For three years LCA Lady Lions Varsity Softball has had a rock in the middle infield. Starting shortstop and captain Elizabeth Stern '18 has seen it all over her three year career at LCA. She has learned to effectively lead a young group of Lady Lions over the past two years. Under her leadership the team has grown and improved. As a sophomore, Elizabeth was the starting second baseman for the 2016 EIL Undefeated Champions and although her teams fell short of that title the last two seasons, she has certainly left her mark on the program.
Coming to LCA in 10th grade, Elizabeth has grown to enjoy and appreciate the people at LCA. "Truly it seems as if everyone wants to see you thrive and do well, not just as a student or an athlete but as a person. Thanks to the small size of LCA, it was possible for me to form close relationships with teachers which helped me to succeed, " Elizabeth remarked. Elizabeth also felt supported in the class room and on the field, "The added benefit was that the support in the classroom translated to support on the field. I was always allowed to manage my time without feeling like I was neglecting something. In addition, the emphasis on school spirit definitely helped. It was always nice to see teachers at our games supporting us."
Elizabeth is battle tough and battle ready. Her next challenge of NCAA Divisions III softball is one that she's ready for. She has overcome a number of battles to bring her to where she is today - on the doorstop of high school graduation and realizing a dream of playing college softball. Next year Elizabeth will be attending Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. where she will be an impactful player on the Bison Softball team. Her soon-to-be coach, Justen Burns said of her commitment to Gallaudet, "I'm thrilled that Elizabeth committed to us. I know Elizabeth will come in working hard and college ready, and she will bring another level of competitiveness to our already strong infield." Elizabeth is looking forward to attending Gallaudet stating, “I am super excited to attend Gallaudet since I will not be the only deaf person in the room. At LCA I was the first deaf person that some had ever encountered, and I am really looking forward to feeling a sense of belonging. Beyond that, Gallaudet places a strong emphasis on academics and has a competitive softball program and I’m very excited to grow even more as a student and as an athlete.”
For students dealing with various challenges, Elizabeth has some great advice – “I think it’s really important to reach out and ask for help. I know as athletes, we don’t want to appear weak, unprepared or inadequate; but it is so important to rely on the people around you. You need to go to someone if you’re struggling, regardless of what you’re struggling with. There are people at LCA who want nothing more than to help you and for you to succeed. Each person faces challenges differently and I've learned that if I reach out and let someone know that I'm struggling, I'm able to get the support that I need.”
Elizabeth also lent her support to younger players on her team guiding and leading them throughout the season. She also enjoyed assisting with a middle school softball clinic earlier this season where she offered one on one coaching to young players, teaching them the fundamentals of the game. Elizabeth then put a cap on her LCA career with a home run in her final game as a Lady Lion leading her team to a 16-0 victory over Bradford Christian. A great ending to her LCA career is just the beginning for Elizabeth.
Co-captains Elizabeth Stern '18 & Abigail Broadhurst '18 with their teammates on Senior Day last Wednesday.