Grand Haven’s bats stayed hot, but not quite hot enough to keep up with West Ottawa’s on Tuesday night.
West Ottawa got out to an early lead and hung on to win 12-7 over Grand Haven despite a hard fight from the Buccaneers.
The Panthers also won the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, 6-3.
The Bucs got down early in Game 1 after committing two errors to start the third inning, which led to three runs for West Ottawa.
Grand Haven got one back in the bottom of the inning off the bat of Katelyne Messer, who grounded into a fielder’s choice, allowing Kaylee Hartwell to come home from third.
The Panthers looked poised to blow the game open after scoring five more runs in the top of the third, but the Bucs would not go away.
Grand Haven matched West Ottawa with five runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. The inning started with a leadoff double by Louisa Johnson followed by a two-RBI triple by Hartwell two batters later. The inning also included RBIs by Kylie Masko, Jordan Buckingman and Mikayla Gronback.
The five-run frame brought the Bucs back to within one run, but they couldn’t control the Panthers, who added on two more runs in the forth and one in the sixth, pushing the lead to the final score of 12-7.
In Game 2, the Panthers used a four-run third inning to outlast the Bucs.
Grand Haven had 12 base hits and stranded 18 runners on base in the loss.
Masko went 3-for-3 with a walk, while Gronback and Barshaw each added a pair of hits.
The Buccaneers are now 14-14 overall and 2-11 in the O-K Red Conference.
Despite Tuesday’s pair of league losses, coach Paul Masko feels his Bucs may be getting hot at the right time.
Masko said Grand Haven played “superb” last week — which included the championship at the White Lake Invitational.
The Bucs’ coach is pleased with how his team has been playing, especially defensively, and is trying to keep it going as the playoffs creep closer.
“The last week that we played was probably the best defense we played all year and I was trying to piggy back on last week,” Masko said. “We’re not going to be able to win every single game, but if we can stay competitive and get that opportunity to win, that’s pretty much the goal for every single game.”
The Buccaneers will look to pick up some conference wins in their next game tonight at home against Grandville starting at 4:30.
Junior Varsity: Grand Haven cruised to a pair of three-inning wins over the Panthers, winning 18-0 and 15-0. In Game 1, Ashley Schneider earned the win, allowing just two hits and striking out four. Ashlye Spencer got the win in Game 2, allowing six hits and striking out three. Offensively, Spencer led the way with five hits and five runs scored. Sami Henning, Anna McWatters and Gabby Nowak each had three hits for the Bucs, who are now 11-11 on the season.
- By Logan Pellegrom, Tribune Correspondent