Bulldogs’ bats coming to life as regular season winds down
The McLouth High softball team is on a roll.
MHS is now 10-4 on the season after sweeping Lyndon last week and shutting out Hiawatha on Monday on the road.
Against Lyndon, freshman Leslie Lawson went 7-for-8 in the series with a home run and 5 RBI.
"I was really proud and really excited about Leslie," MHS coach Ballard Patterson said. "She's one of the better players in the area, especially in the freshman age group."
Lawson is McLouth's lead-off batter. Patterson said Lawson has made the adjustment from competitive softball to high school ball.
In Lawson's last four games, she's gone 13-for-15. Her batting average now is .639.
She also has excelled as a pitcher. In the second game against Hiawatha, she allowed just two hits and struck out 10.
Pitching has been a strongpoint throughout the season for the Bulldogs. Every run McLouth has allowed this season has come in the fifth inning or later.
But the Bulldogs' bats are starting to catch up with the team's pitching prowess.
Against Lyndon, Samantha Farris and Heaven Mills both belted home runs.
Kendall Patterson continued her top-notch season from the plate, going 5-for-8 with 6 RBI against LHS.
"I feel like we're coming along as an offensive team more than we were at the beginning of the season," coach Patterson said.
On defense, because the squad has given up its runs late in the game, Patterson has brought in a new pitcher in the final innings.
"That's the reason I started closing games," Patterson said, referring to the strategy of bringing in a closing pitcher. "Now I mix it up."
Patterson mixes up his pitching between Farris, Lawson and senior ace Catherine Gunther.
"They're all fantastic," Patterson said. "They have great attitudes, so that doesn't bother them. They're all 'whatever's best for the team.'"
In that first game against Hiawatha, Gunther struck out 11 batters. She allowed just three hits and no runs.
Offensively, Lawson went 3-for-3 with two doubles and a single. Kendall Patterson, meanwhile, went 4-for-4 with two singles, a double and 4 RBI. She now has 25 RBI on the year and her batting average is .693.
Farris went 3-for-4 in the first game with two singles and a double. She also had 3 RBI.
Rachel Thompson was perfect at the plate in the first game. She went 2-for-2 with a home run.
In the second game Farris finished 3-for-3 with two singles and a double.
And during the series, Deanna Durkes went 2-for-4 with two singles and 4 RBI.
Although many of McLouth's players continued their hot hitting, one player made her debut in the spotlight.
Teresa Rossalar, an exchange student from Austria, smashed a double in the second game. The hit came with the bases loaded, so Rossalar scored 3 RBI on the hit.
Patterson said Rossalar hadn't seen a softball game until she watched the varsity's first game this season.
"Yeah, she was really excited," Patterson said.
But then so is the first-year MHS coach.
Although Patterson would like to finish the season with tougher competition, he's likes what he sees out of his young squad with the postseason starting next week.
"I'm really excited about how we're coming together approaching regionals," Patterson said.