Nick Sabato/Lakeland TimesLakeland second baseman Ally Pairolero fields a ground ball during the second game of a doubleheader against Ironwood on Friday, May 18, at Lenz Field. Pairolero also went 3 for 4 with four RBIs at the plate.
Nick Sabato/Lakeland Times


Lakeland second baseman Ally Pairolero fields a ground ball during the second game of a doubleheader against Ironwood on Friday, May 18, at Lenz Field. Pairolero also went 3 for 4 with four RBIs at the plate.
The Lakeland Union High School softball team needed two wins to eclipse last season's total heading into the final four games of the season in a pair of doubleheaders against Medford and Ironwood, Mich.



Hanging on

In the first game of Thursday's Great Northern Conference twin billing at Medford, the Thunderbirds had a chance to win their first game against the Lady Raiders since the conference's inception.

A seven-run second inning put Lakeland well on its way thanks to 2-run single by Camille Quade and RBI singles by Emma Salquist and Kallin Lenz.

Medford would put up six runs in the fifth to cut the lead to 8-7, but the T-Birds got RBIs from Lenz and Taryn Williams before Tatum Morris got a strikeout with the tying run on third to win 10-9.

"That was one that the girls worked pretty hard at," LUHS head coach Jason Morris said. "Those first couple innings Medford seemed riddled for errors and then we seemed to return the favor. We definitely kept fighting, the bats kept us in that one for sure and I'm not sure when the last we beat Medford, but man, what an effort by the girls."

Lenz finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs and Ally Pairolero was 2 for 3.



No-hit

In the second game, Medford was able to continue its hot hitting, but Lakeland was completely shutdown.

Lady Raider pitcher Hailee Clausnitzer tossed a no-hitter and was a walk with two outs in the fifth from getting a perfect game in a 13-0 win.

"She was throwing hard, throwing strikes and the girls just couldn't catch up to it," Morris said.



Morris steps up

Lakeland returned to Lenz Field for its final pair of home games in a non-conference battle with Ironwood.

Pairolero hit an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning and that would be all the offense needed in a 4-0 win as pitcher Tatum Morris allowed just three hits and struck out six without surrendering a walk in the shutout win.

"We've been getting consistent performances from Tatum all year long," Jason Morris said. "I wanted to make sure we were able to get that first win. We were really looking to get 11 and potentially 12, but we had to get 11 first. I knew we had to put our best effort forward and Tatum was our best chance in that first game."

Emma Salquist went 2 for 2 with an RBI, while Tatum Morris went 1 for 2 with an RBI.



Seidl settles in

Jenna Seidl got the start in the second game of the doubleheader looking to bounce back from her last start against Crandon in which she allowed six runs in the first inning.

Seidl allowed four in the bottom of the first inning, but settled in to go five full innings, allowing seven hits and striking out 11 batters in the 11-5 win.

"We're trying to give her some additional opportunities here and after the first game, we had more flexibility to keep the energy up," Morris said. "At the end of the day she settled in, she fought hard and she has an exciting future with Lakeland softball."

Pairolero had the big bat, going 3 for 4 with four RBIs, while Emma Salquist, Britta Salquist, Seidl, Williams, Amanda Kosmen and Quade all had RBIs.

Lakeland finishes the regular season 12-13 overall, eclipsing last season's total of 10, while going 4-8 in the GNC, its best record since the conference was formed.

The T-Birds now move on to the WIAA Division 2 Playoffs, earning the No. 6 seed and will play at Rhinelander tomorrow.

"We know we're going to be facing a really good pitcher on Wednesday, one that's stymied us pretty badly to this point so we've got a lot of work to do in the hitting cage this week," Morris said. "We've got to clean some things up on defense as always, but we're looking forward to the opportunity."

Lakeland travels to No. 3 seed Rhinelander tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. at Pioneer Park.

Nick Sabato may be reached at nick@lakelandtimes.com or via Twitter@NickSabatoLT.