Lake-Sumter Community College

Lake Sumter Community College
Lake Sumter Community College

Host Hotel of Lakehawks Athletics Hampton Inn Leesburg-Tavares

Bennett and Solovitch 

Highlight Postseason Awards

The Lake-Sumter State College softball season came to an end in mid-April after finishing fifth in the Mid-Florida Conference standings. The program improved their 13-46 record from 2016 to 21-39 in 2017, while moving up two spots in the final conference standings. This week, five Lakehawks were named to Mid-Florida All-Conference teams. Bri Bennett, Summer Solovitch, Brooke Ferguson, Brielle Dougherty and Rachel Phelps all received post season honors.

Sophomore, Bri Bennett nabs her second First Team All-Conference selection in her final season. After two years, Bennett leaves the Lake-Sumter program as the most prolific power hitter in school history. The catcher owns the single season records for home runs (14), RBIs (56), doubles (21) and walks (30). She also holds the career marks for home runs (24), RBIs (94), doubles (28), walks (59) and is top five in hits (114).

After missing the 2016 season with an ACL injury, Summer Solovitch was selected First Team All-Conference as a utility player. The Ridge Manor native started games this season at 1B, 2B, 3B, LF, RF and DP which qualified her for the at large nomination. Solovitch was extremely consistent in the lineup hitting .380 with 11 doubles, 3 home runs and a team leading 33 runs scored. Hitting behind Bennett most of the season, the right handed bat was still able to drive in 24 runners while swiping 10 bases. Defensively, Solovitch moved all around the field and made just 10 errors all season.

Freshman impact player, Brooke Ferguson earned Second Team All MFC accolades. The speedy outfielder led the conference and finished second in the state in triples. Her eight three-baggers set single-season and career records for the program as she ranked top five in the country in that category. Ferguson also swiped 27 bases to set a new high in the record books. She hit .313 on the year, scoring 28 times and driving in 19 RBIs.

Sophomore, Brielle Dougherty and freshman, Rachel Phelps were both tabbed All MFC Honorable Mention. Dougherty was stellar in conference playing picking up four wins and two saves in the circle while hitting .349. Phelps hit .306 for the season switching between centerfield and first base. She finished second on the team with 24 stolen bases.

“The program is definitely headed in the right direction,” said Head Coach, Jay Miller. “These five individuals have help set the bar for where we are and where we are going.” The Lakehawks improved in almost every statistical category from 2016 to 2017 and look to make an even bigger jump in 2018. “This group has raised the bar and what we accomplished this year, won’t be acceptable next year.” LSSC heads into the offseason looking to replace seven sophomores to go along with their nine freshman they have returning.​ 


lkoff Grand Slam Highlights Opening Week

The Lake-Sumter State College softball program opened their season in Clearwater, FL at the JUCO Kickoff Classic Friday, January 27. With four games on the docket in two days, the girls got the season rolling quickly.

Day one saw LSSC drop two games to Florida State College – Manatee (8-0) and to ABAC (GA) in extra innings (5-4). On Saturday, the bats came alive in the way of 18 hits and 13 runs scored for a 13-1 win over Pasco-Hernando. Game two became a slugfest with the Lakehawks coming up just short to Georgia Highlands, 9-8.

LSSC played host to Eastern Florida in double header action Thursday, February 2 which resulted in a sweep of the Titans. Jasmine McQuaig picked up the complete game victory while allowing just two earned runs and striking out four. Rachel Phelps hit her first collegiate home run while fellow freshman, Erin Huffman had a two hit performance. Game two was a tightly contested ball game the whole way through, starting with both teams trading two runs in the first inning. Barbara Vega was able to bring in Phelps in the fifth inning to go up 4-2. McQuaig, who had started the game in the circle, gave way to Yoie Silvas who picked up the save in the seventh to clinch a 4-3 victory.

The next day the Polk State Eagles made their way to Leesburg for a two game set. Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lakehawks trailed by a score of 6-3. Brielle Doughtery led off the inning with a single, followed by an infield single by Jess Fleming. After a walk to Brooke Ferguson, Bri Bennett stepped to the plate with bases loaded. With one ball and two strikes on the count, Bennett deposited a fastball over the centerfield wall for a walkoff grand slam! “You know, I got the pitch I was looking for and swung hard,” Bennett said of the HR. Game two had the same score, but was not as kind to LSSC as they fell, 7-6.

After two straight home dates, Lake-Sumter hit the road for a double header against South Florida State College. Down 2-0 in the third inning, Bennett smacked her second long ball of the season to put her team up by one. LSSC added another run in the fourth before SFSC tied it up 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Staniloiu crushed a go ahead triple to deep right field plating two runs. McQuaig would take over in the circle in the sixth to record the four out save. The bats went silent in game two as the Lakehawks were shutout in five innings, 8-0, moving their season record to 5-5.

“With such a young team, I am very excited about the start we have gotten off to,” said Head Coach, Jay Miller. “Our pitchers are doing their job and the bats are beginning to come around consistently. As soon as our defense gets settled and we put everything together, I do believe we will be a dangerous team.


taniloiu has been hitting lights out so far this season leading the team in batting average (.524) to go along with five extra base hits. Bennett currently ranks third in the nation with 20 RBIs and leads the team with seven doubles. Lefty slapper, Huffman continues to be a fixture at the top of the lineup with eight hits in six starts

McQuaig is currently 3-3 from the circle with Yoie Silvas and Stanilou garnering one win each.

Lake-Sumter State College will host Palm Beach State Friday, February 10 for a double header beginning at 1 pm.​

Softball 2017 Season Preview

Just four players return to Head Softball Coach, Jay Miller’s roster from 2016 as he enters his second season at the helm. Madison Staniloiu, Yoie Silvas, Josey Hampton and Bri Bennett are set to lead the Lakehawks in 2017. After bringing in his first recruiting class this past offseason, Miller is looking to build around his aggressive style of play after a 13-46 (6-18) record last year.



iloiu and Silvas are veterans on an otherwise young pitching staff after the signings of freshman, Jasmine McQuaig, Kaitlyn Van Buren and lefty, Erin Huffman. “Staniloiu will anchor our staff this season as our No. 1,” said Miller. “We will also rely heavily on Jasmine and ask her to do more than the typical freshman and we know we have a strong arm in Yoie whenever we need it.”


he Lakehawks will look completely different on defense after graduating six starters from last season’s team. Bennett will return behind the plate and to the middle of the lineup after a stellar rookie campaign which included breaking LSSC’s HR record (14) and 1st Team All Mid-Florida Conference accolades. Summer Solovitch will be a mainstay at first base after missing all of last year with an ACL tear. Sophomore transfers Brielle Dougherty (Flagler) and Jessica Fleming (Wesleyan) look to contribute immediately as veterans on an extremely young squad. Dougherty will take over at the hot corner and back up at shortstop.

With all three starting outfielders from 2016 moving on to four-year schools, Miller set out to find freshman that could fill the roles as soon as they stepped on campus. Hailey Dobbs, Rachel Phelps and Brooke Ferguson will be covering the grass this year along with Van Buren, Huffman and Fleming. “We added a lot of speed with our ’16 class,” coach said. “That means they can cover a ton of ground on defense and steal a ton of bags on offense.”

A changing of the guard happened up the middle as well with Barb Vega and Michelle Ruiz taking over at shortstop and second base respectfully. Aura Blackburn and Kayla Seward are wild cards in the mix, brought in as true utility players with the ability to catch and play multiple positions when needed. Lauren Harries signed on over the winter break after working with the Athletics Dept. as a student trainer. Harris will back up Ruiz at second and also see some time in the outfield.

“I have big expectations for this upcoming season and I believe our girls do as well,” said Coach Miller. “We play in the best region in the country and in the top conference in that region and will compete from beginning to end this year.”

The Lakehawks will start their season on the road in Clearwater, FL at the JUCO Kickoff Classic. The team will play four games in two days before returning back for their home opener against Eastern Florida State Thursday, Feb. 2 at 2 pm.

LSSC Softball Launches Fundraising Campaign

Thank you for taking the time to come to our website. We have begun our fundraising campaign for our softball program. Below is a link you can click on which will take you to our fundraising page. From there you can see the video our girls put together and donate if possible. Any amount helps and we truly appreciate your support!


hawk Fundraising Page​

Softball Hosts Inaugural Lakehawk Invitational

Wagners Gold.jpg-large

The fall season is just getting underway, but the Hawks Nest on the Leesburg campus was active with travel softball programs the first weekend of classes. Head Softball Coach, Jay Miller and is team played host to Wagner’s Gold – Thomas, Wagner’s Gold – Edwards, Snakebite and Team SWAT for a two-day, four game minimum tournament.

Games started bright and early Saturday morning with first pitch coming at 7:45 am. Each team was able to get three games in for pool play and set the seeding for Sunday’s single elimination tournament. The championship game pitted both Wagner’s Gold teams against each other with Wagner’s Gold – Thomas coming out on top, 8 – 5.

The tournament was a great fund raising and recruiting opportunity for the program. “This was a trial run and it could not have gone any better,” said coach Miller. “I am hoping to expand the tournament next year and get a few more local teams involved.”

Snakebite will be back for the fall opener against the Lakehawks Saturday, September 24. First pitch is scheduled for noon.​

Four Lakehawks Earn All Conference Accolades

The Lake-Sumter State College softball program had four student-athletes named to the All Mid-Florida Conference teams. Freshman Bri Bennett and sophomores Noelle McGuire, Tiffany Goller and Madison Mihok all earned a spot on the distinguished list of MFC’s top players. “Knowing we have the top team in the country in our conference and still being able to recognize four of our players is a big accomplishment,” said Head Coach, Jay Miller. “I believe this shows the direction in which our program is going and the standards the three sophomores set for the next group of student-athletes.”

Bri Bennett, C – 1st Team Mid-Florida Conference

As a freshman, Bennett had an immediate impact in the lineup. The Jacksonville native led the Lakehawks in hitting (.313), RBIs (38), on-base percentage (.425), slugging (.640) and OPS (1.065). On Tuesday, April 12, the slugger crushed a ball over the right field fence for her 14th home run of the year. A new Lake-Sumter single-season record. Behind the plate, Bennett tossed out 15 runners trying to steal while swiping seven bags herself. Finishing third in the conference in HRs and walks and fifth in slugging, Bennett will look to comeback for an even better sophomore season.

Noelle McGuire, 2B – Honorable Mention Mid-Florida Conference

After leading her team in hitting as a freshman, McGuire bounced back to have an even better sophomore campaign. A fixture at second base and at the top of the lineup, McGuire hit .275 totaling 47 hits. The slapper was aggressive on the bases swiping a team leading 24 bags, which was good enough for sixth in the conference. With four triples on the year, the speedster led her team in that category while finishing fifth in the conferenc




oller, who will head to Sioux City, Iowa to play for Briar Cliff University. The right handed hitter moved all around the outfield from right to left and finally spending the majority of her time in center. Throughout all the defensive moves Goller had 98 putouts, three assists, two double plays and zero errors. At the plate she was a mainstay in the two spot hitting .311 with 46 hits. Goller notched 11 doubles in 2016, placing her seventh in the conferenc



After a stellar season hitting .301 and knocking in 29 RBIs, Mihok will head down south to Lake Wales, FL to play at Warner University. Splitting her time between centerfield and shortstop, the speedy right handed hitter led her team with 52 hits and 13 doubles. The 13 doubles are good enough for sixth in the conference. Mihok added three home runs and three triples while stealing 19 bases. She finishes her career with 82 hits as a Lakehawk.

Softball Announces 2016 C


The Lake-Sumter State College softball program is proud to announce the class of 2016. These 10 individuals will take the field in the fall to begin their collegiate careers as Lakehawks. “This being my first recruiting class, I am extremely excited with the talent coming in to join our sophomores,” said Head Coach, Jay Miller. “We emphasized up the middle with catching, middle infielders, centerfield and of course pitching. I think we have a very good group of student-athletes who will help get us to the top of the Mid-Florida Conference.”


Amber Hopkins C/3B – Lecanto High School

Coming to Lake-Sumter from Lecanto High School in Citrus County, Hopkins will look to make an immediate impact as a freshman. With the ability to play multiple positions including behind the plate, Hopkins will have an opportunity to see the field in several different places. Hopkins completed her career as a Panther with a .418 four-year batting average after hitting .386 this past season. “Amber was our very first recruit we targeted,” said Coach Miller. “She comes from an established high school program with excellent coaching. I was very excited when she decided to commit.”  

 Barbara Vega SS/2B – Coral Springs Charter School

Barbara Vega profiles as a shortstop who can play defense at a top notch level. Her quick feet, strong arm and ability to attack the ball are all characteristics of a successful middle infielder. Vega leaves a legacy at Coral Springs being a cornerstone in the lineup for four years on a team that went 91-13-1 over that time period. In 2015, Max Preps ranked Coral Springs Charter the No. 1 team in the state of Florida. Coach Miller said about Vega, “I watched her video and I immediately wanted her to come up for a visit. Defense is key, she hit .345 this year, but her glove is extremely impressive.”

 Taylor Dotson MI/OF – Winter Springs High School

Dotson caught the eye of Coach Miller at their Showcase Camp back in November. “I was in the press box and watching this athlete just do everything right and I followed her throughout the day and eventually realized she would be a great addition to our team,” Miller said. Dotson collected 20 hits for Winter Springs during her final season as a Bear with her team going 21-6. With tremendous athletic ability, Dotson can play both in the infield and outfield, but with all three LSSC starting outfielders graduating, look for her to be patrolling the green grass next season.


Michelle Ruiz 2B/SS – Dunnellon High School

Overlooked by other schools, Coach Miller and his staff are extremely excited to find this diamond in the rough. “Sometimes I don’t understand how some kids get overlooked,” said Miller. “Michi is a solid second baseman who can also move over to SS and to the outfield. Not to mention she is a standout in the classroom as well. I’m glad everyone else missed out on her.” Ruiz hit .328 with 21 hits and 13 RBIs for the Dunnellon Tigers. She will look to move over from her high school position at shortstop to the other side of the bag at second base for the Lakeha



Ryann Frazier 1B/3B, Hailey Dobbs OF – Mt. Dora High School

Two high school teammates, and locals to Lake-Sumter, will make the jump to the collegiate softball level together. Frazier (seated on the left side) made an immediate impact on Coach Miller when she came for a workout with the team. “I put her in the batters box to start the day and she took the first pitch she saw off the left field wall,” Miller said. “It was impressive to say the least.” Frazier, who plays both corner infield positions while also seeing some time at shortstop for Mt. Dora, will look to shift to a power hitter at the JUCO level.

Hailey Dobbs (seated on the right side) is a smooth fielding outfielder who was the leadoff hitter during her senior season for the Hurricanes. Dobbs hit .356 while knocking five triples and scoring 29 times. When asked about her tools, Coach Miller said, “I cannot wait to utilize her speed in our aggressive brand of softball. We stole 88 bases this season and Hailey will help us get to 100+ in 2016.” Dobbs will be in tough competition in the outfield as the team looks to replace Goller, Chadwick and Lawler. 


Erin Huffman LHP/OF – Boca Raton High School

Standing at 4’ll”, do not let this young lady fool you, Huffman is a competitor. A speedy outfielder and crafty lefty in the circle, Coach Miller has plans for her at the collegiate level. “When you are not six foot tall and don’t throw 65, people tend to ignore you as a pitcher,” said Miller. “I watched Erin pitch and she hit every single spot and had a nasty screwball. She will throw this conference for a loop when she is out there.” Huffman looks to come out of the bullpen for the Lakehawks as a freshman, but her speed could get her into the lineup as an outfielder as well.

 Aura Blackburn, Utility – Lake Weir High School

When the word “utility” is given to a player, some people raise an eyebrow. When talking about Blackburn, that is the only way to describe her as a softball player. “She is a true utility player,” said Coach Miller. “She is a workhorse behind the plate, smart enough to play the infield and quick enough to cover a lot of ground in the outfield.” After hitting .310 as a senior for Lake Weir High School, Blackburn is open to playing any position on the field for the Lakehawks. Look for her to also have an impact on the base paths her freshman year.

 Rachel Phelps 1B/OF – Belleview High School

Phelps made an impression on the LSSC coaching staff during a fall game in Leesburg. “Some hitters come by it naturally and that’s her,” said Miller. “If she hits like we all know she can, we’ll find a place to play her on the field.” Phelps boasted a career .391 average with over 100 hits in three seasons at Belleview High School. The natural first baseman held a .988 fielding percentage over her high school career committing just seven errors in 566 total chances. Phelps can also contribute to the aggressive run game of Lake-Sumter going 30 for 31 in stolen base attempts for the Rattlers.



aitlyn Van Buren RHP/OF – South Sumter High Schoo



nother one of those student-athletes that was overlooked, Van Buren comes to Lake-Sumter with pitching on her mind. A tall righty with good movement, Van Buren will strengthen her arm in the weight room in 2017 while learning the ins and outs of collegiate level pitching. “Kaitlyn is very intriguing to us,” Coach Miller said. “I’m sure she will log some innings next year, but the potential she has to learn, increase velocity and be a big impact in 2018 is remarkable.”

Follow all the LSSC Softball Action This Spring with Game Changer!

LSSC Softball fans can follow all the live game action in 2016 on Game Changer

LSSC Softball Hosts Annual Alumni Game

LSSC Softball Annual Alumni GameThe LSSC Softball Program hosted its annual alumni game on Sat., Jan. 16th. 






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akehawk Softball Team Wraps up Fall Practic


 Softball Team Wraps Up At Fall Practice

The fall season has come to an end for the Lake Sumter State Softball team as they slow things down before heading out on Christmas break. A new face was added in mid-August with the hiring of new Head Coach, Jay Miller. “I didn’t know what to expect coming into the fall season and I think the girls felt the same way,” said Miller.

After a couple weeks of practice, the team headed to NTC for a four game set in which they ended up sweeping, going 4-0. All four victories were of the come-from-behind fashion. Trailing 4-0 in the final inning of the final game, the Lakehawks rallied to collect six hits and three walks to bring around nine runs and take the game, 9-4.

LSSC headed down to Tampa the next weekend for a trio of games against two elite travel ball teams and conference foe, Hillsborough Community College. Due to time constraints, game one ended in a 3-3 tie. Game two saw the Lakehawks suffer their first loss of the fall season, falling 1-0. However, the team needed to recover quickly as they met up with HCC for the final game of the day. Ashleigh Acker and Madison Mihok added one RBI each in the second and third innings respectively, creating a 2-2 tie. With the go-ahead runner on third, Tiffany Goller executed a perfect squeeze play that brought in two runs to give her team the lead. Excellent pitching from Rachel Martin and Alexis Silvas sealed the victory for the Lakehawks.


ach Miller’s squad split a double header against the Snakebite travel ball team before heading to Daytona to take on NAIA affiliate, Embry-Riddle. A two out single up the middle in the top of the first by Bri Bennett put LSSC up by two. ER battled back and silenced the Lakehawk bats taking game one, 4-2. Game two was a 0-0 contest until Noelle McGuire reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and was brought around to score by Gollar. McGuire was not done, hitting a bases loaded triple to the right field wall that gave her team a solid lead. The offense added two more runs while the defense played error free ball and Martin continued to sit down the Embry-Riddle hitters. LSSC took game two 7-3.

“The victory at Embry-Riddle was really a turning point for our team,” Miller said. “They really gelled together and started believing what I had been preaching to them since day one. Knowing they are talented and knowing how to use their talents to their advantage”

On Halloween, the program hosted a Family Day and played the final game of the LSSC World Series. Assistant coach, Irene Medina’s team swept all three games to claim the title. The series was highlighted by Bennett who hit a walk-off home run in game one in the eighth inning, before swatting a grand slam in game two.

“I cannot say enough about this group of young ladies and how they have performed this fall,” stated Miller. “They have done everything I asked of them and I feel we have improved every single day throughout the fall.”

Heading into the spring, the pitching staff will be led by Courtney Pharris who posted a 0.85 ERA in the fall, along with Madison Staniloiu, Silvas and Martin rounding out the staff. The other side of the battery will consist of Alison Hughes, Josey Hampton and Ben



Silvas will also have an opportunity to play third base along with Taylorrose Long. Across the field Stanilou, Hughes and Pharris will cover first. The middle infield will be sophomore led with Acker and McGuire. They will be complimented by Jacinda Alvarez and Ashley McCumber. Patrolling center will be converted middle infielder Mihok, with Chelby Lawler, Vicky Medina and Goller in the corner outfield positions.

After falling in the final two games of the fall to NAIA affiliate Southeastern University, the Lakehawks finished 9-4-1. LSSC will open the spring season on the road in Winter Haven to take on Polk State. The team’s first home game will be Friday, Feb. 5 as they play host to Indian River State College.



LSSC Softball to hold 1-day camp on Saturday, Nov. 21st

LSSC Head Softball Coach, Jay Miller, has announced that the Lakehawk Softball Program will be holding a one-day camp on the campus of Lake-Sumter State College on Saturday, November 21st, 2015 beginning at 9:00AM.  The LSSC softball coaching staff will be in attendance.

LSSC Softball Camp Registration Form 

New Head Coach Selected to Lead Lakehawks Softball Team 

Jay Miller

Leesburg, FL. – Jay Miller has been selected as the new head coach of Lake-Sumter State College’s Lakehawks softball program.  Originally from Chillicothe, Ohio, Miller came to LSSC after spending the previous year as the Sports Information Director at Eckerd College (EC), a NCAA Division II college.

His softball coaching career started in 2008 in Citrus County where he was the head coach for the Citrus Chaos travel softball team. Jay got his start at the collegiate level in the summer of 2012 while at Oklahoma Panhandle State University as the recruiting coordinator for the Aggie softball program. 

Prior to overseeing 14 sports at EC, Jay attended NCAA DII affiliate Northwest Missouri State University where he was the Assistant Softball Coach and the Graduate Assistant to the Sports Information Director. During his time at Northwest, the Bearcat softball program made back-to-back MIAA conference tournament appearances. The team also boasted a team batting average over .300 and the 2014 MIAA Freshman of the Year.

“This is an amazing opportunity,” said Miller. “It is a dream come true to be at the helm of a college softball program.” Mike Matulia, Athletic Director, is excited about Jay joining LSSC.  “Jay’s personable and approachable attitude combined with his stellar coaching and leadership style is a win-win for the college community and athletic program,” said Mike Matulia.

Before working with the NWMSU, Jay was a collegiate baseball player at the University of Rio Grande in Ohio and Oklahoma Panhandle State. As a pitcher, Miller earned Academic All-Conference honors for both schools he played at, finishing his career at OPSU as a catcher, hitting over .300.

Miller went on to say, “My brand of softball is a fast paced game built around aggressiveness and hustle. The coaching staff and I will put a team on the field that reflects what Lakehawk athletics is all about.”

Jay completed his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science at Oklahoma Panhandle State in 2012 and later earned his Master’s in Applied Health and Sports Sciences at Northwest Missouri State in 2014.

He currently resides in Brooksville, Fla. with his wife, Candace. The couple is expecting their first child in October.  





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