Manistee senior softball finally gets to play, swept in DH

Manistee senior softball players Ron Helmboldt (right) and Ed Jones (left) attempt to turn a double play in their game against the Weekend at Bernie’s team from Northville at the First Street Beach field on Friday. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

Manistee senior softball players Ron Helmboldt (right) and Ed Jones (left) attempt to turn a double play in their game against the Weekend at Bernie’s team from Northville at the First Street Beach field on Friday. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — At long last, Manistee’s lone senior softball team found an opponent.

And a darn good one, at that.

The Manistee team fell 17-6 and 16-5 to Weekend at Bernie’s from Northville in a Friday doubleheader at the First Street Beach softball field.

“They were a little younger than we are,” said team founder Bill Mason. “They were a little faster than we are and they hit the ball.”

The Manistee seniors hung tough in the opening game, trailing 4-1 before the Northville bats heated up in the fifth inning.

“We had runners on base but we couldn’t bring them in,” said John Kudalski. “Maybe if we scored a few of those runs it would have completely changed the tone of the game.”

A 2-0 lead for Manistee quickly vanished in game two and they were unable to recover.

Mike Kaufman led the way for Manistee, going 5-for 5 throughout the course of the doubleheader. Bill Connor and Chuck Dillon finished 4-for-6 while Dan Birchmeier and Bill Arnold both batted 3-for-6.

The matchup came to be because Bernie Misko — a regular at Manistee senior softball’s Monday and Wednesday gatherings — lives in Northville and knew some players.

“(Misko) told us they weren’t very good and blah blah,” said Mason. “Well, they were very good. … One of my guys was talking to a couple of their players and learned these guys are a real good team and they play together and they won their championship three years in a row. They are some good players. I think Bernie pulled one over on us and got some better players than we thought were coming.”

Manistee senior softball looks to exact revenge with another doubleheader today at 9:30 a.m., but win or lose, Bill Mason and the boys are happy to finally be competing against some fresh faces.

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