Courtney Dusseau (right) has enjoyed catching for sister Kelsey this season. (Photo by Janet Kloska)

Hopkins overcomes slow start to win final two at tourney

There are few things hard-hitting Hopkins senior third baseman Lexi Merren would rather be doing than playing softball.
That being said, there are times of the day Merren enjoys being on the diamond more that others. In particular, she would prefer not to have the early morning games during Saturday tournaments, such as the Holland Tournament in which her team participated on Saturday, April 29.
“We aren’t a morning team,” Merrin said after the Vikings posted an 11-3 victory over Grand Rapids Covenant Christian in their third and final game of the tourney.
Hopkins, which raised its season mark to 10-5, dropped its first game—which started at 9 a.m.—to Holland Christian, 11-2, but roared back to crush Bridgman14-2 in five innings in its second contest.
“We woke up and played like we were capable of and have been playing,” Merren said of the second and third games.
Merren belted her fourth home run of the season as part of a performance that saw her collect six hits with six RBI.
“Lexi is one of best hitters and third basemen around.” said Hopkins’ senior catcher Courtney Dusseau, who came into the tournament hitting .514.
Logan Brummell led the Vikings in its loss to Holland Christian by knocking in three runs with a double.
“The problem was they outhit us 15-7 and we made a couple of costly errors,” said Hopkins coach Casey Schoenborn. “Overall, though, it was a good day for the Vikings.”
Merren led the Hopkins offense with a double and two singles for two RBIs versus Bridgman.
“Several other girls hit the ball on the nose against Bridgman,” Schoenborn said.
Schoenborn was referring to Kristi Lenard and Courtney Dusseau, who checked in with two safeties apiece in the one-sided victory.
“(Bridgman’s) pitchers actually threw the ball harder than the pitchers from Holland Christian,” Merren said.
Hailey Burch pitched five innings, allowing four hits for the Vikings, who were strong defensively with only one error against the Bees.
Hannah VanDeRoovart, Kelley Kloska, Mikayla Bullch, Kylan Winchester and Kiersten White all made solid defensive plays for the Vikings in the final two contests.
“When we play strong defense, hit the ball and get solid pitching like we have been, we can be tough to beat,” Schoenborn said.
Besides Merren’s double and single, Courtney Dusseau had two singles for two RBI, Bulich had two singles, Morgan Fifelski had a double and freshman Kelsey Dusseau earned the win with a four-hit complete game.
The Dusseau sisters and their family have been waiting for years for Courtney and Kelsey to be on the field at the same time.
“It’s definitely much easier on my parents and grandparents having us on the same team,” Courtney Dusseau said. “For me it’s very humbling to catch Kelsey.”
Kelsey, who upped her season pitching record to 4-2, doesn’t have to worry about Courtney shaking off her signs.
“Coach calls the pitches,” Courtney Dusseau said.


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