After seeing his team explode from 44 runs during Saturday’s Orchard View Invitational, Spring Lake varsity softball coach Bill Core believes his squad must be a warm-weather team.
The Lakers’ bats struggled in harsh spring weather during a 1-3 start to their season, but Spring Lake’s offense helped it score three victories en route to the tournament title on Saturday.
Spring Lake needed some late-inning heroics in a pair of games to capture the championship. In their opener against Whitehall, Spring Lake coughed up an early lead and trailed the Vikings by a 13-9 score going into the seventh inning. But the Lakers pounded out five runs in the seventh — aided by a pair of walks and back-to-back doubles by freshman Katie Mumby and senior Lizzie Goll — and captured the thrilling 14-13 win.
Game 2 didn’t produce nearly the drama, as the Lakers pounded Western Michigan Christian in a mercy-shortened four innings, 16-1. Lakers’ freshman pitcher Desi Parker threw a no-hitter in the victory, while the Lakers received offensive contributions from several players.
Spring Lake’s most impressive win of the day came against previously unbeaten Montague, which entered the tournament at 7-0.
The Lakers saw their 10-6 lead evaporate in the sixth, after the Wildcats turned in a six-run rally to take a 12-10 lead. Spring Lake had one more offensive burst left, however, as a key two-run double by sophomore Kelsee Zuidema ignited a four-run seventh for the Lakers.
Spring Lake kept Montague off the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning to secure the 14-12 win.
Ashley Keena was the winning pitcher against the Wildcats, and also picked up the win in relief against Whitehall.
On the day, Parker starred for the Lakers with six hits and nine runs, while Emily Blahnik also produced six hits. Zuidema scored a total of seven runs, while Desi Sherwood had an excellent tournament at catcher and also scored six runs.
Spring Lake will play a make-up doubleheader against Mona Shores today, and then battle at Lakes Eight Conference rival Fruitport in a doubleheader on Tuesday.