The Lake Superior State Lakers softball team is ready to this the road this spring, as the first leg of their season takes them to California. Trips like this are expensive for small programs, especially since LSSU is the smallest state funded college in Michigan. One of the ways the girls earn money for the trip is the annual Take Me Out To The Ballgame dinner. This has also been a tradition for the kids and I, as we’ve attended all since Lily and Trevor were babies. We had fun again this year, and the kids’ Papa was able to join us, too. One of Lily’s favorite things to do is to put a pie in the face of her favorite player. They started doing this last season, and it’s been a big hit. A lot of the players already know Lily from the local softball camps and clinics, so it’s fun for them, too. The girls were also raffling off a flat screen TV and went out on the ice during the hockey game that night to announce the winner and promote the team. Pictured above is the team sporting their very cool new uniforms. The photos below are from the banquet, and feature Lily sporting her new softball hoodie and us enjoying our spaghetti dinner. Good luck to the Lady Lakers this season, and we hope the weather is decent this April for their home games here in the Sault. Here’s the link to the girls 2012 schedule:
Bottom photos property of M.I.B.
Lily started her games last week, and she is really doing well. She’s hitting the ball hard up the middle, and usually it’s the first or second pitch. The umpire uses a pitching machine and the girls all bat around. The league really stresses fun and skill development over competition. Lily has played all over the field, including catcher, first, outfield, and even a little second base like her daddy. She wasn’t sure if she was going to play this season, so she missed out on the travel team try-outs, but maybe next season. The try-outs are in October, so a long way to go until then. The league is run by the high school softball coach, and the teams are coached by the high school girls. They’re really great with the kids and give them solid instruction. No game this week due to the holiday, but I can’t wait until her next game. Nothing makes me happier than watching my kids play ball. Trevor is playing soccer this season, but said he’s going back to baseball next year, and Brian will be old enough to play t-ball next year, too. I don’t get a lot of sleep with all the things we have going on, but they are definitely worth it. There’s a new website where you can track you kids baseball career, so I can track her here:
The Lady Lakers were able to play through the crazy U.P. weather to close out the season at home. They hosted Northwood Thursday and Friday, and played a make-up game against Saginaw Valley State on Sunday. The Lakers lost 11-9 on Thursday in game one, but the second game was postponed due to sleet. Friday the girls played a triple-header against Northwood, dropping all three games 9-2, 4-0, 9-3. This was the best day weather wise, though, so nice to be able to see a few games in one day. The Lakers last game of the season was Sunday, losing to SVSU by the score of 14-4 in a make-up for a rain out on April 20. Seniors Ronlea Peterson (SS) and Nicole Cartensen (OF) played their last college game for the Lakers, and were honored after Fridays games. These girls work very hard every game, and under first year head coach Lori Shimasaki only good things will come to this program in the coming seasons. The team will be hosting some softball camps next month, and Lily will definatley be attending a few of those. Brian spent most of the game playing in the mud puddles. Such is life with a three year old.
Photos property of M.I.B.
The Lake Superior State Laker girls softball team was able to beat the nasty weather on Friday and sweep Ohio Dominican. They won the first game 9-8 in extra innings and pounded their oponents 18-8 in game two. The Laker double-headers on Saturday and Sunday were rained and snowed out, so I guess we were lucky to see at least a couple of games. Lily knows many of the girls from their softball camps, so she was able to get plenty of autographs and they took the kids into the dugout. It’s also fun to talk with the parents and get their take on things. A lot of positive comments on new head coach Lori Shimasaki and how she’s building a solid softball culture at Lake Superior. The team is scheduled to play some more games, so hoping the weather hold up for them.
Photos property of M.I.B.
This past weekend was the Lake Superior State Laker softball team’s annual ‘Take me out to the Ballgame’ dinner to raise money for their trip to Florida to kick off the 2011 season. This has become a tradition for us over the last few years, and the kids have a fun time. This years dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers was actually on campus this year, which is a change brought on by the new head coach. Door prizes, raffles, and silent auctions also took place to help the team raise money needed for the long trip. Lily’s favoite new thing this year was her opportunity to throw a pie in the face of her favorite player. Her aim was true, and the girls got nice and messy. The boys were too busy eating to really notice any of this.
Good luck to the Lakers this season, and we’ll try to make it what few home games they have if the weather holds up.
Photos property of M.I.B.
After 21 long seasons, veteran coach Don Myers finally calls it quits. Myers coached 915 games for the Lake Superior State Lakers and was named Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1991. Coach Myers was also very intrumental in establishing the Bud Cooper Golf Classic, which help increase scholarships for LSSU women’s athletics, increasing fund-raising revenue for Laker softball and running a successfull winter skills clinic. He was only the third coach in the history of the softball program.
“If we were the first school to play softball in the Upper Penninsula, and I think we were, then I think we were on the front line of the sport in the U.P.” Myers stated to LSSU Sports Information. “That credit goes to Bud Cooper. He was a visionary and could see that softball was a good sport for women and growing fast. That was back in 1976, and I think they played 12 games back then.”
Now the Lakers play a tough 45-50 game schedule, mostly on the road, and spend their spring breaks touring Florida.
“The toughest challenge is recruiting. It’s difficult to sell and athlete to come as far north as they can to play a warm-weather sport. Our attempt has been to try to rectruit athletes and work them into positions. We havn’t had the luxury of recruiting by position like Grand Valley and Ashland does. We look for athletes, and our job is to mold them into position players where we need them the most.”
Myers has seen the GLIAC double in size in his two plus decades at the helm of the Lakers. He was a catcher at the University of Tulsa in his collegiate career. I want to thank him for all he’s done for Laker Athletics. He gets a lot of respect from the community, and it wasn’t an easy job.
Photo courtesy of Lake Superior State Athletics
The Lake Superior State softball team kicked the season off this weekend hosting their annual ‘Take Me Out To the Ball Game’ dinner. We were served burgers and hot dogs by the Lady Lakers, and the kids enjoyed cookies and cake for dessert. We made a good donation to the team as all the proceeds help fund their 18 game schedule in Florida over Spring Break. Thier first double-header is against Tampa on Feb. 26th.
We didn’t get to stay very long, do to the fact that my two-year old pitching prospect decided to start showing off his arm by tossing pieces of hot dog all over the place. My daughter was able to get her picture taken with a couple of the seniors, and felt good that a many members of the team recognized her from the clinic they put on in December. You think they would have offered her a scholarship by now…
Photos property of MIB
Yesterday my daughter took part in the LSSU Winter Softball Clinic. Girls from all over the Eastern Upper Penninsula came to learn from the Lady Lakers. The clinic took girls from 8-18 and went over the basics of throwing, fielding, hitting, and base-running. I got there in time to watch my girl in the batting cage. And, unlike Willie Mays Hayes, she did put on a hitting display. I couln’t help beam with pride as she was stroking line drives over the pitchers head. Why shouldn’t I be proud? I’m the one who taught her to hit like that, right? We all live vicariously through out kids, just not everyone admits it. She did have a lot of fun at the clinic, which is what is really important anyway.
The Lakers are a Division II team that plays in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conferance. Unfortunately due to the weather up here, we only get to see them play one or two home games a season.
And, yes, I know my daughter is beautiful, and yes I know it’s because she looks just like her mother.
Photos property of MIB