Reed City pitcher set for sophomore season

REED CITY —  Julianne Griffin handled the test as a freshman varsity pitcher in 2013.

Now she’s ready for a whole new set of challenges.

“Last year we were really young and it was really tough being one of  the two pitchers we’ve had,” Griffin said. “I think we’ve grown a lot and I’ve grown a lot. I hope this year will be a lot (better) than last year.”

The Coyotes have completed four weeks of practice. They are on spring break with several players going to Florida for some informal practice get-togethers. Practices resume in Reed City April 14 and the Coyotes hope to start playing when weather and field conditions allow it.

“I worked a lot this winter on pitching and I also worked at the Diamonds facility in Grand Rapids which really has helped me, and I’ve gotten a couple of pitching lessons along the way, which really helps,” Griffin said. “I’ve been working on speed a lot. I’ve been working on heavy ball workouts which is really good, and I’ve been working on different pitches like my curveball.”

Griffin has also been working on a screwball.

’I’ve definitely been trying to work on my changeup a lot,” she said. “I think I’ve grown a lot this year.”

Griffin will be the team’s main pitcher and is confident she’ll be able to handle the load.

“There’s a couple of girls that should help me a lot,” she said. “I played first base also, as well as any place coach puts me.”

On the other side, Griffin said she “loves” hitting, but recalls battling a slump last season.

“This year I’ve work all winter on that and it’s improved as well,” she said, adding that she’s work on “my bat speed and different form, stuff like that. I hit off a tee quite a bit.”

The first scheduled game is for April 17 at Pine River.

“If we play as a team and as a family, we should be able to come together and be really good,” she said.

Despite not being able to get outdoors much, Griffin has been able to pitch indoors.

“Outdoors would be nice,” she said. “It will be quite an adjustment with (pitching from) the dirt compared to a rug.”

Griffin is ready for the pitching tests she’ll face in the Central State Activities Association.

“Central Montcalm is a really good hitting team,” he said. “Hesperia hit good too. Chippewa Hills is a good hitting team.”