Haven softball sees outstanding season come to a close

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:34 PM

Grand Haven raced out to an early lead but couldn’t hold on as Kenowa Hills stormed back and eventually beat the Buccaneers, 7-6 in nine innings.

The Bucs grabbed a 6-5 lead in the top of the ninth, but Kenowa followed with a run-scoring triple, then a deep fly ball to drive in the winning run.

The Knights forced extra innings with a Mallory Hoatlin homer in the bottom of the seventh.

Jordan Buckingham went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs for Grand Haven.

Maddie Barshaw, Kylie Masko and Kaylee Hartwell each banged out two hits.

“I am very proud of the accomplishments that my girls earned,” said first-year coach Paul Masko, whose team finished with a 16-17 record — the closest the program has come to a winning record in nearly a decade.

The Bucs more than tripled their win total from a year ago, and along the way beat perennial powerhouse Hudsonville for the first time ever.

Grand Haven also ended a 15-game losing streak to Spring Lake, sweeping the Lakers in a late-season doubleheader.

The Bucs scored four wins over state-ranked teams and won a tournament for the first time in nearly a decade, according to Masko.

“They work hard and enjoy the game,” he said. “All I ever asked of them was to give me their best effort, win or lose, every time they step on the field, and they did. They have received a lot of recognition from many area coaches and it is much deserved. I am excited for season No. 2 but will have many good memories of 2014."

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