Craig Parks and Rec crowns softball season champs
June 23, 2017
Local girls have let their bats do the talking in the past few weeks as part of Craig Parks and Recreation's summer softball seasons.
The final week of games took place this week with the tournaments for the 8- to 12- and 13- to 18-year-old age divisions, won by Jenison Custom Builders and Craig Steel, respectively.
Craig Steel took a 15-5 victory in the last game against Elk Run Inn, the lone team to beat them throughout the season, which coach Chad Lawton credited to being at full strength Thursday night at Loudy-Simpson Park.
"It's just a fun team to coach, lots of different levels of girls, they helped each other out, kept a pretty positive attitude, and they responded to coaching, willing to adapt," he said. "Hopefully we have the same team next year."
Lawton headed the team along with Troy Hampton and Ryan Hampton, with members of the squad giving credit to their coaches.
"They're probably the best coaches I've ever had," Emily Gonzales said.
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Gonzales added that she and her teammates came together right when they needed to during games.
"The whole season we all played good, and sometimes we'd overthrow balls, but I think that we would overcome our nervousness and do whatever we could to win," she said. "For me, personally, this is the best season I've ever had."
It was a 12-2 season for Jenison in the young girls brackets, one of their losses coming during the penultimate round of the tournament, falling to A Kidz Dentist.
Nevertheless, the two teams met again Thursday with Jenison winning 11-7.
"Our girls just didn't show up that first game, and they put a whupping on us, but our girls came out for the second game," said coach Rachel Fredrickson, who led the team with husband Anton Fredrickson and Forrest Watson.
She noted that it was a "great group of girls" to oversee with "exceptional parents" on the side.
"Very encouraging and supporting," she said. "We want them to be competitive, we want it to be healthy and go out on the field and never look discouraged."