SHRUB OAK, N.Y. — Lakeland hosted Somers in an April 26 affair that pitted two of the better softball teams in Section 1 Class A against each other.
For a while it was a close contest, with the Hornets up 2-0 after four innings but the defending Class A champions busted open the game with seven runs in the fifth inning on its way to a 13-0 victory.
“It meant a lot to win this game,” Lakeland junior pitcher Claire Fon said. “We were all very excited for this game. We were really excited because this was a big league game we really wanted to win. It was important to us.”
Fon was sensational the entire seven innings on the mound, throwing a two-hitter, allowing just three walks, while striking out 14, including the 200th strikeout of her career.
“I have been working very hard with my pitching coach Larissa Porcelli to get to this point,” Fon said. “I was very happy it happened at a home game as well.”
Fon’s success is expected among her teammates.
“She pitches very well each game,” Lakeland junior catcher Amber Lopez said. “She warms up constantly and practices all the time.”
Somers (8-2) started off the game right in the top of the first inning when Karly Moscarello (2 singles) led off the contest with a infield hit before getting to second on wild pitch.
Stella Bale got the Hornets on the board with a lead-off homer in the second inning, well over the center-field fence, with Shannon Scotto following with a single and eventually scoring on an error to give Lakeland a 2-0 lead.
Lakeland broke the game open in the fifth when it scored seven runs to go up 9-0, starting with a two-run homer to left field by Lopez.
“It felt amazing, honestly very lucky do that,” Lopez said. “I made a change in my swing and it just went over.”
Other highlights of the inning included consecutive singles by Bale, Scotto and Jessica Ascencao, the latter which produced a run, a two-run double by Ava Knopf and a two-run homer by Krystal Badillo.
Fon finished the scoring with a grand slam to left-center in the sixth, driving in Lauren Reichelt, Cassidy Kenney and Emily McGrath.
“It was great,” Fon said. “It was high and inside, so I just turned on it. I really wanted to get a hit. It was the best feeling when my teammates came out and congratulated me. I wasn’t the only one today. Everyone else hit great too but it was a good feeling.”
Lakeland (10-4) also won three other home games, 7-3 against Eastchester on April 24, highlighted by Fon registering her 100th career hit, 11-7 versus John Jay-Cross River on April 27, and 7-3 against Our Lady of Lourdes on April 30 to win its 10th game in a row.