All-Star sendoff

Duncan MacLean • Jul 19, 2018 at 12:37 AM

MOUNT PLEASANT — Four Spring Lake Lakers and one Fruitport Trojan capped their softball seasons in style Wednesday night, taking on the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association All-Star game at Central Michigan University in the Margo Jonker Stadium.

Madelyn Nelson, Linsey Paggeot, Lauren Hellman and Aurora Wilks, along with Spring Lake head coach Bill Core, were invited to suit up for one last final rounding of the bases based on their stellar spring seasons.

The celebration of skill was a full-fledged extravaganza, with players from Divisions 1-4 arriving Tuesday evening for a group dinner and a night in the Central Michigan dormitories before enjoying breakfast, lunch and four fun-filled softball games together on Wednesday.

All four local girls were recognized as MHSSCA First Team All-State honorees following the game amidst a field of immensely talented players.

“This is a really cool event the coaches association puts on,” Core said. “Having three girls able to play in it and with Aurora here, too, we had to make sure it was going to work.

“We had just 45 minutes of practice time Tuesday night, and in that little time you could see how talented these kids are. The focus the whole way through was fun to see, especially in the middle of July. It was a lot of fun to work with so many talented girls.”

Nelson, Hellman, Paggeot and Wilks each enjoyed the event and relished the opportunity to take the field for one final go, despite taking some time off. 

“It was a fun, good experience,” Nelson said. “We haven’t played for a long time, so it was a little rough at the plate, but very fun.”

“It was great to get on the field,’ Hellman added. “We have been watching this game played for three years, so it was fun to finally be here.”

“It was an honor to be here,” Paggeot stated. “It feels like our career is final now, it gave some good closure.”

“I felt a little out of place at first being a first-timer,” Wilks said. “But, it ended up being really fun. Everyone is here to just play and have fun in our last game.”

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