Pine River junior player eyes strong future

LEROY — Kyla Johnson and the Pine River softball team were hoping to be playing at their best late in the season.

The season ended for the Bucks on Monday with a 5-3 loss to Manton in the district final. They won 5-3 over Manistee in the semifinal.

A key moment for the Bucks was winning a game in the home invitational in early May  over Kent City.

“It’s nice to pull in some wins,” Johnson said.

Johnson, a junior, is in her first year of varsity ball.

“It’s faster pace, better pitching,” she said.

But Johnson has been working at being a consistent hitter for the Bucks.

“Our defense has gotten better,” she said. “I’d like to get better (in hitting). I need to wait for my pitch. I do get anxious at times.”

“Kyla plays left field, and will probably be an infielder next year,” Bucks coach Laura Mumby said. “She has had a great season. She is a great baserunner and sees the ball very well at the plate. She loves to play the outfield and is a student of the game. She anticipates situations, and loves to gun down runners from left field.”

As the season winds down, Johnson is hoping to help the Bucks achieve some key goals.

“We hope to win more games and prepare for districts,” she said. “Our offense is ready. We need to work on defense.”