A bang-bang play turned what could have been a game-changing rally into a demoralizing double play for Spring Lake’s varsity softball team on Saturday.
The Lakers, facing Allendale in the Division 2 district finals at Wanrooy Field, trailed by two runs but had something brewing. A bunt single by Laura Park was throw into right field by the Falcons, but Allendale’s outfielder fired the ball back in to third base to get Ashleigh Underwood. Park was then thrown out trying to take second, and the Lakers’ rally — and their season — were over.
Allendale went on to beat Spring Lake 7-2 in the district championship game, after the Lakers had pounded Sparta earlier in the day, 16-1.
“We were really close to having second and third with one out and the top of our order coming up,” said Lakers’ coach Bill Core. “Instead, they got the inning-ending double play.”
The Falcons scored three runs in the next inning to finish off Spring Lake.
“It was a good competitive game up till that point,” Core said.
In the opener, Spring Lake received a gem of a game from pitcher R.J. Morrow, who allowed just three hits and walked one while striking out four.
Katie Mumby and Kelsee Zuidema had outstanding games offensively. Mumby banged out four hits while Zuidema finished with three hits, four runs scored and four RBIs.
Underwood added two hits and three runs.
Allendale advanced with an 8-1 win over Coopersville.
In the title game, Zuidema added three more hits and three RBIs. Morrow took the loss.
The Lakers finished their season with a 14-15 record and won a share of the Lakes Eight Conference championship.
“We were young,” Core said. “We only started three seniors as far as hitters, with a freshman, a sophomore and a few juniors. We never really had any consistency. It was kind of a roller coaster season. Sometimes we played really good softball, and sometimes we shot ourselves in the foot.
“I really like the chemistry of this team. They got along really well from start to finish. It was a fun team to be around every day.”
Core said he’ll miss his six graduating seniors, including Ashley Keena, who was a four-year varsity player for the Lakers.