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Senior-laden Pacer softball team has high hopes

A new coach and an experienced group hopes to contend in the TRL


The Lakeridge softball team has a new coach and perhaps one of the most seasoned teams in the Three Rivers League this year and the Pacers hope it adds up to a run at a league title.

Mike McCormack is the new head coach this year, the program's fifth in five years and he hopes to bring some stability. This will be his first softball coaching job but he is an experienced baseball coach and a softball trainer and he was familiar with many of the girls on the team.

Lakeridge has seven seniors, providing a very strong core.

Chayse Pearson is back and will take over as the team's ace on the mound. Pearson has been lights out so far, hurling an ERA under 1.00 in her first four starts.

Pearson is also one of the team's top hitters, manning the No. 3 spot in the line-up.

“She's really doing it all for us right now,” McCormack said.

Pearson will be throwing to catcher Alicia Loiler this year who possesses a strong arm and is the team's dangerous clean-up hitter.

Katie Barton returns after receiving first-team all-league honors last season. She will man third base while senior Annie Griffin will play shortstop.

At second base, Bailey Morris is back, along with Amy Adler at first. The team's experience in the infield should make them one of the stronger TRL teams defensively.

“To have that kind of leadership and that defense behind our pitching should be big for us in a league where there's a lot of younger teams this year,” McCormack said.

In the outfield, Sammy Danchock will man centerfield and will be the team's lead-off hitter.

“She can flat-out fly and if we get her on base she's going to score,” McCormack said.

Erica Saporito and Shequina Boe will also play in the outfield and give the Pacers speed.

Lakeridge will also benefit from freshman Kelley Erickson who is a utility player and an extremely versatile athlete.

“She's the future of our program definitely,” McCormack said.

McCormack has been trying to instill plenty of confidence into his team early in the season and hopes that pays dividends.

“We're trying to have a mental edge and that's been a big focus,” McCormack said.

The Pacers feel they have the talent to contend in the Three Rivers League this year and possibly make some noise in the postseason.

“I think we have the talent to be in the top-three. It's a wide open league with a lot of turnover,” McCormack said.

Lakeridge will play its home opener today (Thursday) against Jesuit.



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