In Play with Tom Markowski

Hudsonville closes out OK Red season on top, now looks toward another long tournament run

Softball   | Tom Markowski

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Hudsonville – Tom Vruggink coached Hudsonville to Division 1 titles in 2009, ’10 and ’12, and on Tuesday the Eagles will open tournament play in a pre-district at Jenison at 4 p.m.

Hudsonville reached the quarterfinals last season before losing to eventual champion Bay City Western, 4-2.

Hudsonville (30-4, 14-1) clinched the highly-competitive O-K Red Division title on Wednesday with a 6-4 victory at Grand Haven. Winning pitcher Lexi Agers had a two-run double in the seventh inning to cap a four-run rally.

Agers was the starting pitcher her freshman and sophomore seasons but shoulder issues curtailed her ability to pitch last season and again this season. Agers plays centerfield when not on the mound and bats cleanup.

Second baseman Kelly Zackrison is another senior and she bats leadoff. Her batting average is just under .500 and occasionally Zackrison will pitch.

The player has taken some of the pressure off of Agers is freshman Aleigha Talsma. Talsma tossed a perfect game in mid-April and has continued to pitch well throughout the season. To some Talsma’s play has been a surprise but not to Vruggink.

“We knew she would be good,” he said. “But she still has things to learn.”

Vruggink, in his 34th season, picked up his 900th victory last season but what he really wants is that fourth state title.

The Hudsonville-Jenison winner advances to the district semifinals on May 30. The final will be held later that day.

The regionals are June 6 with quarterfinal play set for June 9.