Grand Haven claims Division 1 district softball crown with victory over Reeths-Puffer

LocalSportsJournal.com

Grand Haven’s varsity softball team is right where it expected it to be. However, it’s a position few imagined after what transpired just three seasons ago.LSJ Logo incert

With Monday’s 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Reeths-Puffer in the Division 1 district championship at Mona Shores High School, the Bucs clinched their first district title since 2007 – a remarkable turnaround considering they won just six games 3 seasons ago.

Now, with a 12-1 win over Kenowa Hills in the district semifinals on Monday, and the tight title game win over the Rockets, the Bucs sit at a sparkling 27-6-1.

The Bucs’ next test is a big one against O-K Red Conference champion Hudsonville in the regionals. That regional semifinal will be played at Hudsonville High School on Saturday.

The Eagles, the No. 4-ranked team in Division 1, have defeated the Bucs in all three of their meetings this season.

Grand Haven had to turn in a couple rallies to get past the Rockets. The Bucs faced a 3-2 deficit after four innings.

But sophomore catcher Mikayla Gronback singled and scored in the fifth inning to knot the contest at 3-3.

In the sixth, the Rockets reclaimed a one-run advantage following senior Emily French’s solo home run in the top half of the inning. But the Bucs responded with two runs of their own, coming on clutch RBI singles from Kaylee Hartwell and Gronback.

Grand Haven’s final rally came in the sixth with great hustle from junior Kylie Masko, who beat out a throw to first for an infield single. She later scored on Hartwell’s smash down the third base line.

Hartwell also had a solid effort in the pitching circle, as she fanned six Rockets. She also finished 2-for-4 at the plate, while Masko reached base safely in each of her three at-bats.

French also scored a run in the Rockets’ three-run fourth, with the big blast coming on a triple from Skylar Olson.

Grand Haven had a 2-0 lead after three innings, thanks to runs scored by Yogi Hang in the second and Jordan Buckingham in the third.

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