PREP ROUNDUP: Chips fall to Reed City in softball district final

Manistee pitcher Emma Witkowski delivers during the Chippewas' 7-0 loss to Reed City in the Division 3 district finals at Leroy Pine River on Saturday. (John Raffel/Pioneer Sports Network)

Manistee pitcher Emma Witkowski delivers during the Chippewas’ 7-0 loss to Reed City in the Division 3 district finals at Leroy Pine River on Saturday. (John Raffel/Pioneer Sports Network)

LEROY — Manistee ended its 2018 softball season in the district finals after falling Reed City, 7-0 at Leroy Pine River on Saturday.

Previously, the Chippewas had advanced to the championship game with a 5-1 win over Mason County Central in the district semifinals.

Manistee head coach Ross Vander Weele was already looking ahead after the district final loss.

“Overall, we didn’t do as well as I had hoped,” VanderWeele said. “I’m pleased with where we are. We have lot of young kids coming into the program.”

Emma Witkowski pitched a gem in the semifinal, allowing just one run on three hits and striking out eight. At the plate, Witkowski also had two hits and drove in a run in the contest. Cameron Edmondson also had two of Manistee’s seven hits in the game.

Sara Schaefer and Madison Miller had the only two hits in the district final for the Chippewas who struck out nine times in the game.

“We made a lot of errors,” Manistee coach Ross Vander Weele said. “My No. 1 player and shortstop (Erin Vander Weele) was on the bench with a concussion. She sustained it in practice.”

With the loss, Manistee finished the season with a record of 15-18, with three of those losses coming to the Coyotes.

“We felt coming in we were the favorite,” Reed City coach Roger Steig said. “But Manistee is a good ballclub and it’s always tough to beat a team the third time. We beat them twice during the year. We have a lot of respect for them. Our girls played hard.”

— Pioneer Sports Network sports writer John Raffel also contributed to this report.

Sarabia places 5th in 800 at state finals

COMSTOCK PARK — Anselmo Sarabia posted Manistee’s best result, a fifth-place finish in the 800-meter run, at the Division 3 track state finals at Comstock Park on Saturday.

Sarabia’s time of 1:58.12 was just 2.24 seconds behind race winner Devin Gibbs of Leslie.

Sarabia was also part of the Chippewas’ 3200-meter relay team, along with Jacob Gustad, Elliott Kamaloski and Bradlee Popkowski, the placed 17th out of 27 teams with a time of 8:24.73.

Manistee’s Campbell Kolk finished in a tie for 17th place out of 25 competitors in the high jump, clearing 5’9″.

Tegan Wayward earned Manistee’s girls team its best finish, placing 12th out of 24 competitors in the shot put, with a throw of 34’6.25″.

The Chippewa 800-meter relay team of Lily Lester, Erin Dorn, Kaya Long and Taylor Williams finished 22nd in that event with a time of 1:54.99.

Portager relay places 3rd at D-4 State Finals

HUDSONVILLE — Onekama’s boys and girls each earned points with top-8 finishes at the Division 4 state track finals at Hudsonville on Saturday.

The 1600-meter relay team provided the Portagers’ highlight of the meet, placing third in the state in that event.

Aaron Powers, Kaiden Hejl, Gary McBride and Jeremiah Torrey combined for a time of 3:32.13 in that event, just 1.17 seconds behind the winning team from Concord.

Torrey also placed 10th out of 24 runners in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.11.

Zach Belinsky earned Onekama a team point in the shot put, finishing eighth in the state with a throw of 44’9.75″, and Dane Mertes placed 10th in the discus with a throw of 129’1″.

Hejl, McBride, Torrey and Lane Lee posted a time of 8:42.67 in the 3200-meter relay, good for 12th place in that event.

Powers, Hunter Bentley, Blake Soper and Jacob Mauntler ran the 400-meter relay in 48.38, good for 20th place in that event.

Also at the Division 4 meet, Manistee Catholic Central’s Mason Callesen placed 25th in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 17.78 and Brethren’s Logan Tighe did not place in the high jump after failing to clear 5’8″ in three attempts.

On the girls side, Onekama’s best result was on the 400-meter relay, where the team of Emily Belinsky, Mariah McLouth, Yuki Babinec and Emilee MacPherson posted a time of 52.81, good for seventh place in that event. The same four posted a time of 1:56.63 in the 800-meter relay, placing 20th.

Babinec, Elizabeth Domres, Elizabeth Belinsky and Colleen McCarthy ran the 1600-meter relay in 4:25.59, good for 10th place out of 22 teams, and Domres, Elizabeth Belinsky, Vanessa Wahl and Faith Corey combined to run the 3200-meter relay in 11:16.15, good for 15th place out of 22 teams.

Individually, Emily Belinsky posted a time of 17.53 in the 100-meter hurdles, 10th-best out of 24 runners.


Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or

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