The Lansing softball team is off to a 2-2 start after winning a doubleheader against Turner on Tuesday.
Riley Phillips hit a home run, Brooke Gilfert had two triples in the same inning, Bradi Basler threw a no-hitter and Lansing won the two games 12-1 and 11-0.
The third and fourth games of the season came after weeks of preparation leading up to the start of the year. Head coach Rachel Milnark said practices are focused on fundamentals and the team has a specific plan each day.
“Practices have been very focused on fundamentals of the game,” Milnark said. “And the mental toughness as an athlete. We have a specific plan for each day of the week to prepare the girls and set them up for success. On Mondays we work fundamentals, Tuesdays we work positional play, Wednesdays we get a sport-specific workout in, Thursdays are team play and Fridays are motivational days.”
The plans for each day were altered a bit during the preseason as weather moved the teams indoors.
“Unfortunately playing an outdoor spring sport we are aware that the weather will determine our plan of action for practices,” Milnark said. “We have used our indoor hitting facility and gym to break down mechanics and build them back up. The gym has also been a good place for us to work in a smaller area to learn the whole game.”
This year’s team is made up of eight returning varsity players and a few newcomers that have joined the team. Basler, Cayleigh Berry and Chaise Miller are the three seniors on this year’s team. The seniors are joined by returning sophomore Asa Solomon and juniors Shannon Jessup, Lindsay Schuler, Alexis Solomon and Phillips. The team also has two juniors who transferred to Lansing – Caroline Crawford and Savannah Manley. Sophomore Jessica Gray joined the team after playing soccer last season. Rounding out the team are two freshmen, Gilfert and Katie Gray.
The head coach said it is hard to pick only a couple players that will be key contributors for the team this year.
“It is hard to pick only a couple key contributors this season,” Milnark said. “I think we have a pretty solid lineup defensively and offensively this year. Our pitchers, Basler, Crawford and Solomon, will all be contributing defensively. Our offensive lineup has a variety of power hitters, slappers and speed.”
She also said a strength of the team this year will be their focus on being one.
“One strength we have this year as a team is the focus of being one as a program,” Milnark said. “Although we are labeled varsity and JV, we all have been practicing together to make each other better. Another strength we have is the girls’ willingness and desire to learn, grow and be successful.”
The goal for the year is to achieve another winning season and make it to the state tournament.
Lansing will continue their season on Tuesday in a doubleheader at Leavenworth. Game one is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at Sportsfield.