Reed City softball downs Mason County Central in pre-district

DISTRICTS: Reed City’s Jules Griffin pitches against Mason County Central on Tuesday in a Division 3 pre-district matchup. The Coyotes won 8-3 to advance. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

DISTRICTS: Reed City’s Jules Griffin pitches against Mason County Central on Tuesday in a Division 3 pre-district matchup. The Coyotes won 8-3 to advance. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

LEROY — The Coyotes are moving on.

Reed City combined Jules Griffin’s four-hitter with timely hitting to knock off Mason County Central 8-3 in a Division 3 pre-district softball game on Tuesday at Pine River.

Griffin struck out seven and walked two in six innings, while Olivia Lawson and Sidni Rushford contributed a double and single apiece.

Griffin, Alyssa Olds, Kamryn Myers, Jordyn Storch and Devin Willard contributed one hit apiece.

“Defensively, I thought we played solid,” Reed City coach Roger Steig said. “We struggled getting it going at the plate. We got some key hits later on. The biggest trouble is we gear up for our hitting and it seems like the slower pitching gives us a lot of trouble. It was their off-speed stuff.”

Storch walked and was doubled home by Rushford in the bottom of the third. Rushford scored after two wild pitches for a 2-0 Reed City lead. Yarger singled home Storch in the fifth for a 3-0 lead.

The Spartans came back in the top of the sixth with two runs. Devin Battenfield’s single inside the right field foul-line scored a run. Danielle Garbers doubled home a run with two outs, but Myers threw out the next batter from her shortstop position to leave Garbers stranded at third base.

In the top of the seventh, Willard singled and scored on Lawson’s double. Storch’s two-run single made it 6-2. The Coyotes added two more runs in the seventh.

“We had really good defense,” Yarger said. “We got our bats going, which is important. Batting is contagious.”

Reed City (18-17) plays Pine River at noon on Saturday in a semifinal game. The winner faces either McBain or Manistee at 2 p.m. for the district title.

“We’re playing a lot of solid ball right now,” Yarger said. “It’s important to keep your defense strong and hit the ball.”

The Coyotes are scheduled to have a district tournament tuneup against Cadillac on Wednesday.

“I think they’re ranked ninth in the state,” Steig said, noting Reed City hasn’t played either Manistee or McBain, and split a doubleheader against Pine River. “We’ve scouted Manistee and we know they’re pretty strong.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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