THIELLS, N.Y. — After losing to Pearl River in last year’s Section 1 Class A championship game, the Lakeland softball squad’s goal was to take care of unfinished business this spring.
Third-seeded Lakeland did just that, defeating No. 5 Eastchester 15-5 to win the Section 1 Class A softball championship at North Rockland on May 27, the Hornets first since 1984, making good on their unfinished business motto.
“The girls came up with that because of making the run last year, getting here and not being able to win and being so close,” Lakeland coach Joe Chiara said. “That was one of the sayings they had, right from day one when we first started practicing and had our first meeting. The goal was to get back here and win a Section 1 title. Today we were able to do that.”
Hornet senior Cameron Lischinsky hit for the cycle in a 5 for 5 afternoon which included scoring four times, including once when she blasted a two-run homer to right field in the sixth inning that put the Hornets up 15-3.
“I was just thinking, ‘Oh, my god. I just hit a home run here.' This is a far fence—I was proud of myself,” Lischinsky said. “But it was just like the score was already up, Claire Fon did it for us first. It was nice to add that but Claire really did it well for us in the beginning.”
As Lischinsky alluded to, Fon did plenty of damage herself, going 3 for 4 with six RBI, including a grand slam in the fourth that went well over the 230-foot sign in center field that broke the game open, making it 11-0.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Fon said. “As I was rounding third all my teammates were surrounding home and were cheering for me. That's the best feeling ever. It's unimaginable to be able to contribute to the team in this way. I can't wait to move on to bigger and better things.”
The hitting exploits of Lischinsky and Fon helped make a winner out of senior pitcher and captain Colleen Walsh, who went the distance, striking out eight.
“Everyone knows that last year we lost in the section final,” Walsh said. “It was probably one of the worst feelings as a team that we felt. So this year it was our complete mission before the season—before we even had our preseason meeting—that winning the sectional title was our goal for the whole season and that’s what we worked towards.”