Coyote baseball, softball players encouraged with opening sweeps

REED CITY – The softball and baseball seasons are only a week old but Reed City shortstop Ally Stieg and catcher Ricky Droke like what they see from their respective teams.

Both teams swept Evart in their season debuts on March 27.

“We played good together,” Stieg said. “We talked a lot on every single play. We had only two or three strikeouts the entire night against us. We’re working on small ball, bunting and moving over the runners. We did that extremely well tonight. We played great. There’s little things we have to work on like running the bases, picking up signs right away.

“Our pitching was great, our defense was great.”

Stieg, a senior, has usually been a shortstop for the Coyotes.

“I can field the ball pretty well and can get back for the short pop-up” she said. “I have a pretty good arm.’”

At the plate, “I’ll move the runners a lot this year,” she said. “I’m hoping when I bat to go over .500 this year. I’m looking at bunting a lot this year.”

Stieg is confident the Coyotes can be a force in the Central State Activities Association and beyond that.

“If we put our minds to it, we’re capable of winning a state championship,” Stieg said. “We have almost every single player back from last year and a couple of new additions. We have great team chemistry. I think we’re capable of winning it all.”

Droke’s main position is catching. He called his team’s performance against Evart “amazing.”

Being able to be outside extensively during the preseason was also beneficial.

“We’ve been practicing hitting all winter, non-stop,” he said. “The hitting (against Evart) was really good.”

Droke was on the baseball regional finalist team from last spring.

“My batting wasn’t very good but I caught,” Droke said. “I have a pretty good arm to second.”

He’s looking to bat in the .300s.

“We want to win conference,” he said. “Then we’ll shoot for districts and make it to regional finals. I think we have a good chance of winning that.”