However, Friday’s non-conference doubleheader between the Grand Haven and Spring Lake varsity softball teams at Grand Haven High School was anything but a hostile environment. In fact, between the opener and the nightcap, both squads shared dinner in the outfield together.
“John and I are really good friends, and all of these girls know each other and most of them play together on summer travel league teams, so we decided it would be nice to get together in the outfield and eat together between games,” said Spring Lake head coach Bill Core. “It’s a neat event for a really great cause, and both teams got pushed a little bit right before the state tournament starts next week.”
Grand Haven wore their customary purple jerseys for Bucs Pride Night, while the Spring Lake squad wore purple shirts over their red jerseys before the game.
THE JACKIE CROW SHOW
Once the action started, Grand Haven used three swings of the bat to score nine runs and take a 9-4 decision in the opener.
Junior Jackie Crow was responsible for all three of those hits, as she slammed three 3-run home runs to pace the Buccaneers at the plate in Game 1, driving in nine runs.
“She’s been hitting the ball well all season, but today, everything was clicking for her,” said Grand Haven head coach John Hall. “She’s bounced a few shots off the wall this season, but she hit a few no-doubters today, especially that fourth one.”
The display of power was a surprise to even Crow.
“I have no idea where that came from,” she admitted after the game. “I didn’t even think that I could do that. Those were the first home runs that I’ve hit all season. I think a lot of it had to do with the energy that my team had, and that really pumped me up.
“After I hit that first one, I really felt confident in my swing.”
The common theme in this year’s Drawbridge Classic is friendship, and that stems from the overlap between the rosters on summer league teams that dates back to little league action.
“I’m friends with every single one of them over there,” Crow said of the Spring Lake squad. “This was almost like going back to the little league days for us, back when we were hitting off of a pitching machine. It brought back so many old memories and it was so much fun.”
Coach Hall was happy to see the comradery between the two programs.
“This is a really special event for both teams, because all these girls have grown up together since they were 10-years-old playing in the dirt,” he added. “Jackie plays for Coach Kolbe (Nelson) with a bunch of Spring Lake girls in the summer and Molly (Poole), who hit a home run for Spring Lake today, plays for me in the summer.
“All of us are so intertwined, and that’s what makes this pretty special. You just hope that the game lives up to the billing, and I felt like it did this year. You saw in that second game with just how close both teams were. We played about as well as we could, and they played about as well as they could, and they were just a swing or two better.”
Game 2 saw the Buccaneers take an early 4-1 lead behind a 2-run home run by… click here to read the entire article by the Grand Haven Tribune.