FELTON — A year after reaching the state tournament semifinals, the Lake Forest High softball team knows it’s not sneaking up on anyone this year.
“What I’ve learned so far is everyone is gunning for us,” “said third baseman Brooke Glanden. “They know we’re one of the top teams in the state this year. Everybody is giving us their A-game. We have to come out harder and make sure we work to push through.”
And the Spartans are off to a 5-2 start so far with a handful of impressive wins under their belts.
Lake used an offensive explosion this past Saturday to down defending state champion Caravel Academy 14-4. The Spartans scored eight runs in the top of the first on their way to the nonconference victory.
Caravel, which has appeared in 15 of the last 16 state championship games, had dealt Lake Forest a 10-6 defeat last season.
“We knew it was a revenge game,” Glanden said. “Our bats were on fire.”
The 14 runs were the most Caravel allowed in a regular season game dating back to 2007, which does not include a 20-run mark the Buccaneers surrendered to Polytech in the 2015 state title matchup.
Lake Forest also holds a 13-10 victory against Sussex Tech this season. Sussex Tech and Caravel each made the state title game in 2016, with Sussex Tech edging Lake Forest in the semifinals.
The Spartans’ only two losses this year are to Red Lion Christian, 14-9, and a 8-7 defeat to Delmar. Lake Forest made four errors in the Delmar defeat last Wednesday, so the Spartans concentrated on defense the two days before the Caravel game.
“We learn every game and get a little bit better every game,” said coach Ashlie Tatman. “The girls know what they need to hone in on. What we messed up on against Delmar we practiced and were on top of it against Caravel.”
There’s no doubt that the Spartans can score runs with anyone. They’re averaging 11.7 runs per game, best among Henlopen Conference teams.
Against Caravel they recorded 20 hits to go along with the 14 runs. Glanden and Kerrigan Simpson each belted a home run, Kaitlyn Stahre went 4-for-6 while Mya Maddox and Faith Garey each had three-hit games.
But the Spartans know there are still a bunch of tough games on the schedule.
“I still feel like we need to stay focused and keep working hard,” Simpson said. “We need to play Lake ball. I feel like it could be anybody’s game still.”
Lake Forest travels to Indian River (4-2) today for a 4:15 p.m. start before taking on Delmar Christian (7-1) Monday at 4 p.m.
Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at email@example.com