GH softball ‘Blue-Out’ games honors fallen police officers

Grand Haven scored two lopsided wins in a pair of Blue-Out softball games against East Grand Rapids on Friday. The Blue-Out served honor public safety officers who have given their lives while on duty. The event was organized by Kitrina Serna, wife of Grand Haven coach JR Serna. Her father was killed by a drunk driver while directing traffic in East Grand Rapids in 1994. That same year, Grand Haven officer Scott Flahive was killed while on duty.
Tribune Staff
Apr 25, 2011

“This is to benefit the fallen police offers through the national Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), an organization that “provides resources to assist in the rebuilding of the lives of families and affected co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.”

“Both Grand Haven and East Grand Rapids lost an officer in 1994, with Scott Flahive from Grand Haven and Bruce (VanPopering), my father, from East Grand Rapids,” Kitrina Serna said. “With my husband being the coach at Grand Haven, we thought we should put the two programs together to do something.”

Serna finds it greatly frustrating that police officers are often looked at in a negative light despite the fact that they put themselves in potential harm’s way each time the put on their uniform.

“This is to honor the men and women of law enforcement who put their life on the line every day, and to bring more attention to our officers,” she said. “We only call them when we need them, or hope, ‘Gee, I hope you don’t catch me speeding.’ They’re so much more valuable than that.”

The Blue-Out game was planned over the past months, and was originally scheduled to be played last week Tuesday, but the games were pushed back twice due to rain.

When the games finally took place Friday afternoon, the Buccaneers were ready. They took the opener, 14-4, in six innings. The Bucs batted through the lineup three times in six innings, with Sarah Deal and Leigh Jacobs each collecting two hits and three RBIs. Kari Bareham added two hits while Morgan Reister and Chelsea Meloche each had two RBIs.

Meloche earned the win, striking out three while issuing two walks and nine hits.

Grand Haven took Game 2, 16-1 in four innings. The Bucs scored 10 times in the fourth inning alone.

Emily Shaler went 2-for-2 while Deal, Jacobs and Meloche each went 2-for-3. Carly Grimes, Riley Sokolow, Deal and Jacobs each had two RBIs while Brittany Brown earned the win, striking out five while allowing three hits and one walk.

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