PREP BASEBALL/SOFTBALL: Chips to open district tourneys against host Tigers

MANISTEE — The Manistee baseball and softball teams will both put their seasons on the line against Shelby in the opening round of the district tournament.

But, only the Chippewa softball team will get an early look at what they’ll face on June 2.

Manistee, which has won a season-high seven straight games, will host Shelby for a doubleheader on Friday that will serve as the Chippewas’ regular-season finale, barring their ability to find another opponent for next week.

“There’s a lot riding on this little preview game,” said Manistee softball coach Denise Lijewski. “We’re just going to have to stay on our toes.”

Both Division 3 district draws were completed recently for the tournaments at Shelby.

In baseball, Mason County Central and Hart will meet up in the lone quarterfinal on May 29 with the winner facing Montague in a 10 a.m. semifinal on June 2. Manistee and Shelby will play at noon, followed by semifinal winners in the district championship at 2 p.m.

“We couldn’t ask for a better district to be in right now for us,” said Manistee baseball coach Troy Nezki. “I think it’s evenly matched.”

The draw is the same for softball, with only the semifinal times changed. Shelby and Manistee will play a 10 a.m. semifinal while Montague will meet the winner of a quarterfinal between Hart and Mason County Central.

The Manistee baseball team (15-12) has been eliminated by Shelby each of the last two years and would like to return the favor.

“There’s definitely some motivation, but not necessarily payback from last year,” Nezki said. “They’re a team that I haven’t seen in person, but looking at their record and who they played, they seem very comparable to us.”

The roles in softball are flip-flopped as Manistee (23-8), the reigning four-time district champion, has bounced Shelby three straight years, including a 14-3 mercy-rule win in last year’s semifinals. But, that doesn’t mean it will be as easy this year and playing the Tigers a week before the postseason isn’t an ideal setup.

“Not that we’d want to see someone in our district that close to districts,” Lijewski said, “but that’s the hand we’re dealt and we’ll just have to figure out a way to show them some new stuff when we see them (in the district tournament).”

 

Leave a Reply