Division 3 at Ferris State University
TROJAN TENNIS CAPTURES REGIONAL TITLE
The Fruitport girls tennis team place all four singles flights and their No. 2 doubles team into the finals of the Division 3 regionals at Ferris State University this weekend, scoring 21 points as a team to hold off Cadillac (20 points) and capture their second straight regional championship.
Whitehall (19 points) finished third, Spring Lake (15 points) finished fourth, Big Rapids (13 points) finished fifth, Ludington (seven points) finished sixth, Alma (three) and Sparta (three) finished tied for seventh, Fremont (one point) finished ninth and Bay City John Glenn (zero points) finished 10th.
Haleigh Winskas (No. 2 singles) and Olivia Parling (No. 3 singles) both captured individual regional titles for the Trojans, while Trinity Busscher (No. 1 singles), Hannah Kelly (No. 4 singles) and the No. 2 doubles team of Hannah LaBash and Rachel Weiland all finished runners-up in their respective flights.
Winskas defeated Jen Hussey of Spring Lake (3-6, 6-3, 6-2) to win the No. 2 singles crown, while Parling defeated Olivia Outman of Cadillac (6-3, 6-7, 6-4) to capture the No. 3 singles title.
"We were running on seven flights Friday when our No. 3 doubles team went down in a second-round match, but the other flights rallied," said Fruitport head coach Brad Busscher. "The No. 1 doubles team brought the top-seed Big Rapids duo to the brink before bowing out in a tiebreaker. The No. 2 doubles team had the run of the tournament, winning their opening round match, then beating two teams seeded higher than them Friday, on the way to the finals on Saturday, before coming up short to Cadillac in the title match. The No. 4 doubles team picked up two points before losing to Spring Lake.
"Trinity was the second seed at No. 1 singles and opened with a win against Alma and then defeated Whitehall in the semifinals, setting up a big-hitting show with Big Rapids, in which she lost in the finals. At No. 2 singles, Haleigh got a win against Bay City, which then set up grudge matches with Ludington, and then in the finals against the undefeated Jen Hussey of Spring Lake, getting wins against girls who had beaten her previously in the year, on her way to the title. Olivia at No. 3 singles breezed through matches in the quarters and semifinals, winning the title over Cadillac in three sets. Our last match on Saturday was Hannah at No. 4 singles, who won against Alma and Big Rapids, setting up a final with Cadillac, in which she came up short in a long three setter."
The regional championship was a goal for the Trojans entering the season and showcases the program's consistency in the past several spring campaigns.
"Our goal going into this year's regional was to qualify for state and return to the finals for the third year in a row," added Busscher. "The bonus was playing so well on Friday that we collected our 21 points to carry us to the overall win. The difficult part of this task was the regional opponents that made this regional so difficult to get out of. This is a fantastic group of girls that enjoy time on and off the court with each other. I am so proud of the accomplishments of this group of young ladies, who will continue their season for another two weeks."
For Spring Lake, the loaded field of competition proved to be a challenging maze to navigate through. The Lakers used strong play throughout their lineup to score 15 points at the two-day event, but fell three points shy of qualifying for the state finals as a team.
Jensen Hussey (No. 2 singles) and the No. 4 doubles team of Taylor Gates and Erika McSheehy both finished runners-up in their respective flights to lead the Lakers.
"These girls worked hard, never gave up and accomplished every one of their goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the season," said Spring Lake co-head coach Karen Duer. "That is what I consider a very successful season and I couldn't be prouder of this group."
Division 2 at Allendale
The Fruitport and Spring Lake boys and girls track teams competed at Allendale High School on Saturday against a loaded field of competition.
On the boys' side, Fruitport came in fourth place with 66 points, while Spring Lake took sixth with 35 points. Zeeland East took home the regional title with 151.5 points, followed by Kenowa Hills (91.5) and Zeeland West (67).
On the girls' side, Spring Lake finished fifth with 56 points, while Fruitport finished 10th with 28 points. Zeeland East took home the regional trophy with 108.5 points, narrowly holding off Holland Christian (106).
Senior standout Cam Oleen took home a regional title in the 400-meter dash (50.39 seconds) and was a member of the 1,600 (3:28.5) and 3,200 (8:07.03) relay teams that won regional championships, as well as a runner-up finish in the 800 run (2:01.22).
Oleen teamed up with Cameron Weaver, Ethan Flores and Brendan Deneen in the 1,600 relay and Deneen, Weaver and Jon Wildey in the 3,200 relay. Ryan Bytwerk also took home gold for Fruitport in the long jump with a leap of 21-3.25.
Flores added runner-up finishes in the 110 (15.48) and 300 (41.45) hurdles, while Zach Pray finished seventh in the 200 dash (23.76) to qualify for the state meet, as well.
On the girls' side, Kallie Fehler finished runner-up in the 100 (15.91) and 300 (48.28) to qualify for the state meet.
Andrew Hylen took first in the 1,600 (4:29.08) and 3,200 (9:30.92) runs to take home gold for the Lakers, while Ben Hylen added a second-place finish in the 1,600 (4:32.47) and Jason Keena finished fourth in the long jump (20-9.5).
On the girls' side, Caroline Loiseau finished runner-up in the 100-meter dash (13.14 seconds) and fifth in the 200 dash (27.4), while Julia Bajt finished third in the 400 dash (1:00.71).
Loiseau also teamed up with Rebekah VanDeWeg, Sophia Tilton and Sophia Tardani in the 400 relay (52.51) to take second-place honors in the event.
Also adding qualifying performances for the Lakers were VanDeWeg in the 100 hurdles (16.19, third) and Tardani in the 300 hurdles (48.52, third).
BLUE CHIP SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
The Spring Lake and Grand Haven softball squads traveled to Byron Center on Saturday for the Blue Chip Showdown Invitational Tournament. Both the Lakers and the Buccaneers came away with 3-0 records at the event, adding further intrigue to their doubleheader showdown this Friday at Spring Lake High School.
The Lakers recorded wins over Hudsonville Unity Christian (4-0), Grandville (8-5) and Reese (12-0) to finish 3-0 on the weekend.
Game 1: Spring Lake 4, Unity Christian 0
Leah Vaughan was the winning pitcher for the Lakers, allowing three hits and striking out 11 from the pitcher's circle. The Lakers pieced together four straight hits by Linsey Paggeot, Leah Vaughan, Molly Poole and Jenna Core for three runs in the fourth inning, before adding an insurance run in the seventh.
Game 2: Spring Lake 8, Grandville 5
The Lakers used two big innings, scoring four runs in the second inning and another four runs in the fourth for their 8-5 victory over the Bulldogs. Lauren Hellman, Madelyn Nelson and Leah Vaughan each had two hits, while Vaughan picked up her second win of the day in the circle.
Game 3: Spring Lake 12, Reese 0 (five innings)
The Lakers scored early and often to dispatch Reese in five innings in their final game of the weekend. Linsey Paggeot had three hits and Leah Vaughan added two, while Lauren Hellman hit her fourth home run of the year.
Jenna Core added a grand slam, as well, giving her eight home runs on the year. Lauren Somers pitched all five innings for the Lakers, earning the shutout win from the circle.
Spring Lake is 28-0 overall on the season and will travel to Whitehall for a non-conference doubleheader today.
The Buccaneers also finished 3-0 on the day with wins over Calvin Christian (6-1), Reese (6-4) and Oakridge (4-2).
GAME 1: Grand Haven 6, Calvin Christian 1
Ashlyn Hall recorded three hits to and scored two runs to lead the Bucs from the plate, while Jackie Crow added two hits, including a home run, and three RBIs and Alyssa Spencer added two hits and two RBIs.
Madison Shumaker pitched all seven innings, allowing four hits, one earned run and struck out two to earn the win from the circle.
GAME 2: Grand Haven 6, Reese 4
Megan Faber recorded two hits and two RBIs to lead the Bucs from the plate, while Haley Aldred, Crow and Riley Rademaker each added one RBI.
Baby Hang picked up the win from the mound, pitching six innings, allowing six hits and four runs (three earned) and striking out six.
GAME 3: Grand Haven 4, Oakridge 2
Crow recorded two RBIs to lead the Bucs, while Spencer added one.
Shumaker picked up the win from the circle, pitching all seven innings, allowing four hits, two runs, seven walks and striking out three.
"We wanted this challenge because it only helps us prepare for postseason play," said Grand Haven head coach John Hall. "We went 3-0 in the tourney and beat two pitchers that have committed to play softball at the next level.
"We had a really solid day, especially on defense. We committed only two errors through 20 innings. When we do that, we are in virtually every ballgame we play in. It was great preparation for a huge week of softball for us. We have a doubleheader with Hudsonville on Monday, a doubleheader on Wednesday with Grandville and then a doubleheader with Spring Lake on Friday."
WMC SOCCER FALLS TO K-ZOO CHRISTIAN
The Western Michigan Christian girls soccer team traveled to Hope College on Saturday for a non-conference battle with Kalamazoo Christian.
The Warriors fell to the Comets, 3-0.
"We played the No. 3-ranked team in the state. Games like this are always a good measurement for what we have to do to get better if we are going to beat the best in the state in the playoffs," said WMC head coach David Hulings. "There are some privileges to learning where you are at when you play against the teams that are playing at their best across the state.
"Our girls are growing right before our eyes. The score may not have reflected it, but we had some great growth. Our defenders did a great job against a top team to keep us in the game for most of the time. We ran out of gas toward the end of the game, but we are seeing the development of our younger players."
The Warriors now turn their attention to a Lakes Eight Conference clash with Orchard View on Tuesday.