LEROY — Brooke Pennington realizes that success in the spring for softball can usually be derived by how much work is put into the offseason, including the summer.

That’s why Pennington is keeping busy during the summer months.

Pennington has been getting her fair share of pitching as she gets ready for her junior season.

She said she’s working on her speed and control.

Pennington last season was on the varsity most of the time and also saw JV action. She was able to pitch at both levels, including on the varsity as Jamie Justin’s backup.

“I did all right. I mean, there’s always room for improvement,” Pennington said, adding that as a hitter, “I did pretty good. I kind of fell apart at the end. But I’m getting back on it now.”

The Bucks were 11-0 and Highland Conference champs during the spring. But they’ve been focusing on a busy summer schedule.

“It’s very important,” Pennington said. “It’s so we don’t lose focus but just keep going.”

The Bucks, after opening the summer season with a twinbill loss to Cadillac, had a doubleheader win over Reed City at the Bristol Fields on July 10.

The Bucks were triumphant over the Coyotes 3-2 and 11-7.

Paige Eisline was the winning pitcher in the first game. Eleanor Forbes had a triple and RBI and Jenna Peterson had a single in the first game.

In the second game, Pennington was the winning pitcher for the Bucks and also helped her own cause with a triple and two RBIs

“We played a little better tonight overall,” said Pine River summer coach Jerry Dontje, who is also the Bucks’ JV skipper. “We were a little more consistent with our pitching. Defensively we did well. In both games we had key hits.”

Pine River was 2-2 in the summer going into action this week.

“It’s been a big step from the first game,” Dontje said. “There’s a lot of people playing out of position, things like that. Some of the girls have played for me at high school in the JVs. they’re getting used to me. We just want the kids to play. If they can’t travel with the team and go to Mount Pleasant (Wednesdays nights), then we like to have them play here (with the LAT league).

“They get a little taste. They saw a good pitcher from Reed City and two good pitchers from Cadillac. It helps them in the transition from varsity.”