Reed City pitcher prepares for sophomore season

REED CITY — Sidni Rushford had a strong freshman year for Reed City’s softball team, but is using the summer season to have even more success as a sophomore.

Rushford and other Coyotes have been playing Wednesdays in the Local Area Teams League at Bristol diamonds. She and Reed City senior Jules Griffin both had pitching wins last Wednesday in a doubleheader sweep over Cadillac.

Rushford played first base and pitched for the Coyotes during the regular season. She had 30 hits, four doubles and one home run. On the mound, she was 6-5 with a 4.01 ERA and struck out 53.

“I think I played better than I thought I was going to,” she said. “I was the youngest one on the team and I didn’t have high expectations for myself.”

Rushford was happy with her hitting, which was in the .300s.

“It was a matter of repetition and making sure I kept my hands down,” she said.

Rushford has been pitching since fourth grade, and is confident that she’s improved every season.

She’s been focusing on her mechanics “and keeping the ball down in the zone,” Rushford said.

She also plays summer softball for the Grand Rapids Elite.

“I think I can still improve,” she said, adding that staying away  from bad pitches and making consistent contact is critical.

The Coyotes have started out 7-1 in summer ball.

“I think we’ll be very good,” Rushford said of the 2016 spring team. “We have a lot of talent coming up.”

Rushford also has been involved with Reed City summer basketball and volleyball.

“It’s been really tough” to keep a schedule going,” Rushford said. “The weeks are really packed.”