It was the team’s first game action since losing on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning against Rockford last week, and the Buccaneer bats took out their frustrations on the scoreboard.
Grand Haven took Game 1 over East Kentwood, 17-2, and added a 21-11 win in Game 2 for the doubleheader sweep.
“We talked as a team, and we felt like the game against Rockford was an uncharacteristic offensive performance for us,” said Grand Haven head coach John Hall. “We are built to hit and hit the ball hard, but we talked about attacking pitchers before they got ahead on us. We had a meeting and asked our players if that is who they were, and they said no. So they were empowered to create their identity at the plate, and tonight, it came through.”
Freshman Amaya Schuler finished the day with three home runs and eight RBIs to power the Grand Haven resurgence at the plate, while Ashlyn Hall added a 4-for-7 performance at the plate, and Mikayla Gronback added five hits and 6 RBIs.
“It was an offensive onslaught tonight,” added Hall. “We combined in two games to have 40 hits (19 in Game 1, 21 in Game 2). It was nice to see some girls like Ashlyn Hall finally get rewarded for some hard hit balls that finally found holes in the outfield.
“Our normal cast of characters was highly productive, but to steal a hockey term, our first star of the night was freshman Amaya Schuler. She connected for home runs in the first, fourth and seventh innings of Game 2 and would have had her fourth home run, but the ball was literally 5 feet foul. That puts her home run total at five for the year.
“Again, defensively we were on point. Baby Hang and Amaya Schuler threw well for us tonight. We feel like we are gaining steam at this point in the season. Our kids are creating their identities as individual players, and as a ball club, as a whole. We hope to carry this momentum into our game tomorrow (Thursday) against Hudsonville at home with a 4:30 p.m. scheduled first pitch.”
SL softball sweeps Sparta
The Spring Lake softball team hit the road Wednesday for a critical O-K Blue Conference doubleheader at Sparta.
The Lakers and Spartans were tied atop the conference standings heading into the contest, and the road team proved to be the superior squad.
Spring Lake swept the doubleheader, taking a 13-0 shutout win in Game 1 and adding an 11-1 mercy-rule win in Game 2.
“We were both undefeated in the conference heading into the game, so it was a battle of the O-K Blue leaders, and we were able to mercy them in both games,” said Spring Lake head coach Bill Core. “A road sweep like this gives us some breathing room in the standings, but we know it’s an 18-game conference schedule, so there’s still work to be done.”
Game 1: Spring Lake 13, Sparta 0 (5 innings)
Leah Vaughan threw a no hitter, her second of the season, striking out eight batters and allowing just one base runner by walk.
Vaughan also added three hits and four RBIs at the plate, while Lauren Hellman added two hits, including a lead-off home run to start the game. Linsey Paggeot also added two hits and 2 RBIs, while Madelyn Nelson had a triple and a double.
Game 2: Spring Lake 11, Sparta 1 (5 innings)
Vaughan pitched four more innings of shutout ball to earn her second win of the night. Lauren Hellman stayed hot at the plate with three hits and another home run. Jenna Core belted two home runs, giving her four on the year, and finished the day with 7 RBIs.
Vaughan and Nelson each had two more hits, while Lauren Somers pitched the fifth inning and added two hits at the plate.
“We had 13 hits in both games, including four home runs,” Core added. “I think Lauren Hellman’s lead-off home run to start the game really set the tone for us. That was her first home run of her career, and she added another one in the second game. Jenna added two more in the second game, so we really hit the ball hard.
“We continue to hit through the lineup, and make it difficult for opposing pitchers to get us out. They (Sparta) were only averaging about four earned runs a game heading into today, so to have that kind of offensive production was impressive.”
The Lakers improve to 14-2 overall and 8-0 in the O-K Blue Conference. The two squads will meet for a single game at 4:15 today at Spring Lake High School.
Fruitport softball splits with Mona Shores
The Fruitport softball team took on O-K Black Conference rival Mona Shores on Wednesday, splitting the doubleheader against the Sailors.
The Sailors rallied late to take Game 1 over Fruitport, 8-6, while the Trojans overpowered Mona Shores for an 11-8 win in Game 2.
Game 1: Mona Shores 8, Fruitport 6
Mona Shores scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a commanding 7-2 lead, but the Trojans answered with four runs in the bottom of the seventh before the Sailors closed the game out.
Aurora Wilks recorded two RBIs to lead Fruitport at the plate and pitched all seven innings from the mound. Wilks recorded four strikeouts in the loss, with 25 first-pitch strikes.
Game 2: Fruitport 11, Mona Shores 8
In the nightcap, it was Fruitport who had the monster inning. The Trojans scored seven runs in the third inning and held off a late rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to record the win.
Rachel Paulson recorded three hits and three RBIs to lead Fruitport, while Alexis Jurgens added three hits.
Kirsten Sweet pitched six and ⅓ innings in the win, striking out two batters.
GH tennis cruises past East Kentwood
The Grand Haven girls tennis team won three of four singles matches and all four doubles contests to claim a 7-1 win over East Kentwood on Wednesday.
The Buccaneers were led by the doubles teams of Audrey Reus and Lilja Plumert at No. 1 and Hannah Staal and Laura Slocum at No. 4. Both teams were very efficient in winning quick matches, 6-1, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-0, respectively.
Also claiming wins for Grand Haven were: the No. 2 doubles team of Carley Schmidt and Cauryn Nowicki (6-0, 6-0); the No. 3 doubles team of Madison Ray and Sam Korecki (6-0, 7-5), Kelsey Lansky (6-1, 6-2) at No. 2 singles, Alyssa Yeager (6-3, 6-3) at No. 3 singles and Felicity Alder (6-2, 6-1) at No. 4 singles.
“Overall, the team played very well,” said Grand Haven head coach Chris Wilton. “The doubles teams were especially focused. In the 16 sets played in the team match, 14 of them were very good sets for our team. That is not a bad percentage at all. East Kentwood is a younger team, although they have a very strong player at No. 1 singles and has talent. Our team was able to work on a few things in some of the doubles matches, which we were experimenting with just yesterday in practice. That is always nice to see the kids try new things in match play and succeed with it.”
The Bucs get back to conference play Monday at home with a big match against Hudsonville and then go to Grandville on Tuesday.
Fruitport tennis ties with Jenison
The Fruitport girls tennis team won all four singles matches, but dropped all four doubles matches to split its O-K Black Conference match with Jenison on Wednesday, 4-4.
Three of the doubles matches ended in tiebreakers in favor of the Wildcats.
SL baseball swept by Sparta
The Spring Lake baseball team took on Sparta in an O-K Blue Conference road doubleheader Wednesday, with the Lakers dropping both contests.
The Spartans took Game 1, 8-3, and shutout out the Lakers in Game 2, 6-0.
Game 1: Sparta 8, Spring Lake 3
Spring Lake’s Isaiah Lindsey went seven innings from the mound, giving up five hits, striking out seven, with one walk and two earned runs in the loss. Lindsey added a 1-for-3 performance at the plate with two RBIs, while Nolan Sandberg went 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
Game 2: Sparta 6, Spring Lake 0
T.J. Cunningham got the start for the Lakers, going three innings, giving up five runs, two earned, striking out two and walking two in the loss. Sandburg and Griffin Lorimer both went 1-for-3 from the plate.
SL girls lacrosse laps Lowell
The Spring Lake girls lacrosse team traveled to Davenport University on Wednesday to take on the Lowell Red Arrows.
The Lakers jumped out to a 7-1 halftime lead and added six goals in the second half for a 13-2 road win.
Scoring for the Lakers were: seniors Audrey Van Linn, Meg Ready, Macie Kosch; sophomores Kate Vinkemulder, McKenzie Ely and freshman Madison Kaurich.
Sophomore goalies Lauren Sharp and Paris Heard shared the win in net.
The Lakers return to the turf at West Ottawa on Monday.
WMC soccer blanks Orchard View
The Western Michigan Christian girls soccer team recorded a 6-0 shutout win over Orchard View on Wednesday.
The Warriors scored three goals in the first half and added three in the second for the lopsided victory.
Lauren Myers and Anna Sytsema each scored two goals to lead the Warriors (7-5-2, 3-1 Lakes Eight), while Chloe Mitchell and Morgan Kinnucan each added one.
Lauren Myers got the scoring going early, when she took a pass from Morgan Kinnucan and found the back of the net 11 minutes into the game. Twenty minutes later Lauren made a solid pass to Chloe Mitchell, and she took a beautiful shot up and over the goalie Two minutes later, Morgan connected with the ball sent in from a corner kick and was able to tap it in closing out the half at 3-0.
Sixty minutes into the game, Anna Sytsema found the net assisted by Lauren Myers. Two minutes later, Kinnucan landed the ball at the feel of Lauren Myers for the goal. Closing out the game was another pass from Kinnucan to Anna Sytsema closing out the game at 6-0.
“We tried some new things in this game, and I thought the girls did a great job in the second half to incorporate them,” said WMC head coach David Hulings. “It took the first half to see how to not do it and in the second half, we started to get more in sync The attack was well coordinated. We have some time off now to get players healthy. With a number of key players out of the game, our reserves are getting some great work in.”
JUNIOR VARSITY: WMC defeated Orchard View, 8-0. Adayla Liggett had three goals, Jenna Houskamp added two and Abby Oppenhuizen, Kayla Johnson and Carli Betten each had one.
WMC girls track soars past OV, Muskegon Heights
The Western Michigan Christian girls track team recorded wins over Orchard View and Muskegon Heights Academy on Wednesday.
The WMC girls had a great night on the track and got several personal and season best marks.
Recording first-place finishes for the Warrior girls were: Shantele Wilkinson in the 400-meter dash (1:07.93), Logan Williams in the 800 run (2:23.96), and 1-mile run (5:35.89), Josie Aardema in the 2-mile run (12:41.9), Chanaiya Richards in the 100 hurdles (18.64) and 300 hurdles (52.3), the 1-mile relay team of Ellie DeKam, Williams, Peyton Allen and Richards, the 2-mile relay team of Aardema, Esther Hartley, Anika Eenigenburg and Kylie Luhring, DeKam in the high jump (4-8) and Cassie Waller in the pole vault (7-0).
On the boys’ side, WMC defeated Heights 105-26, but narrowly lost to Orchard View 65.5-73.5.
The meet between Orchard View and WMC was so close that it came down to the final event in the 1-mile relay, which Orchard View won.
First-place finishes for the WMC boys were: Chance Larson in the shot put (34-5), Tyler Somers in the 300 hurdles (44.2), Jack Kim in the 110 hurdles (16.3), Andrew Plaisier in the 2-mile run (11:33), Dylan Mines in the high jump (5-6) and the 2-mile relay team of Plaisier, Zuidema, Plaisier and Rotman (9:34).
WMC golf finishes fifth at GMAA
The Western Michigan Christian boys golf team captured fifth place at the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association meet held at Stonegate Golf Course and hosted by Orchard View High School.
Reeths-Puffer took top honors with a 331, while Mona Shores took second (333), Whitehall took third (361), and Ravenna took fourth (377).
WMC carded a season-best score of 378, led by medalist Chandler Breit with an 86.
Daniel Vanbriesbruck carded a 90, Caleb Minasian shot a 94 and Jeffery Merz produced a 108 to help the team total a score of 378.
The event low score was carded by Colin Powers of Muskegon Catholic at 74.