CM softball gains experience this year


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 9:22 am on Friday, June 22, 2012

Central Montcalm’s Sadie Rowland delivers a pitch during a game against Vestaburg this season.

STANTON — Sometimes a young softball team can surprise the coach with their play.

Then again, they can frustrate a coach because of their youth.

That was the story of Central Montcalm’s softball team this season, according to coach Jason Johnson.

“At times we played well and other times we showed our youth,” Johnson said. “We gave away some games but we won a couple big ones.”

One of those “big ones” was against Morley Stanwood, who last year was the Division 3 state champion.

“We beat Morley and they were undefeated in the league,” Johnson said. “We lost the first one and I thought we’d get bombed. But we won 9-3. We hit well at the plate. That was the biggest win of the season for us.”

Johnson noted a couple of players who stood out to him this season.

“Mikayla Studley is a freshman. She played short, center, third, played wherever we needed her,” Johnson said. “She ended up making the all-district team as an outfielder.

“Molly Buskirk was not really a surprise. She was playing behind a senior last year. She ended up having a huge year. She was MVP and made all-district team. She had a good year.”

Johnson thinks the Green Hornets will have a pretty good season in 2013.

“Paige Switzer is going to play next year, so we’ll have a senior pitcher, which will be a nice thing to have,” he said. “We should have a talented team. We should be able to win more than 14 games next year.”

Part of that will depend on if Central has a junior varsity team, which they didn’t have this past season. The other part will be putting pieces together, according to Johnson.

“We have to secure a couple of key defensive spots,” he said. “We have to continue to hit. Some of our bats came alive at times and some of them struggled this year.”

Johnson would also like his players to believe in his strategies.

“It’s a matter of discipline and trust,” he said. “There were times when I would call something and they wouldn’t execute because they didn’t trust me to do the right thing.”

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