Bill Core had just watched his Spring Lake varsity softball team drop its season-opener to Lakes Eight Conference rival Fremont, 10-0, and the Lakers were facing a 4-0 deficit after half an inning of Game 2.
Needless to say, the Lakers’ coach didn’t like what he was seeing.
“I was thinking, ‘What the heck,’” Core said.
Then the Lakers’ bats came alive.
Spring Lake pushed 13 runs across the plate in the bottom of the first inning and held on for a 17-11 victory over the Packers in Game 2 of their doubleheader, salvaging a valuable split in a showdown between two of the favorites to compete for the league title.
“You get beat 10-0, then you’re behind 4-0 and you haven’t batted yet, so I was really pleased with the way we came back,” Core said. “Coming in here, the conference race is wide open because of graduation. I think we’re going to be in the mix, but if you lose your first two at home to start the season, it could be devastating.
“To come back and get that second game was huge.”
The Lakers had no answer for Fremont pitcher Courtney Dykman. She threw a complete-game two-hitter, allowing just three total base runners while striking out five Lakers’ batters.
Spring Lake received a two-out single from Desi Parker in the first inning and a single by Mikaela Ederer in the third.
Their only other base runner was Rylie Leete, who drew a walk in the fifth but was erased by a double play.
Fremont scored once in the first off Lakers’ pitcher Ashley Keena, then broke the game open with five runs in the third inning and four more in the fourth. Kenna struck out seven and allowed nine hits and four walks. All four walks led directly to runs.
Game 2 looked like it would be more of the same as the Packers scored four times in the first against the Lakers’ Parker.
Spring Lake, however, refused to go down quietly.
Instead, the Lakers’ bats caught fire against Fremont hurler Gabby Ciegert. Spring Lake’s first six batters all reached base safely, and all six came around to score.
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