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The Lakeland College softball team held its first-ever 50-inning marathon this fall, tying the event in with contests as well as a silent auction to raise money for a good cause.
The 50-inning game was played five innings at a time, with the Blue Team defeating the Gold 36-10. Freshman Ashley Hough (Rapid River, Mich.) led the Blue hitting 9 for 13 with four doubles, a triple, two RBIs and four runs scored and senior Erin Henk (Hoopeston, Ill.) also batted 9 of 14 with two doubles and two runs scored. The Gold Team was led by junior Brittany Jurek (Gladstone, Mich.) going 5 for 11 with two runs scored and Elizabeth Zimmerman (So.-Shawano, Wis.) also hitting 5 for 11 with a double and two runs scored.
An intermission took place halfway through the 50 innings as a cookout and silent auction were held. The silent auction included gift cards donated by more than 20 area businesses, as well as gift baskets created by team members, family & friends.
The silent auction was held to help raise money for the team's spring break trip to Arizona and also for the softball program's support of the Faith for Kayla Foundation. The foundation was established this year in honor of Kayla Atkins, the sister of a former teammate of both Lakeland Head Softball Coach Hailey Dreyer and Assistant Coach Ashley Stream when both played collegiately at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Adkins was diagnosed with leukemia in May 2010 and passed away Aug. 2 of this year. The foundation in her name used the color orange in its fundraising efforts in her hometown of Burlington, Iowa, and both teams wore orange for the marathon. In all the team raised nearly $1,500 for the day for the charity and for the team's spring break trip. The team has invited Kayla's family to attend an upcoming Lakeland sporting event, where it will present a check to Kayla's family, with the money going towards scholarships for the Faith for Kayla Foundation.
Also during the intermission the field was opened for the Home Run Derby and Hit Fest contests. The Home Run Derby was a huge success with teams combining for over 30 homeruns. The Home Run Derby came down to the last pitch and last out - where the winning team of Muskie baseball Players Charlie Sparrow, Andy Chitwood, Justin Reminger and Brent Stuedel won the title with a total of 16 home runs.
The Hit Fest contest was won by a group of Lakeland College professors, which put up nine hits in the final round to win the title. The highlight of the Hit Fest was when Lakeland history professor Rick Dodgson brought out his cricket bat and lined balls all over the field to gather his team hits.
The Lakeland softball team begins its 2013 season on March 9 at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla.