Morgan No. 1 pitcher for Reed City

REED CITY — Reed City’s softball season starts with a non-league doubleheader at Morley Stanwood on Thursday, and junior Maddie Morgan is ready to take on the challenges she’ll encounter as a third-year varsity player.

The Coyotes practiced from March 11 to 22 prior to spring break last week.

Morgan had been, along with Sidni Rushford, one of the Coyotes top pitchers the past two seasons.

“Last year, I thought we worked really well together,” she said. “We accomplished a lot. I definitely feel I improved (as a pitcher).

“We played Chippewa Hills and I had a really good pitching game.”

“We will be looking to her for leadership both offensively and on the mound,” Reed City coach Roger Steig said. “Her performance on the mound will dictate our team’s success.”

Rushford graduated from last year’s team. It’s not quite clear yet how many pitching innings Morgan will gain as a result.

“We’re hoping Veronica Lofquist will be able to help us out this year,” Morgan said. “I’m getting quicker and my change-up is coming along. I think my change-up will be a strength this year.”

Morgan isn’t sure what position she’ll be playing if she isn’t pitching.

She was a catcher last season and indicated blocking the ball was a strength.

At the plate, “my hitting wasn’t bad, but I feel I can definitely improve,” Morgan said. “I need to keep my eye on the ball.”

Morgan also played volleyball and basketball, and indicated she didn’t have too much time to play other offseason softball.

The key for the Coyotes, Morgan said, will be to get outdoors as soon as possible.

“I think we’ll be young,” she said.