Pine River softball team defeats Reed City

REED CITY — Reed City softball coach Roger Steig likes to play good competition. Those types of games allows the coach to find out how good his team is and where it needs to improve.

After Thursday’s game with Pine River, Steig knows there is still work to be done.

The Bucks scored early, capitalizing on a couple of Coyotes’ miscues, and rolled to a 9-4 victory in a game that was called after six innings due to rain.

“We made a lot of mistakes,” Steig said. “Pine River is a good ball club, they will bring your mistakes out, but we made some basic errors that we normally don’t do.”

Reed City entered the game with an 8-0 record, but played opposite of how Steig would have liked his team to have played.

“We were opposite of how we normally play,” Steig said. “We were too aggressive at the plate and not aggressive enough in the field. I think we will learn from this.”

Steig thought his team was not swinging at their pitches and on defense, when plays presented themselves, Reed City didn’t go after it.

Proving Steig’s point, the Bucks put runners at second and third with no outs in the second inning. A pitch in the dirt was blocked by Coyotes catcher Taylor Steig.

When Steig located the ball, Pine River base runner Chelsea Nelson was more than halfway down the third base line. Steig had the ball and had the opportunity to throw Nelson out at third base, but instead, held onto it.

The Bucks’ Brooke Pennington followed two pitches later with a two-run double to open the scoring. Pennington had two hits in the contest.

Pine River busted the game open one inning later with five consecutive hits, including those from Chelsea Nelson, Christie Nelson and Jamie Justin, who also belted a solo home run in the sixth inning.

The Bucks collected 16 hits in the contest, including four by Brooke Sebastiano. Chelsea Nelson and Jamie Justin each had two hits. Justin, who was the winning pitcher with six strikeouts, also belted a solo home run.

“We’ve been struggling to be aggressive with the bat, but I thought we did a good job (Thursday),” Pine River coach Laura Mumby said. “We still left too many runners out there, but maybe we’re getting over the hump.”

Reed City had four hits in the contest, including singles by Emma Lockhart, Sydney Arnold and Courtney Morgan and a double by Taylor Steig.

“We got down emotionally and the way you overcome that is being very patient at the plate,” Steig said.