The Lakewood Lancers got redemption and retook the Moore League championship last season after losing its five-year title streak in 2018.
Lakewood has now won 10 of the last 12 league championships, and it’s looking to repeat with a confident class of seniors leading the way.
“Not only is it just Lakewood, and we’re known for softball, but this is a group of seniors that’s played together since we were 7,” senior Cassie Camou (pictured) said. “We have a pretty good connection, know what our plan is, and we’re going to get after it. We’re looking to win it all. We’re expecting to win big tournaments, and we’re expecting to win Moore League championships.”
First-Team All-Moore League pitcher Cassie Perryman has been out sick, so Camou has been showing leadership in the circle where she’s pitching again because of the team need. Camou, also First-Team All-Moore League, played in the outfield last year, and hit over .350 with nine home runs.
“This group definitely doesn’t want to lose the league title,” Lakewood coach Andy Miramontes said. “Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve got some pretty good talent. Like I told the girls, it’s ours to lose. They expect to win. But I’m still trying to figure this group out.”
The influx of three talented freshmen and a handful of new underclassmen has Miramontes shuffling his lineup to maximize his offensive output. He said that freshman catcher Natalie Lopez is a phenomenal young talent, but he’s also got senior MaKenzie Hutchinson and junior Kendall Lundberg, who can already play behind the plate.
“I’ve got a couple freshmen who can put the ball in play and I’ve got to find a spot for them,” Miramontes said. “I’m trying to find my defense, because if you’re hitting I have to find a spot for you. These girls are talented and can play multiple positions.”
Junior Brooklynn Baruch will play second base and lead off as a slap hitter with the reliable senior Emilie Martin batting behind her. Martin will also be a relief pitcher alongside freshman Laci Berecochea.
“Just in general the girls are more advanced,” Miramontes said of moving seven freshmen to the varsity and junior varsity teams. “They’re getting the game at a younger age with a lot more travel ball stuff going on. We’re all learning together to pick stuff up during the games like tendencies.”
Lakewood was disappointed with a loss to South Torrance in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs last year. The Lancers had beaten South earlier in the season, and Camou said it’s because her team had an off day.
“The key is just making sure nobody’s down,” said Camou, who will attend Long Beach State next year. “Once one person is down, everybody starts to fall down. It’s about picking each other up and focusing on the big prize at the end.”
The Lancers are in Division 2 again this season, but will face Division 1 opponents at the Savannah Showcase this weekend and another elite tournament in Bullhead City next month.