VanHulst give Bucks key spark at second

LEROY — Paige VanHulst is a junior on the Pine River softball team who anticipates playing a key role for the Bucks this season.

A second baseman, VanHulst also played a little bit of third base. It’s her first varsity season.

“I think it’s going pretty good,”’ she said. “There are things we need to work on. My defense should be better and I know my offense can be.”

Offensively, VanHulst is like other players in that she’s working on keeping her eye focused on each pitch more intensely.

At second base “getting the ground balls and making better throws” is what VanHulst has been focusing in from a defensive point of view.

“We’re still waiting for the warm weather but I think we’re clicking pretty good,” VanHulst said during the early cold weeks of the season.

Recently, the Bucks lost to Farwell in a doubleheader. Pine River’s softball team fell to 2-6 with 7-0 and 6-0 losses to Farwell in non-league action.

Brooke Pennington was the losing pitcher in the first game and Alexis Stokely took the loss in the nightcap. Pennington also threw in the second game.

The game was played amidst cold, blustery weather.

“They had a pretty good pitcher,” Pine River Coach Laura Mumby said of Farwell. “They scored runs and we didn’t. They just got stuff done. Our defense played pretty good. But you can’t win ballgames if you don’t score runs. 

“We have a tough beginning of our schedule. We’re young. We’re playing some good competition and making them earn runs. We have to get on the board a little bit more.”