Laker softball mercies Allendale
The Spring Lake softball team continued to cruise through the season capping off a three-game sweep of O-K Blue Conference contender Allendale with an 11-0 victory in six innings Thursday.
Junior Jenna Core highlighted the matchup, ending the game on a mercy-clinching, three-run walk-off home run. It was Core’s 16th career home run, tying the Spring Lake all-time school record for home runs held by Amy Gerdes, who hit 16 bombs from 1992-95.
“Just the other night when she hit one on Tuesday, I knew she had nine as a freshman and five as a sophomore so I had a funny feeling and looked up the record,” said Spring Lake head coach, and Jenna’s father, Bill Core. “I saw that Gerdes, who played for me, had 16 home runs for the record. I didn’t say anything to Jenna or the team.
“Tonight, when we tossed her the home run ball after the game we announced to her and the team she tied the record. The girls gave her a nice cheer and she just smiled like it was hard to believe.
“As the father and coach, it was a pretty special moment, especially with it in dramatic walk-off fashion. To do it just five games into her junior year is pretty special. There are hopefully 60 or 65 games left in her career. That is pretty cool.
“I have been coaching softball for 29 years, she is 16 years old, so it is a humbling situation for her. She has always been around the game. She doesn’t go out there looking for home runs, just solid contact. She has some good leverage at 5-11 we just preach solid contact.”
The mark is Core’s second entry into the record books, as her nine home runs as a freshman set the single-season mark.
Leah Vaughn picked up the win in the circle, pitching a complete shutout while giving up just two hits.
The Lakers scored their 11 runs on 10 hits with zero errors, led by a three-hit performance by Madelyn Nelson. They improve to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the O-K Blue.
Laker baseball downs Allendale
The Spring Lake baseball team picked up an O-K Blue Conference win over Allendale on Thursday by a final score of 10-6.
Connor Saxe took the start on the mound, going four innings and giving up five runs (two earned) with two strikeouts. T.J. Cunningham pitched two innings of relief, giving up one unearned run on three hits while picking up three punchouts. C.J. Saxe closed the game with no runs and no hits.
Leading the Lakers at the plate were David Rumptz going 2-for-2 with two RBIs, Zach Keyser going 1-for-2 with a run scored and Austin Schubert going 1-for-2 with one run scored.
Spring Lake returns to the diamond Saturday for a doubleheader at Mona Shores.
Laker tennis edges Fruitport
The Spring Lake girls tennis team hosted rival Fruitport on Thursday, sneaking by the Trojans for a 5-3 victory.
Jensen Hussey continued her impressive season at No. 2 singles, defeating Haleigh Winskas, 6-1, 6-3.
Fruitport took wins in the rest of the singles matches as Trinity Busscher defeated Erin Henderson, 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, Olivia Parling defeated Taylor Duer 6-4, 6-1 at No. 3 singles and Hannah Kelly defeated Lily Clare Winter 6-4, 6-2 at No. 4 singles.
The Lakers swept the doubles flights in response. No. 1 pair Rachel Oostindie and Adeline Sherman defeated Ashleigh Welty and Emily Dirkse, 6-3, 2-6, 7-3. No. 2 pair Kaylie Sneller and Cameryn Veine won a marathon third set to seal their dramatic 6-3, 3-6, 11-9 win over Rachel Weiland and Hannah LaBash.
No. 3 pair Katie Allen and Erin Burke defeated Katie Dirkse and Ava Garvey 6-4, 6-0, while Erika McSheehy and Taylor Gates took the win at No. 4 doubles over Summer Woodring and Audrey Split 6-2, 6-2.
“I’m very pleased with these girls,” said Spring Lake co-coach Karen Duer. “They’re really working together as a team by encouraging each other to battle through some tough matches and I’m blessed to be a part of it.”
Bucs soccer remains undefeated
The Grand Haven girls soccer team took on Jenison on Thursday night, defeating the Wildcats by a final score of 2-0.
It took 35 minutes for the Bucs to find the net. As time wound down in the first half, Alli Keyser settled a throw-in from midfield and maneuvered through Jenison’s backline before threading a cross-cage pass to fellow forward Jennifer Dear, who finish the play for a 1-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, Grand Haven dominated possession, keeping the ball in the Wildcat’s defensive zone for the majority of the half.
Eight minutes into the half Avery Rickardson sent a pass to the top of the box, where Dear would settle the ball for an 18-yard shot, burying the goal in the bottom left corner to secure the Bucs’ victory.
Overall, Grand Haven managed 12 shots on goal to Jenison’s’ two.
The Bucs return to the pitch to host Mona Shores at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.
Bucs softball wins season opener
The Grand Haven softball team played their first game of the season Thursday against O-K Red Conference foe West Ottawa, taking the victory, 6-5.
It was a back-and-forth affair, as the Bucs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, only to give up two runs in the bottom. They would tie the game at two in the top of the fifth inning, and take a two-run lead through six. In the seventh and final inning, they added one insurance run and gave up two in the bottom before punching home the win.
Madison Shumaker and Baby Hang split duties in the circle. Shumaker threw four innings and gave up four hits and two earned runs with three walks and six strikeouts. Hang pitched three innings, giving up six hits and three earned runs, with no walks and two strikeouts.
Alyssa Spencer led at the plate, finishing 2-for-2, while Ashlyn Hall put the Bucs ahead, breaking a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning with a two-RBI double.
“Tonight was our first game of the season and it was West Ottawa’s fifth,” said Grand Haven head coach John Hall. “You always hope as a coach that you prepare your team properly to come out firing. Our last two practices before this game were the best if the season so far. It showed. Defensively we were really crisp for the most part. Our pitchers really threw the ball well and hit their spot.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way we battled tonight. With our first game being a conference game, it is always nice to come away with a road victory.”
Trojan baseball drops to Kenowa Hills
The Fruitport baseball team took two losses to O-K Black Conference opponent Kenowa Hills Thursday night, both by a final score of 6-2.
The first game featured the final three innings of a postponed contest on Tuesday. Landen Fielstra pitched in relief of Lucas Kleyn. He went three innings, giving up one run on two hits with one walk. Kleyn led at the plate with two hits in the 6-2 loss.
In the nightcap, Parker Tawney pitched seven and two-thirds innings before being removed due to the pitch limit. He gave up two unearned runs on nine hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Sam Steinhauer led at the plate with two hits.
The losses drop Fruitport to 0-4 overall this season and 0-3 in the O-K Black.
Western Michigan Christian
Warrior soccer trounced by Reeths-Puffer
The Western Michigan Christian girls soccer team couldn’t hang with Reeths-Puffer on Thursday. After holding a 1-0 deficit at halftime, the Warriors gave up three goals in the second half of their 4-1 loss to the Rockets.
Anna Sytsema netted WMC’s lone goal, assisted by Claudia Kingma.
The Warriors’ north/south games scheduled for Saturday have been postponed due to weather concerns.