Pine River junior pitcher set for varsity level
LEROY – Paige Esiline is ready for the varsity softball level. She just needs to wait a few more months for the spring season to arrive again.
The summer season ended for the Bucks with 9-8 and 10-6 losses to host Reed City on July 30. The second game was called after three innings because of darkness.
For Pine River Jandney Mattson delivered two singles, a double and four RBIs in the first game. She had an RBI single in the second.
Brooke Pennington and Esiline shared pitching duties in both games for the Bucks.
“It went back and forth,” said Pine River coach Jerry Dontje. “We went through a lot of what we call learning situations like some of the running mistakes we made. There was a lot of learning. It didn’t matter if it was younger or older girls.”
Dontje usually carried 13 girls on his summer team. Pine River was 2-3 during the summer LAT League games.
Esiline will be a junior next season and pitched 3 to 5 innings during the summer.
“It was very helpful because after the season, we don’t really have anything to do,” she said. “I’ve been working on my change ups.”
Esiline had two years of pitching experience on the JV level.
“I think I’m ready (for varsity),” she said. “I have to work on my changeup and work on throwing all the different types of pitches.”
Esiline is a contact hitter and likes the progress she’s made.
“We played in Grand Rapids during varsity teams (in the summer),” she said.