Pine River baseball, softball eye success in conference

LEROY — Pine River is off to a 1-0 start on the baseball diamond.

The Bucks defeated Harrison last Wednesday on the road 11-0.

Lincoln Erickson went four innings on the mound, striking out nine and allowing one hit. Garrett Long had two hits and five RBIs for Pine River.

The second game was called because of darkness with Pine River up 8-3 and was not a full game. Devin Ruppert pitched the last couple of innings for the Buck and had two RBIs at the plate.

“It was cold, it was freezing,” Bucks coach Sean Ruppert said. “I was happy with our defense. We only had one error. We did a lot of things right. Overall I was happy with our defense.”

Ruppert was also content with his offense.

“I think we have a chance to be real strong if we hit the ball, that will be the telling factor,” he said. “We have a lot of guys who can throw and we’ll play good defense. The hitting, that’s where we were weak last year.”

Erickson, Devin Ruppert and Derrick Waldfogel, Long and Skyler Nelson are returning players from last season. Zane Kanouse is a returning senior.

“We’re actually pretty young,” Ruppert said, adding that in the Highland, “Beal City will be tough again, they’re always tough. I think McBain will be better this year.”

Pine River plays April 10 at home with Morley Stanwood.

SOFTBALL

The season starts for coach Laura Mumby’s Bucks on April 10 with Morley Stanwood. The Bucks have had some scrimmages so far to get ready for the season.

“We’re all right, we’re kind of young,” Mumby said. “We had kids shifted around a little bit. They’re adjusting and doing a good job.”

The Bucks, prior to this week’s term break, were able to take advantage of warm temperatures early in the practice season.

“It’s been nice to have been outside,” she said. “We’ve been able to run situations on the field.”

Top returning players include Jamie Justin at pitcher and Chelsea Nelson at third base, plus Christie Nelson at second base and Brooke Sebastiano at center field and batting leadoff.

“We’re looking good. We’re still making adjustments here and there but we’re ready to get going,” Mumby said. “We’ve got a solid defense. We do the little things right like getting the bunts down.”

Mumby expects Beal City and Manton to be among the tougher teams in the Highland.