Dr. G's Ranger Round Up: Softball/Baseball

Freshman defensive specialist Addison Garrett delivered the clutch hit against Akron.

5/11/23  Lakewood vs. Akron
Poetry imitated softball today, and when all was written the unlikeliest of players—freshman defensive specialist Addison Garrett—had delivered the clutch hit (a sixth inning single scoring Ella Bower, who had led off with a single) to propel the Lakewood Rangers to a hard fought 3-2 OHSAA Tournament win over Akron Firestone. Addison was pressed into batting duty due to a spate of recent injuries, but who would have known that while watching her drill a run-scoring single to right center? This "surprise" was matched by the most expected of efforts—a complete game by Mia Carroll-Greeves. The record setting all-star pitcher and the solid roll player were the main authors of this poem. But it's a team game, and everyone chipped in

Not to be overlooked was the play of senior catcher Charlotte Beno—the best catcher in the GLC and the consummate student athlete. A National Honor Society officer who proudly sported her OSU gear today at the NHS Breakfast, Charlotte gunned down a would-be base stealer with a perfect throw to sure-handed shortstop Kylee Blinky in the top of the 6th to snuff out a Firestone rally. She also doubled and scored on Mia's double in the first inning to get the Rangers on the board. Grace Hart, yet another NHS officer (University of Cincinnati), walked several times, helping advance runners that eventually scored.

They needed everything today, and the Lakewood defense met the challenge and then some. Second baseman Gaby Carroll-Greeves made multiple fine plays, as did first baseman Ella Bower. Fittingly, the final out occurred when Gaby, steady as they go, fielded a grounder and calmly threw to Ella to send the Rangers and their nerve-racked fans home with smiles all around.

Every close play in the field went Firestone's way, but from my eye they were all good calls. With that and multiple starters sidelined and a tough (and classy, I might add) opponent, the frustration could have easily gotten to Lakewood. Instead, the Rangers played an errorless game, got their usual stellar pitching, and a freshman defensive specialist who rarely hits drives in the winning run. Long Lakewood.
5/5/23 Lakewood vs. Normandy
On a lingeringly cold May evening, the Lakewood Rangers Baseball/Softball teams won 2 of 3 (the boys split with Normandy and the girls beat them). While the Baseball team was dropping the first game 5-0, the Softball team won 7-2, led by freshman Ella Bower, who threw seven 2-hit innings and struck out 6, aided by sparkling defensive plays by 2nd baseman Gaby Carroll-Greeves, center fielder Lauren Barber, and 3rd baseman Emily Potoczak. First baseman Mia-Carroll-Greeves led the offense with 3 hits and 4 RBI, while Lauren and senior catcher Charlotte Beno each had 2 hits and an RBI.

About a half hour later, the Lakewood Baseball team started slowly, taking a while to get their bats going, but when the dust at home plate finally settled (lots of close plays there tonight) the 44107 crew put up 8 runs in the last two innings to win going away, 8-2. Starter Logan Ellis pitched 4 2/3 strong innings, before giving way to senior Luke Jablonowski (another #5, pictured), who pitched 2 and 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. In the fifth, the Rangers tied it on an RBI singles by Leo Sonosen and Aidan Maxwell. Then, with two out, Colin McCrone once again delivered at a crucial time, breaking an 2-2 with an RBI single to left. Colin later delivered the knock out blow with a 2-run single in the bottom of the 6th. Mason Ivinskas, Luke Mason, Keegan Schroeder and catcher Ben Jablonowski—who once again was rock solid behind the plate—also chipped in offensively for the Rangers.

The wins were fun, the loss was not (I managed to miss it) but the best part of this night was our Lakewood community, especially our future Lakewood Rangers. Seeing all the youth players in the Lakewood Community Baseball Association ring the field before the game was that magic moment that weaves the connection between our past, present and future (I was the oldest Ranger in attendance, and it so happens I wore #5 for the Purple and Gold). As is always the case, many of our Softball players joined other fans to cheer on the home team. Both squads are in contention in the GLC-East (Girls 8-2, Boys 6-2) and hope to make deep playoff runs. No matter how the season turns out, however, it's a joy to watch student athletes compete fiercely while carrying themselves with class and respect. Tonight was a great community celebration of a very special community with amazing, generous hearted people. The Lakewood Rangers are one team, from one town, that gives it all. Long Live Lakewood.

Volume 19, Issue 11, Posted 3:10 PM, 05.17.2023