Player of the Week: Ashley Clark

Ashley Clark

Ashley Clark

Pitchers often fall into two categories — some rely on an outstanding fastball to overpower hitters, while what others lack in speed, they make up for it with deception.

A big part in the Lake Region softball turnaround this spring from 0-16 to battling for a playoff berth (at press time the club is 7-6, ranked eighth in Class B West — the top 10 teams qualify for the tournament) has been the emergence of junior pitcher Ashley Clark.

Mixing a decent fastball with a diving change-up, Clark recorded a two hit, 10 strikeout victory over Freeport (1-0) last week and limited Fryeburg Academy to just four hits and striking out five Monday as the Lakers snapped a seven-year drought against the Raiders with a 7-5 win at the Legion Field.

“Ashley has developed confidence in throwing the change-up more and more over the past few weeks, which has kept us in the game against some very good offenses,” Coach Wayne Rivet said. “She has been able to keep hitters off balance, which is the real key to her and the team’s success.”

A good example was against league leader Cape Elizabeth when Clark squared off against one of the most feared hitters — UMaine-bound Ashley Tinsman. One a 1-1 pitch, Tinsman smoked a deep drive that sailed foul into the swamp behind leftfield. Trusting herself, Clark came back with a change-up that darted down and away from Tinsman, who struck out.

“After getting tagged like that, some pitchers would not challenge a hitter and simply keep the ball away on the outside part of the plate. I give Ashley a lot of credit for trusting herself to throw a good change-up against a very aggressive hitter. Ultimately, she won that battle,” Coach Rivet added. “She has made a huge jump this season and gives us a chance to win each time we take the field. Ashley has worked hard to improve. She may be quiet on the outside, rarely showing any emotion during games, but I know she wants to succeed and wants to see this program improve. She is a big reason why we’ve made a dramatic turnaround.”

In recognition of her strong work ethic, determination, commitment and good sportsmanship, Ashley is this week’s Boosters and Hancock Lumber “Player of the Week.” Each week, a Lake Region athlete is recognized for his/her dedication (does more than what is asked), work ethic, coachability and academic good standing. Recipients receive a specially-designed t-shirt, sponsored by Hancock Lumber.

The Clark File

Name: Ashley Clark

Year in School: Junior

Town: Bridgton

Parents: Lisa and Andy Clark

Sports you play: Softball

Q. Who is your biggest fan? AC. My parents because they come to every game.

Q. I know I have had a good sports day when…AC We win.

Q. What is your favorite sport? Softball.

Q. If I could change one thing about myself as an athlete, I would change… AC. My confidence in myself.

Q. What qualities make for a good teammate and whom do you consider a good teammate? AC. Commitment and passion. Sam (Marucci) and Casey (Heath) are good teammates because they care and play to win.

Q. What do you believe you bring to your team? AC. Experience because I play on multiple teams year round.

Q. What characteristics do you feel make for a good coach? AC. Somebody who cares and knows how to play the game.

 

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