Pine River girls win final game of the season

LEROY —  Not many softball teams can boast of winning their final game of the season, unless they are state champions.

But in Pine River’s case, a 12-1 Highland Conference victory over Evart on Wednesday ended the regular season on a winning note.

The Bucks lost their predistrict game on Tuesday and won’t be playing in Saturday’s district. But on Wednesday, they played the rescheduled second game of a rain-delayed doubleheader last week.

They fired out to an 11-0 lead in the fourth inning against Evart and went on to clinch the win in five innings.

Alexis Bennett went the distance and took the win.

We had a good pitching and good hitting, the kids did a good job all-around,” Pine River coach Laura Mumby said. “Our pitching came around toward the end of the season.

Despite the loss, Evart’s Danielle Beasley noticed her team had better communication on Wednesday.

“We were able to communicate with each other on where the ball is going,” she said. “We’re definitely progressing.”

“I thought we had a really good game,” Pine River junior shortstop KayLee Goodman said, “Alexis Bennett came in and pitched well. We all came in and had fun.”

Bennett said her best pitching performance probably came on Tuesday in the 1-0 predistrict loss to Hart. She fanned 15 batters and allowed no earned runs, one hit and two walks.

Evart lost to Marion 16-1 in the district semifinal to end the Wildcat’s season.

“We’ll need to have more controlled throws,” Beasley said prior to the game. “We need to have the desire.”

Being home won’t necessarily mean an advantage, Beasley said.

“We don’t necessarily get an advantage from being home,” she said. “I do think not having a bus ride somewhere else will help us.”

Vestaburg 7-25, Evart 5-19

Evart lost to Vestaburg 7-5 and 25-19 in non-league games on May 30.

“We played very well defensively in game one,” Evart coach Jeff Bressler said, “but waited too long to get our bats going and couldn’t reel them in.

“It was tied 19-19 all going into the seventh of game two. Our pitching didn’t hold and Vestaburg rallied for the win. Offensively we were much more aggressive, but not as strong defensively as in game one.”