LEROY — She’s in her first season as a pitcher and Jamie Justin continues to hold her own for Pine River in the tough Highland Conference.

Pine River rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the first game of a Highland Conference softball doubleheader Friday night against Beal City to take a 5-4 victory.

But the Aggies prevailed 8-3 in the nightcap and the hosts had to settle for a split.

Justin took the loss in that game.

“In the first game we did really well,” she said. “In the second game, our defense and hitting weren’t that great.”

As a team so far this season, “we’re doing pretty good,” said Justin, a sophomore.

Justin pitched on the JV level last year. On the varsity, “the hitters are a lot better,” she said. “you have to hit your spots more.”

Having better control is essential, Justin said.

“I’m doing all right,” she said. “I need to hit my spots.”

Justin pays first base when senior Miranda Nelson is pitching.

Justin has been satisfied with her hitting and said “bat control” is critical.

The Bucks “are capable of a lot of things if we believe ourselves,” Justin said. “I think we’ll do pretty good. We need to hit the ball well and play good defense.”

Miranda Nelson threw a seven-hitter to win the first game, allowing one walk and striking out five. Jandney Mattson and Chelsea Nelson both had two hits and an RBI as did Christy Nelson. Cayman Gatt and Danielle Nixon had two hits apiece.

“The first game, we came out hitting,” Pine River coach Laura Mumby said. “We threw a lot of kids out on the bases for them.”

In the second game, Jamie Justin took the loss. She gave up nine hits along with two walks and two strikeouts. Tiffany Waldfogel had two hits for the Bucks.

“In the first game, I think we did really well,” Justin said. “In the second game, our defense and hitting weren’t that good.”

“The second game we seemed to have a lack of focus,” said Pine River coach Laura Mumby. “We ran ourselves out of innings on the bases. Defensively, it didn’t seem like we knew what we were doing with the ball sometimes.”

Pine River is 2-2 in the league. Beal City is 8-7 overall and 1-1 in the league.

“You have to give them credit,” Mumby said of the Aggies. “They had good pitching and good defense tonight. They hit the ball well.”

The Bucks swept Mason County Central on Friday, April 29, 7-2 and 2-1.

Miranda Nelson was the winning pitcher in the first game with five hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. Brooke Sebastiano had two hits including a double. Chelsea Nelson had two hits, plus a double and two RBIs. Danielle Nixon added two hits with an RBI. Jamie Justin contributed a double.

Justin was the winning pitcher in the second game, allowing three hits, one walk and six strikeouts. Chelsea Nelson added two hits. Christy Nelson added a hit and RBI. Kelsey Carper added a hit as did Sebastiano, Justin and Tiffany Waldfogel.

The Bucks were 2-1 Saturday, April 30, at the St. Louis Invitational. Pine River beat Fulton 8-7. Miranda Nelson was the winning pitcher, striking out seven. Cayman Gatt had two hits including a solo home run. Sebastiano added two hits. Waldfogel also had two hits along with Jandney Mattson had one hit with an RBI.

In the second game, Pine River beat Farwell 8-7. Justin was the winning pitcher, striking out three. Justin had two hits including a double and two RBIs. Nixon added two hits and Christy Nelson batted a triple.

Pine River lost to Bath 5-2 in the title game. Miranda Nelson took the loss. She had two hits with an RBI.

On May 7 at the Pine River Invitational, the Bucks beat St. Louis in the first game 16-0. Justin was the winning pitcher, striking out four. Miranda Nelson had three hits while Danielle Nixon and Justin had two apiece Tiffany Waldfogel had a two-run homer for the fast. Brooke Sebastiano had a two-run inside the park homer. Kelsey Carper added a three-run double.

Pine River lost to Cadillac 6-5 in the second game. Nixon had three hits. Miranda Nelson took the loss, striking out three batters.

The Bucks are 15-7 overall.