Lady Cavs relying on glove work

Published 9:46 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lakeland’s Megan Bezek reaches first on an infield hit during Wednesday’s scrimmage against visiting Wilson. The Lady Cavaliers open their season and Southeastern District play Tuesday against Deep Creek.

Lakeland’s softball team has played three scrimmages in preparation for the season and the Southeastern District slate starting up altogether early next week.

Through a doubleheader at L.C. Byrd High last week and Wednesday afternoon’s home scrimmage against Wilson, Lady Cavalier head coach Steve Wood is pleased about what he hasn’t seen — errors.

Specifically about the practice game against the Lady Presidents Wednesday, Wood was without three starters, one of whom will be his primary pitcher when the season gets under way.

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“And we still made no errors. We already had younger girls stepping up and playing very good defense today,” Wood said.

Freshman Megan Mansfield handled the pitching duties well in the last scrimmage of the preseason, filling in for returning pitcher Vici Treat.

“It was (Mansfield’s) first varsity game and I thought she did a wonderful job,” Wood said.

“I think our strength is going to be our defense. I think our defense will be pretty tough,” Wood said.

Up the middle for the Lady Cavs are seniors Kelsey Smither, at shortstop, and Kendell Combs, who’s moved from catcher to second base. Mary Ellis, a three-year starter and a returner as the usual clean-up hitter, played first base Wednesday and can also play anywhere in the outfield.

So if Coach Wood is confident with the defense and pitching he can field, scoring a few runs is the last big piece of the puzzle as the Lady Cavaliers try to improve on last season’s 5-14 record.

The Lady Cavs have speed and have usually used a good amount of bunting, slapping and aggressive base running in recent seasons.

Jaclyn Wood was in the leadoff spot Wednesday, followed by Combs and Smither, making for an experienced and athletic start to the batting order.

“I think we have a more mature team than we’ve had the past few years,” Steve Wood said.

Turning the depth and experience into a squad that gains ground in the district will be no easy feat. Wood is already eyeing the first game of the season as a measuring stick. The Lady Cavs host Deep Creek on Tuesday. Lakeland and Deep Creek have been near one another often in the Southeastern standings through the last few years.

Lakeland softball 2011 schedule

Games start at 5:30 p.m. unless noted, home games are in CAPS


  • Tues. 15 DEEP CREEK
  • Fri. 18 at Grassfield
  • Tues. 22 at King’s Fork
  • Tues. 29 at Oscar Smith


  • Fri. 1 at Indian River
  • Tues. 5 GREAT BRIDGE
  • Fri. 8 HICKORY
  • Tues. 12 at Nansemond River
  • Wed. 13 at Churchland
  • Fri. 15 at Deep Creek
  • Tues. 26 GRASSFIELD
  • Fri. 29 KING’S FORK


  • Tues. 3 at Western Branch
  • Wed. 4 LAKE TAYLOR
  • Fri. 6 OSCAR SMITH
  • Tues. 10 INDIAN RIVER
  • Fri. 13 at Great Bridge
  • Mon. 16 at Hickory