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The Reflection

Gull Lake softball standout continues to impress

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Lauren Esman winds up to hit a dinger against Battle Creek Central on May 8. Photo by Parker Feraco

When hearing about Gull Lake Softball, it shouldn’t be a surprise if you hear “Lauren Esman” and “home run” in the same sentence. Esman embodies the phrase “softball is life” as she plays and trains year round.

“In the fall, I have travel practices and weekend tournaments. In the winter, I train on the weekends. In the spring, I have our high school season, and in the summer, I have week long tournaments for a few weeks straight. Year round, I’ll train about four or five times a week,” Esman said.

A junior at Gull Lake, Esman competes with the highest level of competition in the nation and plays at tournaments all across America. Making a name for herself in her sophomore season, after finishing the season batting .675 with 91 RBI, and 21 home runs, teams finally started to take notice of her talent. After her breakout performance, she became ranked 934th nationally by MaxPreps. She was awarded the 2017 Kalamazoo Gazette Softball Player of the Year award.

“It was a stellar season– that’s all I can really say about it,” Esman said.

Lauren Esman unloads her fiery wrath on the batter with this pitch against Harper Creek on March 28th. Photo by Parker Feraco

This season, Esman said she hopes to repeat the success and earn even higher awards. She’s having another good season as she is batting .577 with 42 RBI and 7 home runs.

“This season has been okay. I am getting less good pitches to hit and getting walked a lot more than last year. Getting the same results as last year is gonna be tough. Pitching, I am where I wanna be,” Esman said.

Next year, Esman said she hopes the dominance of the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference continues. After earning numerous awards for her athletic ability, both in softball and volleyball, Esman looks to stack on even more prestigious accomplishments to her portfolio. She has won First Team All-District, Region, Conference and State. She was a MaxPreps All-American, and this year was awarded a preseason All-American.

Lauren Esman admires her hit as it sails over the fence against Lowell on April 28th. Photo by Parker Feraco

“Next year I’m just gonna do the same thing I always do, just play softball,” Esman said.

After the eclipse of her high school career, Esman is headed to the University of Michigan to continue her legacy. Esman will play outfield and first base for the Wolverines and said she hopes to continue her hot hitting, while maintaining the possibility of pitching.

“I chose the University of Michigan because it’s the best at athletics and academics in the country. I love the coaches, and how their program is so successful,” Esman said.

Esman is currently leading her team with an 18-4 record on the mound and a 23-9 record overall. The team looks to gain momentum from their last few games and take Districts by storm. This year’s districts will be held in Holt on the weekend of June 2.

“I wanna win,” Esman proclaimed adamantly.

Lauren Esman classifies herself as a savvy baserunner as she heads to second against Lowell on April 28th. Photo by Parker Feraco

With Esman’s junior season coming to an end, she still believes she has a lot to improve and a lot more to prove.

Ryan McMullen

I am the Sports Editor of The Reflection. I mainly write about football and basketball with a few miscellaneous articles here and there. I have won honorable mentions for my articles and this year I hope to win first place this year and win another Spartan Award for The Reflection.


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