Three players starred in strong season for Pine River softball

Smith, Hill, and Sparks received all-conference honors after lifting Bucks to district title game

Pitcher Amanda Hill received All-Conference and All-District honors this season after posting a .445 batting average. (File Photo)

Pitcher Amanda Hill received All-Conference and All-District honors this season after posting a .445 batting average. (File Photo)

File Photo

LEROY -- Pine River softball saw some success on the diamond this season, beating Reed City in the district semi-final before falling to the eventual state-runner up Evart 3-0 in the district final. 

Pine River softball saw three players find success on the softball diamond this season"Madison Smith, Amanda Hill, and Madi Sparks. 

Hill was the offensive leader for the Bucks. Off of 110 at-bats, Hill would have a batting average of .445. She scored 25 RBI's on the season, improving from 18 the previous season. She also notched 11 triples and five doubles on the season. As a pitcher, Hill would score an ERA of 4.58 with 91 strikeouts. For her efforts, Hill would be named to the all-conference and all-district teams. 

Head coach Mike Nelson gave his thoughts on Hill’s season. 

“Amanda was the workhorse of our team.” Nelson said. “She was the go to pitcher and when not pitching was asked to play catcher, shortstop, third base, first base and outfield.” 

Junior outfielder Madison Smith was a strong defensive player for Pine River, with a fielding percentage of .829 over the course of the 31 game season. On offense, she would have a batting average of .337 with 21 RBIs. Off of 34 hits, Smith would notch one triple and four doubles on the year. Smith would be named to the all-conference honorable mention and all-district teams for her performances. 

“Madison was a leader on our team in many ways: defensively, at bat, running bases and communication.” Nelson said. 

Junior shortstop Madi Sparks was the second player for the Bucks to be named to the all-conference team. She would place second on the team in batting average with an average of .337. She would score 25 RBIs on the season, alongside one home run that resulted in a grand slam, four triples, and six doubles. She started three games for Pine River, scoring an ERA of 3.71. 

“Madi is a quiet, consistent player.  She had the second highest batting average and hit a grand slam this year.” Nelson said. 

With all three players returning for their senior seasons with Pine River next year, the Bucks will look to extend their season even further in 2023.