Coyote softball players gaining valuable summer experience

TO THE PLATE: Brittani Yarger delivers a pitch for Reed City against Pine River last week. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)
TO THE PLATE: Brittani Yarger delivers a pitch for Reed City against Pine River last week. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)

REED CITY — Heather Huss is among the returning softball players for the Reed City Coyotes who are putting in extensive action during the summer months.

Hess played second base for the 2012 Coyotes who were regional champs and advanced to the Division 3 finals. She was a junior in her first varsity season.

“Usually I come every Sunday (for practice) and then games on Wednesdays,” she said. “I’m focusing on a little bit of everthing.”

Hess indicated the competition the Coyotes see at Mount Pleasant is impressive.

“During the winter, I’ll go up and practice batting in the gym,” she said. “It’s pretty important. I don’t want to try to go up next spring without practice. I might lose a lot.”

This Wednesday, Roger Steig will be coaching in the Michigan High School Softball Coaches All-Star game at Michigan State. His daughter and all-stater Amanda Steig, plus pitcher Courtney Morgan, will also be at the game. On July 11, the Coyotes played at Mount Pleasant and lost to Carson City-Crystal 4-3 and to Mount Pleasant 8-4

“Every game that we’ve played this summer we’ve been in the game,” Roger Steig said. “We’re playing a lot of girls and using a lot of rotations. Individually, we’re learning a lot.”

The Coyotes lost 3-2 and 11-6 to Pine River July 10 at Bristol Fields. Lindsey Greer, Riley Lawson, Taylor Steig and Brittani Yarger led the Coyotes. Greer had three hits.

“Sidni Rushford probably had her biggest game pitching for her career,” said Roger Steig. “I thought she came through in fine fashion. She did a good job of keeping the ball in the strike zone.”

Yarger also saw pitching action.

Next Tuesday, Reed City will be home against Cadillac.

At the team’s weekly practice last Sunday, Steig had 12 players in attendance. He’s had as many as 15 players at games.

“This has been a great year for participation,” Steig said. “These girls have a lot of heart. They’re really dedicated.”

Huss was among the key players in the spring championship season.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “Our team got really close. We had a lot of fun together. We tried to stay positive. There were a couple of people on the team that could lift everyone’s heads up.”

Looking at 2012, “we lost five seniors, but we should have a pretty good team next year,” Steig said.