Softball: Lake Park dominates Prospect

After getting off to a 3-1 start, Prospect ran into a buzzsaw it couldn't overcome in mother nature.

Prospect lost 4 of its next 5 contests to the weather. On Friday afternoon, Prospect met undefeated Lake Park who had returned home from a spring trip to Tennessee where it went a perfect 5 for 5.

In a game moved from the Lancers home diamond on its Medinah East campus to the Melas Park athletic complex just a stone's throw away from the Knights' Mt. Prospect campus, it would be the 'host' Lancers who made themselves comfortable as it moved their record to 8-0 on the season with a dominant 10-4 victory.

"One hundred% this team has nothing but confidence," Lake Park junior shortstop Ariana O'Connell said of her team's first win back home that saw them connect for 12 hits in the win.

"We started off this season undefeated. We've played great competition and we had great team bonding in Tennessee. Everything has been amazing. It is a little cold but nothing we can't handle. We've got the energy to keep us warm. We're super excited to be here and to be playing today."

Lake Park got themselves in the scoring column in the bottom of the first thanks to O'Connell's first hit of the afternoon that she led to her crossing home plate after an Ava Arenz triple. Overall, she went 3-3 while reaching base on all four plate appearances.

After the Knights evened the score at 1 when freshman second baseman Gabby Dilan found home on a wild pitch in the top of the second, Lake Park regained the lead with a run in the inning's bottom half when senior third baseman Catherine Nielsen scored on a throwing error making it 2-1.

After adding another run in the bottom of the third, the Lancers blew the game open with a four-run fourth thanks to an RBI single from sophomore third baseman Alexandra Kiefer and a run-producing triple from starting hurler Gianna Furlano that brought in Kiefer and left Lake Park comfortably ahead 7-1.

The Lancer advantage would eventually grow to 10-1 through six before the Knights (3-3) engineered a three-run outburst in the top of the seventh to close out the scoring.

Junior Gaetana Calo and freshman Kaylee Fritzler combined with Furlano to toss a five-hitter while striking out eight.

Lancers coach Lynsey Gunnells credited her squad's mental approach to their early-season success that comes off of last season's deep postseason run that sent them to their first Elite Eight appearance in the program's history.

"We've been putting (in) our mental work just as well because at the day everyone is going to be just as talented as everyone else and whoever wins mentally is going to come out on top "

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.