By Dave Hart
MUSKEGON – Desi Parker’s tireless arm has been a valuable tool for the Mona Shores softball team all season.
Parker came into Saturday’s Greater Muskegon Athletic Association Tier I City Softball Tournament at Reeths-Puffer High School with 11 of the Sailors’ 13 wins.
She continued that hot streak by pitching victories in all three games and leading the Sailors to their first city title since 2012.
Mona Shores defeated Orchard View (11-5) and Fruitport (12-7) in pool play, then downed host Reeths-Puffer 11-1 in the finals.
“It means a great deal,” said Mona Shores Coach Jason Crago. “It’s a local tournament that the kids look forward to every year.
“This tournament is a great three-game tournament that gives us a chance to see where we are at, regardless to how the season is going so far.”
Actually, the season has been going just fine for Mona Shores. The Sailors are now 16-4 on the season and have their sights for an O-K Black Conference title.
Parker gave up one run on five hits while striking out three batters in the championship game. She was also productive offensively, going 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored, and an RBI.
Parker had 14 strikeouts in the tournament.
“She had a great day,” said Crago. “She is without a doubt our toughest competitor. She is super smart and she and catcher Kayla (Savacool) call a great game together.”
Freshman sensation Taylor Dew also had an impact for the Sailors on Saturday.
Dew hit a two-run double in the championship game to give the Sailors a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Overall she was 7-for-11 on the day.
Dew has three home runs on the season and leads the Sailors in RBIs.
“I have never seen a freshman like her,” said Crago. “It is not just her power that blows me away but her plays at the first base position.
“She’s as intimidating as she looks. She hits the ball hard and when she elevates the ball it goes out.”
Several Sailors swung hot bats in the tournament.
Mackenzie Willeke and Kayla Savacool who each went 8-for-11 on the day. Willeke had seven RBIs while Savacool had six, including a two-run homer. Parker was 6-for-10 at the plate while Mackenzie Lund had five hits and five stolen bases.
The Sailors beat rival Reeths-Puffer for the third time this season.
Mona Shores jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning with six straight hits. The Sailors added three runs in the second inning to take a 7-0 lead.
The Rockets responded with a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly off the bat of McKenna Johnson.
Mona Shores closed out the game in the bottom half of the fifth, scoring four runs, including a two-run single by Willeke that put the mercy rule into affect.
The Rockets advanced to the championship game by shutting out Muskegon 7-0 and defeating Whitehall 5-3.
Reeths-Puffer completed a stretch where it played eight games in seven days