Athlete of the Week: Lefty Lembcke lifts Lady Panthers

Carolina Forest senior Rachel Lembcke knows her high school softball career is almost over, but she’s doing her best to make sure the Lady Panthers keep playing as long as possible.

The Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week pitched Carolina Forest to a pair of playoff victories last week, allowing only four hits over 17 shutout innings.

The Lady Panthers (18-2) are one win away from the district title and Lower State tournament with their eyes focused on a Class AAAA state championship.

“Coach (Sarah Minchew) always says, ‘Play hard, work hard, no regrets’ and I try to feed off that everyday,” Lembcke said. “Especially in the playoffs, one game can be your last. You can’t play softball forever, so I’m trying to make the most of it.”

So far so good for Lembcke and her teammates, many of whom have been playing together since their Little League days. Minchew says it makes her job easy to have a group of seniors like Lembcke leading the way.

“Rachel is an amazing student-athlete,” Minchew said. “She works very hard and always has a positive attitude. She is the type of player that any coach would want to have. She is always smiling and encouraging her teammates and has remarkable leadership skills.”

As much as Lembcke has helped her team with her arm, the hard-throwing left-hander’s biggest contribution may come when she isn’t in the lineup. Splitting time with freshman Emily Merriam, Lembcke displays her unselfishness by being the team’s biggest supporter in the dugout.

“Coach tells us both to warm up and then she doesn’t tell us who is going to start until 5 minutes before the game,” Lembcke said. “But it doesn’t matter who gets the start, we all cheer for each other to do well and for the team to win.”

In fact, Lembcke waited her time while Merriam had the hot hand earlier in the season, but the senior has been getting the ball in clutch situations lately. She even relieved Merriam in an extra-inning victory last week to earn her first save of the season.

On Saturday, she allowed only three hits against Ashley Ridge before the Lady Panthers rallied to win 2-1 in the 10th inning. Earlier in the week she pitched a one-hit shutout against Lugoff-Elgin, stepping up her game at the most critical time of year.

“I definitely feel like I play better under pressure, but the approach is always the same,” she said. “The big thing is knowing if one of us makes a mistake or has a bad game, we’ve got each other to pick it up whether it’s on offense, defense or pitching.”

Lembcke attributes much of Carolina Forest’s success to the sort of team unity she exemplifies. She and the group of seniors have been playing softball together since their Pony Tail days, and they’re trying to make their time together last all the way to the state title.

“We’ve played together for a long time so there’s some strong chemistry there,” she said. “It would be awesome to win it all in our last year together. That would be a memory that would last a lifetime.”

Comments

comments

Chants post back-to-back, 10th-inning walk-off wins

Chants post back-to-back, 10th-inning walk-off winsFor the second straight game, Coastal Carolina (3-0) scored a [more]

St. James' Knaffle, White receive major golf honors

St. James' Knaffle, White receive major golf honorsAfter leading the St. James High girls golf team to [more]

Boys Playoffs: Tigers ride Wave into 5A LS semifinal

Boys Playoffs: Tigers ride Wave into 5A LS semifinalThe Conway High boys basketball team punched their ticket to [more]

NMB crowns 2 Lower State champs; CF, MB qualify 5

NMB crowns 2 Lower State champs; CF, MB qualify 5The North Myrtle Beach wrestling team crowned two Lower State [more]

Green comes off bench, leads Saints' playoff win

Green comes off bench, leads Saints' playoff winThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team needed [more]

CCU Hoops: Chants sweep USA in Senior Day thrillers

CCU Hoops: Chants sweep USA in Senior Day thrillersOn Senior Day, it was fittingly a senior-to-senior connection that [more]

Chants rally past Sooners on Wood's walk-off in 10th

Chants rally past Sooners on Wood's walk-off in 10thWith bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of [more]

5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers roll into Lower State semis

5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers roll into Lower State semisThe Carolina Forest girls basketball team are headed to the [more]

4A Girls Playoffs: Big win keeps Seahawks at home

4A Girls Playoffs: Big win keeps Seahawks at homeThe Myrtle Beach girls basketball team had to battle to [more]

Chants overpower Hokies; face Sooners on Saturday

Chants overpower Hokies; face Sooners on SaturdayPreseason All-American Kevin Woodall Jr., had a career-high six RBI [more]

Lacrosse gaining ground on Strand's sports scene

Lacrosse gaining ground on Strand's sports sceneThere was a time not so long that students who [more]

CCU football names Isaac new running backs coach

CCU football names Isaac new running backs coachCoastal Carolina head football coach Joe Moglia announced the hiring [more]

CCU Hoops: Trojans edge Chants; Adams scores 40

CCU Hoops: Trojans edge Chants; Adams scores 40Jaylen Shaw's game-high 18 points were not enough as Coastal [more]

4A Boys Playoffs: Chiefs, Seahawks fall in openers

4A Boys Playoffs: Chiefs, Seahawks fall in openersSecond-seeded Myrtle Beach saw its season come to an end [more]

5A Boys Playoffs: Tigers make history; Braves win

5A Boys Playoffs: Tigers make history; Braves winFor the first time in nearly a quarter-century, the Conway [more]

Chants set to open season with Baseball at the Beach

Chants set to open season with Baseball at the BeachOn Friday, the 2018 NCAA Division I collegiate baseball begins [more]

5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers erupt; Tigers win at Wando

5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers erupt; Tigers win at WandoOnly hours after learning she had been named the Class [more]

4A Girls Playoffs: Chiefs hit road running; MB stays hot

4A Girls Playoffs: Chiefs hit road running; MB stays hotPlaying in a tough region has its perks. One of [more]

Strand cleans up Class 5A Player of the Year awards

Strand cleans up Class 5A Player of the Year awardsFor the first time since the SCHSL went to five [more]

Saints solve Titans to take region tournament crown

Saints solve Titans to take region tournament crownThe third time proved the charm for the Christian Academy [more]

Conway, Sumter share top All-Region 6-5A accolades

Conway, Sumter share top All-Region 6-5A accoladesConway High's Jimmy Nichols was voted Region 6-5A Player of [more]

CCU football hires former pro Hollowell as assistant

CCU football hires former pro Hollowell as assistantT.J. Hollowell, who played four seasons in professional football, has [more]

MB's Swanson leads local players on all-region list

MB's Swanson leads local players on all-region listMyrtle Beach senior Robert Swanson was named All-Region 7-4A first [more]

Terry feels 'love and pride' for Conway as head coach

Terry feels 'love and pride' for Conway as head coachConway High School has removed the interim tag from in [more]

Lady Seahawks sweep top postseason region awards

Lady Seahawks sweep top postseason region awardsGiven that Myrtle Beach went undefeated to claim the Region [more]

Chants post back-to-back, 10th-inning walk-off wins

Chants post back-to-back, 10th-inning walk-off winsFor the second straight game, Coastal Carolina (3-0) scored a [more]

St. James' Knaffle, White receive major golf honors

St. James' Knaffle, White receive major golf honorsAfter leading the St. James High girls golf team to [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach