LCC softball hits stride at right time
The LCC softball team (25-7 MCCAA 32-17 overall) continues to rampage through its 2015 schedule. The Stars swept visiting Kalamazoo Valley Community College (23-9 MCCAA 30-12 overall) 4-1 and 6-2 at Ranney Park April 28.
Having won three in a row and 15 of their last 17 contests, the Lady Stars now sit second in the MCCAA Western Conference, two games behind Kellogg Community College (27-5 MCCAA 34-11 Overall).
“We went through the bad stretch and worked on a few things,” said LCC Head Coach Marc Kibby. “We started swinging the bats here the last four or five days and hopefully are starting to peak at the right time.”
LCC has definitely picked up its hitting at the plate to the tune of a .302 average for the season and .324 within the walls of Ranney Park. Pairing 29 home runs and 98 extra-base hits, the Lady Stars are ranked 26th in the nation.
“You always learned more when you’re in a tough stretch,” Kibby said. “We stayed together as a team, we worked together as a team and we all came through this and are starting to reap the rewards.”
Not to be out done by the offense, the pitching staff has been a mainstay since day one, according to Kibby.
“Our pitching staff the whole year has kept us in games,” he said. “Now that our offense and defense is really doing what we thought we’d be able to do, it just really brings out the highlighting of the pitching.”
LCC freshman pitcher Ranae Morton has played a big part in the success of the pitching staff. She leads the team with 1.47 ERA.
“It feels great; everything we have worked for is finally clicking and we’re heading down the right road,” Morton said.
With the team’s last regular season game scheduled at home May 1 and the postseason all but of formality, Kibby explained that certain factors have played into his hand.
“As a coach you try, you worry about when your team is going to peak,” he said. “Is there any special things you do? No, you can’t really control the highs and the lows of it. Really the schedule played into it for us because the top four teams here at the end of the year, we played each other.”
On the field, Morton said she was pleased to have talented outfielders behind her to bail her out of tough spots.
“It is great,” Morton said. “Coming from a school that didn’t necessarily have that is the best thing I could ever have. I have a team behind me.”
Kibby praised his team on its ability to show up and perform when the stage was at its biggest.
“It was do or die,” he said. “It was like tournament time.”
LCC freshman second baseman Madison Adams hits a double against Oakland Community College April 23 at Ranney Park in Lansing.