By Jim Goorman
Local Sports Journal
It was a mixture of sunshine, great pitching and a late rally that helped the Reeths-Puffer girls to win the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association’s Tier 1 softball tournament on Saturday afternoon.
The Rockets defeated Mona Shores 3-1 in the championship game.
Anna Beebe gave up four hits and only one beyond the second inning to spark the spirited Rockets at Mona Shores High School. It was the third victory of the day for R-P as it defeated Muskegon 25-0 and Fruitport 7-3 in game earlier in the tournament.
Lindsey Van Huizen ignited the Rockets in the first inning with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Sarah Ferenz.
She also scored the eventual winning run in the sixth inning after striking out, but reaching first on a throwing error by the catcher. After Ferenz singled and an intentional pass, the Rockets scored on a great diving catch by right fielder, Kaitlyn Boes of a foul ball in right field. A ground out gave them an insurance run.
Boes, was responsible for the Sailors only run in the second inning. She singled, stole second and third and rode home on an overthrow by the catcher. Shores was able to get to the final game after beating Orchard View 13-0 and Whitehall 9-3.
“I was nervous when it was 1-1,” an ecstatic Anna Beebe said. “I cannot imagine being on a better team in my senior year. This win is a huge building part of our team and program. This is amazing and makes all the hard work I did in the winter, pitching 4-5 times a week, pay off.”
Coach Trista Stingle, in her sixth year of coaching at Puffer, saw her team move to a 12-4 record.
“We always have good games with Shores and I did not want the girls to get too hyped,” said Stingle. “I think it was the new conditioning program that helped us to get to this game.”
Stingle has adopted “200 feet” as the team’s motto stressing to focus “on 1 pitch at a time and not looking too far ahead.”
It paid off for the Rockets on Saturday.
Mona Shores had three players with hits, but only Kayla Savacool had an extra base hit as she doubled in the seventh inning. Lauren Johnson pitched a solid game for the Sailors (7-6).