Pine River shortstop eyes more improvement

LEROY — Jenna Johnson had a strong sophomore season for Pine River that included all-league status in the Highland.

Now it’s summer softball and time for Johnson and other upcoming varsity players to get ready for the 2015 season in the Local Area Team (LAT) League.

“A lot of them signed up, there’s a lot of new girls,” Johnson said, noting there’s about five or six that have varsity experience. The others will be first-year varsity performers next spring or will be on the JV squad.

Johnson had her first varsity season this past spring.

“For my first year on varsity, I felt I played pretty good in my position,” she said. “Teamwise, most all around we did pretty good.”

The Bucks had a young team and Johnson found herself getting varsity action immediately.

“It took a game or so, then I starting getting in motion, started talking to everyone and getting comfortable,” she said.

Johnson also had a strong hitting season. During the summer, she’s hoping to get ready for 2015.

“I’d like to know who basically I’m playing with,” she said. “I have an uncle in Evart, and we’ll go hit in the cage. I’ll play in the backyard and catch, throw and field.”

Johnson has high hopes for the 2015 season.

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” she said.

Knowing that the weather is likely to be cold in March and April, Johnson agreed it’s advantageous to get in some work now during a good weather period.

She’s also doing volleyball and basketball during the summer. It’s been challenging to shuffle her summer schedule, she acknowledged.