By Jason Goorman
Local Sports Journal
MUSKEGON – Fruitport had never won a Greater Muskegon Athletic Association softball tournament before.
And the Trojans were not a favorite to do it this year, either.
Coach Bob Dorman’s squad, loaded with underclassmen, has been hovering around the .500 mark in wins and losses this season.
But the Trojans performed like seasoned veterans Saturday, beating Orchard View 19-3 in the finals to capture the Tier 1 city tournament baseball title.
Fruitport also beat Muskegon 15-0 and came from behind to beat Mona Shores 4-3 earlier in the day.
Dorman even admitted that the title was a pleasant surprise.
“We’d never been there before, and I figured we’d have to go through Shores or Reeths-Puffer,” he said. “This was my first trip, in eight years as a varsity coach, to the finals.”
In the end hot hitting helped the Trojans get past Mona Shores and plow Muskegon and Orchard View.
In the championship game, the Trojans shot out of the gate with seven runs in the first inning, then added four more in the second and six more in the fifth.
Lindsey Helsen, the only senior in the Fruitport lineup, started the fireworks in the first with a 1-out double. She finished with three RBI on the day.
Taylor Clark sparked the second inning with a two-run double. She finished with a double, single and two RBI.
‘Natalynn Scott’s two-run single was a big blow for Fruitport in the fifth. She finished with three RBIs
Brie Dawson had a triple, two singles and two RBIs for the winners. Alyssa Veihl added two bunt singles and knocked in a run.
Fruitport’s Taylor Clark pitched two scoreless innings to get the win while Andrea Benson tossed three innings of relief.’
Leading Fruitport at the plate was Brie Dawson with a triple, two singles and two RBI. Clark also came through with a double, a single and two RBI.
Alyssa Veihl played small ball for Fruitport and posted a pair of bunt singles and had an RBI while Natalynne Scott had a single and three RBI.
“We got girls on (base) and I tell you what, we stayed aggressive, we ran the bases, setting that next girl up for the hit,” Dorman said. “I’ve been trying to tell them hits are contagious and that’s what they did today.”
Pitching was also stellar for Fruitport as Taylor Clark pitched two scoreless innings and Andrea Benson closed out the last three.
Taylor Clark pitched two scoreless innings to get the win while Andrea Benson tossed three innings of relief.
Orchard View’s Breanna Weck had an RBI triple and a single. Arial Lutz added a RBI single while Jaelyn Eggerson had a hit and Morgan Pant an RBI.
The Cardinals reached the finals with a 6-4 win over Whitehall and a 9-2 win over Reeths-Puffer.
OV played their best ball of the season those first two games, great job ladies!!!