Prep softball | Regional preview

Lake Station's Acker carries big bat, high hopes for Eagles softball team

2012-05-26T19:30:00Z 2012-05-27T02:10:09Z Lake Station's Acker carries big bat, high hopes for Eagles softball teamBy Robby Howard robert.howard@nwi.com, (219) 933-3373 nwitimes.com

Since she first picked up a bat 10 years ago, Lake Station clean-up hitter Caitlin Acker has been hitting everything that's in her path, even if it's outside.

In the team's 15-0 sectional championship victory Friday, Acker hit an RBI double when River Forest was trying to intentionally walk her.

"I don't know how she did that," Lake Station coach Linda Llewellyn said. "She's a good hitter."

Ironically, when Acker first started playing 10 years ago was also the last — and only — other time Lake Station has won a sectional championship.

In the postseason, Acker has six hits, including a double and home run, with four RBIs.

She hopes to keep that streak going as the Eagles (18-9) host Class 2A No. 2 Rochester (29-1) in regional play.

Her shot off the top of the right-field fence Wednesday in the team's 2-0 upset of Wheeler made the opposing coach take notice of the sophomore.

"Easily the most underrated player in the area," Wheeler coach Marc Bruner said of Acker. "Easily, because she hits good pitching."

When Bruner sought her out after the game to tell her she was a "stud," that meant something even more to Acker.

"Hearing that from a school that is good, and they have good coaching, they win all the time, it feels good," Acker said. "It makes me know that I'm looked at as someone who teams kind of fear."

While other teams fear her, her fellow Eagles love her. And Llewellyn added that all of her teammates wish they could hit like her, too.

"She just is like a little spark for our team," he said. "If we can score first, it helps us big time. She's a player we need."

Acker is hitting over .500 for the season with five home runs to pace the Eagles.

"Her hitting has been amazing," Llewellyn said. "She's a steady player. She doesn't let things bother her, so mentally, she's tough."

In Acker's mind, her Lake Station team has a very real chance at winning the regional and maybe even something more. After all, this team already has more wins (18) than any other in school history.

"I think we can do it if we put our minds to it," Acker said. "We can do it. I know we can."

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