Gull Lake softball hosts 24 team tournament

Gull Lake softball hosts 24 team tournament

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Gull Lake softball hosts 24 team tournament

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Lakeview's Kim Kucharczyk catches a pop fly.

Lakeview’s Kim Kucharczyk catches a pop fly.

Maddie Wilson (13) of Lakeview pitches against Hastings in the first game of the Gull Lake Softball Invitational Saturday morning.

Maddie Wilson (13) of Lakeview pitches against Hastings in the first game of the Gull Lake Softball Invitational Saturday morning.

The ball bounces off Lakeview batter Kim Kucharczyk in the first game of the Gull Lake Softball Invitational on Saturday.

The ball bounces off Lakeview batter Kim Kucharczyk in the first game of the Gull Lake Softball Invitational on Saturday.

Jordyn Geik (1) of Gull Lake celebrates with teammates after scoring.

Jordyn Geik (1) of Gull Lake celebrates with teammates after scoring.

Markeva Love (10) of Gull Lake tries for a bunt on Saturday morning.

Markeva Love (10) of Gull Lake tries for a bunt on Saturday morning.

Gull Lake's pitcher, Gracie Boyle (4), in game action Saturday morning during the Gull Lake Invitational.

Gull Lake’s pitcher, Gracie Boyle (4), in game action Saturday morning during the Gull Lake Invitational.

Jessie Kistner (6) of Gull Lake hits one down left field for a base hit, allowing Cassidy Eastman of Gull Lake to score.

Jessie Kistner (6) of Gull Lake hits one down left field for a base hit, allowing Cassidy Eastman of Gull Lake to score.

Gull Lake's Cassidy Eastman (11) drives on deep into center field for a base hit in the first game of the tournament.

Gull Lake’s Cassidy Eastman (11) drives on deep into center field for a base hit in the first game of the tournament.

The Gull Lake softball team hosted 23 other teams in an invitational tournament at Bailey Park in the cold weather on Saturday.

Of the two dozen squads, Lakeview and Gull Lake were the only two local participants.

“It’s really excited to host such a big tournament and have such quality teams come,” said Gull Lake head coach Kate Smith. “We were very excited, and it seemed like all the teams had a good time and there was a lot of good softball played.”

The teams were split into three divisions – gold, silver, and bronze – each with eight teams.

Winning the Gold Division was Wayland, who defeated Mattawan in the championship game by a score of 4-0.

Vicksburg beat Marine City 11-3 in the Silver Division championship.

The Bronze Division tournament was won by Decatur, who beat Comstock 14-3 in the final contest of the afternoon.

Gull Lake competed in the Silver Division and went 1-2 on the day. In their first game, the Blue Devils defeated Coopersville 8-2 behind Gracie Boyle’s three inning, five strikeout effort in the circle.

Unfortunately for Gull Lake, they lost their final two game, first to Marine City by a score of 9-1, and then to Gobles in a close 3-2 contest.

On the day for the Blue Devil’s offensively, Kylie Tobias had six hits, including two doubles, and Cassidy Eastman had four hits, including one double.

“As a team, we played very well today,” said Smith after the tournament. “This is probably the best we’ve played all year. We pitched well, had good defense, and hit the ball well. For a young team, I thought there were a lot of positives going into the rest of the year.”

Lakeview also went 1-2 on the day, defeating Hastings in the first game, but falling to Decatur and Kalamazoo Central in their final two games on the afternoon.

“It was rootin’ tootin’ cold outside!” joked Lakeview head coach Brian Ratliff on his way back to the bus after his team’s day had came to an end. “I thought as we played, we improved over the course of the day. We were more competitive, but we still struggled with injuries and stuff that we’ve struggled all year long with, but we’ve gotta play through all that stuff, so we’re getting there.”

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