Harrison TownshipMay 30, 2013
L’Anse Creuse softball team captures second MAC Blue title in four years
By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer
HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse softball team went 10-2 in league play to win the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division title, and Lancers coach Lisa Downey said credit should go to the three seniors on the team.
“(Third baseman) Shannon Brown and (shortstop) Monica Hassig are four-year varsity players, and (outfielder) Danielle Campbell is a three-year starter,” said Downey, whose team had an overall record of 23-7 at press time, with Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I district matchups taking place after press time.
“We focus on tradition, and winning these division titles is important in carrying on the traditions of the program.”
At press time, Hassig led L’Anse Creuse with a .400 batting average. Brown, who will play at Alma College next year, was hitting .386. Junior catcher Megan Hicks, who hit .429 during the regular season, led the Lancers with 35 RBI. L’Anse Creuse hit a team record of 16 home runs this season, and Downey said the team’s ability to hit for power is a big strength.
With half of the roster made up of freshmen and sophomores, winning the MAC Blue was even a little more special, she said. Freshman utility player Francesca Ortisi was hitting .365 at press time; sophomore first baseman Abby Rusek had .323 average and had knocked in 22 runs; and sophomore pitcher Megan Fedolak, who went 19-5, hit .417 and plated 32 RBI in the regular season.
“I feel we are a team with competitive athletes who want to win. We have gained confidence by winning games and also by playing a very difficult non-league schedule,” said Downey, who guided the Lancers to their first league title since 2010.
“We also have what I feel is one of the best young batteries in the area, in (Hicks and Fedolak). Defense and pitching is so important to being a strong team.”
Downey said with a relatively young roster that should return 11 of 14 players, she feels her team will be very competitive again next season. Downey, who’s coached with the L’Anse Creuse program for 19 years, said she focuses on getting the most out of her players.
The Lancers’ coach added that she’s been blessed with quality young ladies who work hard on the field and in the classroom, as evidenced by the team qualifying for academic All-State honors on the strength of its grade point average.
“Our goal is to always compete to the best of our ability,” Downey said. “We have traditions that are passed down at our end-of-season banquet that have been a part of our program for the 15 years I’ve been the varsity coach.
“Our goal is to have players leave the program prepared to work hard and compete, and be successful in college and in the work world. This season, we have been blessed with some amazing young ladies.”
The Lancers’ MHSAA D-1 district semifinal against Roseville took place after press time. Check ww.candgnews.com for updates on L’Anse Creuse and other local teams as they navigate their way through the 2013 postseason.