Reed City softball junior can’t wait for next spring

Taylor Steig of Reed City beats the tag of Pine River shortstop Nikita Oliver.
Taylor Steig of Reed City beats the tag of Pine River shortstop Nikita Oliver.

REED CITY -- For Taylor Steig, it’s time for fall softball

During the summer, the Reed City junior played usually four days a week. She’s coming off an all-Central State Activities Association season, in which she and the Coyotes stormed to regional and district titles.

“We practiced one day a week and games the three other days,” Steig said.

Reed City, Steig said, will have its own team in the fall Grand Rapids league. Games are every Sunday starting Aug. 19. Games are usually at Comstock Park and will end in early October.

“We usually play travel teams down there,” Steig said. “They’re usually tougher than the teams in Mount Pleasant.”

Reed City had a summer team that played every Wednesday at Mount Pleasant.

Steig has been focusing on first base and catching this summer. She figures on doing both positions for the Coyotes next spring.

“I’ve been working on my throws a lot,” she said.

Hitting was a concern for Steig after the 2011 spring season. So she focused on it during the summer. This past spring, she batted .448, second on the team. It was “quadruple,” from the previous season, Steig said with a huge grin.

“My dad had to help me a lot with my form,” she said. “I had a really long swing. I focused (during the summer) on hitting.”

Steig is among the returning players on a championship Coyote team.

‘We have four starters back,” she said. “At the beginning of the summer, we weren’t blending together. But now, we finally are.”

Reed City and Pine River have both enjoyed successful softball teams in the past and among the reasons has been a solid summer program.

The summer schedule ended for the two schools with a doubleheader at Reed City on July 30. The number of fans attending the two games appeared to be slightly higher than those contests during the spring high school season.

“I thought this was one of the most awesome years I’ve had coaching a group of girls,” Reed City coach Roger Steig said. “We carried 15 girls. They came to every practice. It was probably the most dedicated group of ladies during summer ball. The improvement from the start of the year to now is phenomenal. Things look exciting for Reed City softball.”

Reed City won both games, 9-7 and 10-6. The second game ended after three innings because of darkness.

In the first game for Reed City, Julieann Griffin took the win in 2 2/3 innings of work. She walked five batters and fanned one while allowing no hits. Hanna Price went 4 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and one walk and striking out three.

Taylor Steig and Skiler Brigham had two hits apiece. Aliya Hobbs and Sidni Rushford had one hit apiece.

In the second game for the Coyotes, Rushford started and went one inning, giving up one hit. Griffin went the second inning and allowed a hit. Price, aided by a double play, went the final inning, walking one and stuck out one while allowing one hit. Greer and Brigham had two hits apiece. Huss, Griffin and Steig had one hit apiece.

Rushford will be in middle school next season while the others will be on the high school level.

“Summer is a time to spend more focus on individual skills,” Steig said. “Winning a games is a plus if it happens. We’re out to improve individually. This has been a great summer for that.”

Reed City, which went to the state quarterfinals, graduated all three of its pitchers, making the summer program even more critical, Steig acknowledged.

“It looks like we’ll be tough in the spring,” Steig said. “We have work to do. We have some ladies with a good work ethic.”