St. Clair Shores Lake Shore softball players huddle up during an April 30 game against Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse.

St. Clair Shores Lake Shore softball players huddle up during an April 30 game against Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Lake Shore softball searching for consistency

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 7, 2019

 Lake Shore pitcher Emma Herbon delivers against L’Anse Creuse.

Lake Shore pitcher Emma Herbon delivers against L’Anse Creuse.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores Lake Shore softball team struggled last season, going 7-18 overall and winless in the Macomb Area Conference White Division.

So far this spring, it looks like the Shorians have put the 2018 season behind them.

At press time, Lake Shore was 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the MAC White. Despite the cold temperatures, the Shorians’ bats have been hot. Lake Shore has scored 78 runs.

Strong run production is something Lake Shore coach Will Puvalowski expected coming into the season. He said hitting is clearly the team’s strength.

The Shorians have been solid defensively too. Lake Shore has allowed 37 runs but already has a shutout win and has held three other opponents to four runs or less.

“I think we will become a very good defensive team by the end of the season,” Puvalowski said. “The limited time outside has us behind where I think we can be defensively. I do believe I have very athletic players who have played a ton of softball, so I think this is where you will see us improve the most.”

That defense plays behind a solid pitcher.

Sophomore Emma Herbon serves as the Shorians’ ace. Herbon has played well so far this season, Puvalowski said, while noting that she’s had a couple of starts where consistency was an issue.

“But it’s pretty early, and I’m sure she’ll continue to improve as the year goes on,” Puvalowski said.

Lake Shore has eight players back from last year’s team. That includes seniors Kara Wolfbauer, Mackenzie Maison and Katie Rutledge. Puvalowski called the trio the best leaders he’s ever coached.

Wolfbauer said she wants opposing teams to know they’re not playing last year’s edition of the Shorians.

“Instead of dwelling on our failures, we plan to learn from them and keep moving forward,” Wolfbauer said. “The most important thing is for us to stick together. If we fall apart and turn against each other off the field, it will carry onto the field.”

Wolfbauer said the entire team values its practice time.

“We understand the importance of developing our skills even when the glory of success can’t always come from it,” she said.

Puvalowski wants to send his leaders out on a high note with division and district titles. Lake Shore’s last division title came in 2015. The team last won district titles in 2014 and 2017.

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley moved to the MAC Red after winning the last two MAC White titles. In order to stay in the MAC White title race, Puvalowski said the team must be consistent with its play every day.

“I believe this team has the (potential) to be special,” the coach said. “The older kids have embraced the younger girls, and the senior leadership has been fantastic. I expect us to be able to compete in every game and be battling for a district and division title near the end of the season.”

Lake Shore’s next game is against St. Clair Shores Lakeview at 4:30 p.m. May 9 on the road.