JEFFERSON – Lakewood Park softball coach David Carnahan loads up the Panthers’ schedule with tough teams for moments like Monday night.
When the pressure mounted, it was top-ranked Lakewood that was calm and composed, coming through with clutch hits to defeat No. 7 Frontier 5-0 in the Class A Clinton Prairie Semistate championship.
Our tough schedule definitely helps us out. It makes us prepared for what we’re going to see here, said senior Suzanne Grimm, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The Panthers (28-2) advance to Saturday’s Class A state championship, where they’ll try to repeat against Tecumseh (18-10), an 11-2 winner over Lanesville on Monday night.
Just as she’s done all season long, junior pitcher Mikeila Boroff dominated the opposing lineups Monday to lead Lakewood within a victory of repeating as Class A state champion. Boroff shut out Pioneer 3-0 in the semifinal.
I just had to have a dominant mindset and know that I’ve worked hard and the team has worked hard and we can do anything we set our mind to, Boroff said.
The Panthers (28-2) advanced to the semistate final on the strength of Boroff’s five-hitter. Brittan Carnahan’s sacrifice fly and Suzanne Grimm’s RBI single gave Lakewood a 2-0 lead in the fourth, and Hannah Priskorn added a run-scoring single in the seventh for good measure.
Once in the championship, Boroff got all the run support she’d need in the second inning.
Carnahan reached on an error to lead off and scored on Jamie Budreau’s single. Lakewood padded its lead in the fourth when Boroff doubled with two outs and was followed by an RBI single from No. 9 hitter Kelsey Mosley, putting Boroff (26-2) at ease in the circle.
I feel extremely confident when I know we have some runs to back us up, Boroff said.
Against a team that has yet to allow a run in the postseason, Frontier had its chances.
Megan Doyle had two hits and worked her way into scoring position twice. Kattie Lee doubled with one out in the third, but all night Boroff pitched her way out of those situations.
Once we hit her, we hit her and got people on base, but we couldn’t excel enough to get the runners across home plate, Lee said.
The end result was an 18th victory in a row for the Panthers, who got 10 hits, including two from leadoff hitter Hannah Priskorn. Eight of the nine starters had at least one hit.
We definitely have confidence in ourselves and this team, Grimm said.