Wickens reflects on banner season for Pine River softball

LEROY — Jenny Wickens completed her Pine River softball season on a very impressive note.

Wickens, a senior, earned all-Highland Conference honors this season for the Bucks while batting .448 and making only two errors in the outfield.

It was her second varsity season.

“I think I improved a lot,” Wickens said, “as both a player and as a teammate.”

She found herself in more of a leadership role this season. The Bucks also graduated several key players from the 2013 team, making it necessary for performers like Wickens to have outstanding seasons.

Her batting average improved significantly.

“I think I had a lot of chances at the plate and I grew a lot as a batter, just by seeing different pitches and learning how to handle it,” she said.

Wickens was a left-handed batter, but as a natural left-hander she didn’t slap hit.

“I think having a little bit of (pre)season inside helped,” she said. “We had different hit stations and went at the basics again and again and again.”

That time, which came while the weather was poor, was valuable for players like Wickens who wanted to work on fundamentals as much as possible.

“The game that sticks out to me is our game against Vestaburg,” she said. “We did not win as a team but we came back and we were all hitting the ball. I hit a triple in that game. That was a good game for all of us.”

Wickens played left field this season.

“When I was in JV, I played first base,” she said. “When I first came to varsity, I played right field. This year I got moved to left field. I like left field. I think it was interesting for me. Being a lefthander, my glove was on my right and I was able to go to the line and get catches that I might not have been able to get in right field, for example.”

Wickens had five assists in the outfield. She only had two errors.

The Bucks were below .500 but did beat Reed City in the district semifinals.

“That game meant a lot for us,” Wickens said. “We would have liked to have won districts but that didn’t work out for us. McBain was a good team. We lost to them. We played 100 percent against Reed City and I don’t think any one of us has any regret how that game was played and we were so happy we were able to have that.”

Wickens played softball since she was seven.

“I’m going to miss my team this year,” she said. “I had an amazing team. I loved to come to practice every day. I loved to be there with them and win with them. I’ll miss being a part of a team like that.”