L’Anse Creuse softball coach looks back on season

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published June 16, 2016


HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse softball team has become somewhat of a model of consistency, and the 2016 season further demostrated that.

The Lancers went 10-2 to win their third Macomb Area Conference Blue Division title in four years (2013, 2014, 2016). The Lancers finished the season with a 24-10 overall record, giving them their fifth straight season with at least 20 wins. They have finished above .500 every year since 2008. Over the last four seasons, L’Anse Creuse has averaged 25 wins a season.

The Lancers’ season ended in a 2-1 loss to Anchor Bay High June 4 in a Division 1 district final. Anchor Bay would get to a regional final before falling 10-0 to Macomb Dakota June 11. L’Anse Creuse with a win would have captured its third district championship in four years.

Longtime L’Anse Creuse coach Lisa Downey called the loss to Anchor Bay tough. She said the district final was an emotional game that her team was very close to winning. Several strong defensive plays were made throughout the game.

“The team played an amazing game. They left their hearts and souls on the field, and we could not ask for anything more from them than that,” Downey said.

“It was a great game, and I feel one of the best softball games I have ever been a part of.”

After the game, Downey made sure to let her players know how proud of them she was for their efforts. She called the team’s three seniors — four-year starters and captains Francesca Ortisi and Rachel Peet, and Shelby Greiner — amazing. She added that they were a great group of leaders and role models who served as the driving force behind the team’s chemistry.

“I’m going to miss them more than I can put into words,” Downey said of her seniors. “There will always be a part of them on the field every time we play. They’re what L’Anse Creuse softball is all about — great leaders, students and representatives of our school and community.”

L’Anse Creuse has several players eligible to return next season. That group includes sophomore pitcher Sammi Mills, junior pitcher/outfielder Alaina Macksoud, sophomore pitcher/infielder Brooke Nadolny, junior infielder Laura Korpal, junior outfielder Maggie DeCeuninck, junior catcher/infielder Courtney Konal and sophomore utility player Nicole Antrikin.

Downey said that group will be driven to continue the tradition of excellence that has become a part of the L’Anse Creuse softball program.

“They know they need to work hard to improve, and we need to work really hard to replace the seniors who played such vital roles in the field and in the batting order,” Downey said. “All of those players will need to step up and become the leaders we need to help us continue to be successful on and off the field.”