Pine River’s half-Nelson infield

LEROY – Chelsea Nelson at third base and cousin Christie Nelson at second.

It’s a solid half of the Pine River infield that has the Bucks softball team going strong this season.

Chelsea Nelson is on the varsity for her second season.

“Last year was probably my best year,” she said. “I had a great defensive game. I’m looking to pick that up. I got all-district last year and I want to get past that.”

Chelsea said her hitting “wasn’t bad” last year but is something she wants to focus on for 2012. “I need to do the fundamentals and do what I’m supposed to be doing,” she said.

With basketball and volleyball also on her agenda, Nelson was still able to get in offseason work for softball.

“I hit in the pole barn that my uncle Steve has,” she said. “That’s where we spent most of our Sundays.”

Nelson figures her batting will be better this season.

“I think I’m pretty much where I was at last year,” she said. “We got a lot of situation stuff done (in preseason).”

The season is still young but the Nelson cousins like what they’ve seen so far.

“We’re young and we’ve got a lot to learn,” Chelsea said. “Our defense is probably our strongest (point). We’re a tight knit group so that helps.”’

Christie Nelson is a junior in her third varsity season. She played on a regional finals’ team last season.

“Our pitching was really good,” Nelson recalled. “We had a lot of people back last year. We worked well as a team.”

A second base, “I’m a good fielder and I usually know where to go for the ball,” Christie added.

It’s her second year at second. As a freshman, she played right field.

“In the summer leagues I used to play second base,” Christie said, adding that she’s bidding to hit around .300 this season. “I just need to relax and have a good time.”

Nelson played a heavy amount of summer ball in Mount Pleasant.

“This winter, we went to Grand Rapids and played in a league,” she said. “I think (we can be) conference champs definitely. We can make it farther this year.”