Just three days before their official home opener, the Camdenton Lady Lakers took advantage of a change by MSHSAA, allowing for jamborees to be held for sports other than football.
Coach Rick Calbert and the Lady Lakers hosted their first jamboree on Monday afternoon, using the opportunity to fix any kinks in the system, almost like a test run. Hosting two other teams, the Lady Lakers and their opponents played three innings against each team.
The team came out ready to get back in action, and after finishing their first match with a 2-2 tie, the Lady Lakers came out strong in their second match, winning a 6-0 shutout.
Camdenton was led from the mound by pitchers Kelly Uthe and Kylie Compton in their varsity matches, with both pitchers looking sharp from the mound in their first appearances as Lady Lakers.
After pitching the first match, Uthe said she wasn't nervous, but excited.
"I was just worrying about hitting the spots and striking them out," she said.
Uthe also had some success stealing bases and playing from third later in the day, while Compton worked the mound. Compton looked solid, striking out two consecutive batters in the first inning.
"I was just thinking about trying to help the team, and that if we can get out of this inning, we can go hit again," Compton said.
The Lady Lakers have an experienced group of freshmen coming in, but the older players are doing what they can to help them. Catching the pitches from Compton and Uthe is junior catcher Danielle Owens, who is a strong vocal leader for the team.
"I just try to stay positive and keep them in the game," Owens said. "They just have to focus on their pitching."
Owens and the team know all about dealing with distractions, seeing as they are probably one of the most vocal dugouts in the state. When the Lady Lakers are batting, you can be certain that the dugout will be loud with cheers of encouragement for their players.
Overall, the jamboree seemed to go well, with the Lady Lakers showing confidence and talent on both sides of the ball. Now, the team prepares for their first game of the season, which will be a special event as the Lady Lakers have been raising money for Childhood Cancer Awareness, and will wear gold jerseys for the game.
"We've been selling shirts to friends," Owens said. "We just wanted to get the message out there that childhood cancer is a thing. People deal with it every day, and it's just good to have so many people who wanted to help and give money."
You can catch the Lady Lakers in their first home opener on Thursday, Aug. 29, when they host the Glendale Falcons.
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