Inland Lakes Looks to Take Next Step

INDIAN RIVER – Fresh off a 26-3 campaign and its first state semifinal appearance since 1999, the Inland Lakes softball program begins the 2017 season eyeing its first state championship.

Inland Lakes held the distinction of being the only northern Michigan team still playing on the final day of the 2016 season, as the Bulldogs fell to state powerhouse Unionville-Sebewaing, 1-0, in the Division 4 final.

The Bulldogs return most of last year’s starting lineup, including Central Michigan bound ace Cloe Mallory.

Mallory is part of a large senior class that has advanced one step further in the postseason each season.

"It’s really cool, and everything, but ever since that one day we’ve always been looking forward, and you know in our eyes, we’re still No. 2,” senior Vanessa Wandrie said. “We didn’t win states… we’ve got to win it now."

Already off to a 6-0 start, the Bulldogs find themselves as the top-ranked team in the first Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association Division 4 poll.

"It was good to see, but you don’t want to get too big-headed about it,” senior Pamela Braund said. “You take it in stride, and you just use it to push forward, because I mean it doesn’t really mean much right now, it’s pre-season… from last year. It doesn’t say anything about this year."

Inland Lakes continues Ski Valley Conference play Monday, hosting Gaylord St. Mary. 

Categories: Softball