Manistee sweeps Pine River in softball openers

LEROY — It was the season opener for both Manistee and Pine River’s softball teams on Friday.

But the Chippewas had more fun in touching home plate 34 times in a pair of 17-0 and 17-4 mercy-rule victories.

The first game went three innings while the second ended after five.

Haley Maser was the winning pitcher of the first game with a one-hitter while Mackenzie Thompson scattered six hits in the second game.

“It’s good to see what we need to work on,” said Manistee coach Denise Lijewski. “We came out strong. There’s always things to work on. We need to work on base running. It’s the first game of the season. Everyone has those jitters you need to iron out and be more aware of what’s going on.”

Brooke Pennington took the pitching loss for Pine River in game one and Alexis Stokely sustained the setback in game two.

“It was nice to get real competition and be outside,” said Pine River coach Laura Mumby. “Manistee is a good team with some good pitchers. I was pleased with the way we performed in the technical things. We just didn’t execute.”

In the opener, the Chippewas exploded for seven runs in the first inning and added two in the second and six in the third, which featured Lilly Bjorkquist’s bases-loaded single. Maser allowed only a hit to Pennington while facing 10 batters for the entire first game, walking none and striking out seven.

Maser helped her own cause with a double and two RBIs. Natalie Wilksoz had two hits and three RBIs while Stephanie Smogoleski had a single, double and an RBI, Bjorkquist added a single and two RBIs and Allie Zimmerman had a single and two RBIs.

The Chippewas came out strong again in the second game with four runs in the first, three in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth and seven in the fifth.

Jenna Johnson, who had three hits for the Bucks, had an RBI single in the third inning and another single in the fifth when the Bucks scored three runs. Pennington had an RBI bounceout, Alyssa Johnson an RBI single and Stokely a sacrifice fly in that inning.

Smogoleski had two hits and an RBI while Frankie Jans added two singles and three RBIs and Zimmerman and Wilkosz both had two singles and two RBIs for Manistee.

Thompson fanned eight batters and walked three.

“Our pitchers came out strong, “ Lijewski said. “They got ahead of the batters.”

Kassy Nelson had a triple in the second game for Pine River.

“We did the things we’ve been working on really well,” Mumby said. “We just didn’t finish and get key outs when we needed them. Sometimes when it rains, it pours.”

This week, Pine River is scheduled to be at Reed City on Thursday.