring.
“It is always a rivalry. We can always down play it. I never make it about us, the brothers, because it about the girls,” Lakota West head coach Keith Castner said. “They love this game, practically when it is against East because they all know each other. I am really happy for them.”
Sophomore centerfielder Alyssa Hedric, who doubled twice, scored twice and drove in another run, led the Firebirds’ offense.She scored the game’s first run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning after doubling and advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt.
In the third inning, Hedric drove in sophomore Marisa Walterbusch with her second double. Afterwards, she celebrated by flexing her muscles while standing on top of the second base bag.
“It is a team thing, everyone does it if you get a double or any hit,” Hedric said about flexing after her second double.
Later in the third, Hedric would score on a triple by senior first baseman Amanda Lahti. Lahti, who has signed on to play at Ohio Northern, scored on the play when the relay throw went over the head of Lakota East third baseman Gracie Sprockett.
“We just started off strong, everybody hit, came out on fire and that gave us a lot of confidence throughout the game,” Hedric said.
That confidence led to two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“This win means a lot,” Keith Castner said. “We have a lot of hard working girls, who are bound and determined each game.”
In the loss, Lakota East finished with seven hits, missed multiple opportunities to score and committed two errors. To beat Lakota West, the Thunderhawks head coach said that his team will need to minimize their mistakes.
“We are in game 5, we have 27 games in the regular season plus tournament and you are going to make mistakes in game 5,” Steve Castner said. “It is game 28, 29 and 30 where mistakes cannot happen.”
Both teams will have more time to improve when they face off again April 19 at Lakota East.
BOX: Sharp (5-1, 3 K’s). Buckenmyer (3-1, 6 K’s). LE Rollins 2B, Dendler 2B, Callihan 2B Astrop 2-3, 2B. LW Hedric 2-3 2Bs, Lahti 3B, Walterbusch 3-3, Johnson 2B. LE (4-1), LW (5-1).