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Grand Haven baseball, softball fall in district championship games

Dylan Goetz • Jun 2, 2018 at 7:02 PM

The Grand Haven baseball and softball teams both advanced to their respective district championship games on Saturday at Mona Shores High School. The Buccaneers cruised past their opponents in the semifinal round of play, but the championship game proved to be difficult for both squads.

The Grand Haven baseball team fell to O-K Red Conference rival West Ottawa 7-0 in the championship game, while the Buccaneer softball squad fell to Mona Shores 7-5 in their championship contest.

The baseball team, led by head coach Mikel Hansen, finishes the season with a 17-9 record. They topped Muskegon in the pre-district game, then ousted Holland 10-0 in the semifinals.

Grand Haven scored two runs in the first inning, four in the third and two in both the fourth and fifth innings to mercy Holland. Starting pitcher Owen Krizan was credited with the district semifinal win.

The Buccaneers lost to West Ottawa 7-0 in the district final. West Ottawa topped Reeths-Puffer in the district semifinal to reach the championship game.

West Ottawa senior pitcher Tyler Bosma didn’t allow any runs to the Buccaneers in seven innings in the title game, while the Panthers got off to an early start thanks to errors from the Grand Haven defense, and the Buccaneers couldn’t find any offense against Bosma on the other end.

“Bosma is a great pitcher. He’s one of the best in the area, so we knew runs were going to be hard to come by,” Hansen said. “(West Ottawa) started to hit the ball much better at the end of the game.”

Grand Haven freshman pitcher Ethan Prins started the district final. Hansen said he “threw the ball well,” but it’s a tough position for a young player in a championship game. Prins was later replaced by Grand Haven pitcher Jax Mast to finish the game.

“They just played better than us,” Hansen said, before explaining that he was satisfied with his team’s performance this season. “I’m very encouraged by the way we played baseball this year. We ended up 17-9 — that’s a good year, especially when we start four sophomores and a freshman.”

GRAND HAVEN SOFTBALL FALLS TO MONA SHORES 

The Grand Haven softball team also made it to the championship game but failed to bring home the district trophy.

Grand Haven topped Reeths-Puffer in the semifinal round to meet Mona Shores in the district title game.

Initially, Reeths-Puffer got on the board early and appeared poised to spring an upset on the Bucs. However, Grand Haven third baseman Jackie Crow hit a two-RBI double that hit the right-field fence with two outs in the fourth inning to take the lead for the Buccaneers.

Grand Haven added to their lead in the fifth, when Megan Faber hit a solo home run to left field for the only run scored in the inning. Grand Haven took a 3-1 lead, then added three more in the seventh inning to win 7-1.

Reeths-Puffer loaded the bases in the seventh inning in a last-ditch effort to tie the game, but the last batter popped the ball up into foul territory and Grand Haven made the catch for the final out of the seventh inning.

In the championship game, Grand Haven allowed four runs in the first inning to Mona Shores. The Sailors added runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings, resulting in a two-run victory for Mona Shores. Grand Haven scored runs in the first, second, fifth and seventh innings, but they weren’t able to tie the game in their final at-bats. 

Mona Shores softball and West Ottawa baseball will advance to their respective regional tournaments on June 9.

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