VESTABURG — Vestaburg’s softball team has a big game today, but they are going to try to treat it like any other game.
The Wolverines will play in the Division 4 state quarterfinals when they take on the Ubly Bearcats at Saginaw Valley State University at 11 a.m.
The game is a matchup of the top two teams remaining in the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association poll. The Bearcats are second in the state, while the Wolverines are sixth.
Vestaburg coach Dan Rons reiterated the rankings don’t mean much when it comes to determining who wins and loses.
“Holton was No. 1 and they got beat by North Muskegon,” Rons said. “Again, the rankings are opinions. It’s a great guide to go by but it’s not law.”
This will be the first trip to the quarterfinals since 2007, when the Wolverines lost to Bay City All Saints in Frankenmuth.
“I’m trying to keep a level head on us,” Rons said of his team. “We’re going into the same theory we did this (past) week. We don’t know much about Ubly.”
Rons revealed what he did know about the Bearcats, who won the Akron-Fairgrove regional when they downed Brown City in the regional final.
“I know there is a pair of twins that are pretty good,” he said of Michela and Marisa Guza. “They play pitcher and shortstop. They also play a lot of small ball. That’s about all I know about them.”
Ubly was the Division 4 state runner-up last year, getting mercied by Kalamazoo Christian 16-6.
Rons is not worried about the long bus ride to University Center in Saginaw County.
“I actually made a trip over there (to SVSU) Sunday and read over the pre-game and what to expect,” he said. “There’s a place we can do what we do. We’re going to treat it like another ball game. We don’t want to make more of it other than a ball game. There’s a lot more at stake. We’ve been working on the mental side of the game all year. We need to stay mentally focused.”
The Wolverines also need to not make the same amount of errors that they made against the Lady Norse Saturday, when two errors led to an unearned run in a 2-1 win.
“I think we have to play clean defense,” he said. “We had a few blunders at the (North) Muskegon game but we need to overcome them. We have to play clean but we have to hit the ball. We also have to pitch well.”
Rons said he doesn’t know whether the game against the Bearcats will be a low-scoring affair like North Muskegon or a shootout.
“I don’t know this for a fact, but I don’t expect them (Ubly) to have the pitcher the North Muskegon team had but they play extremely good defense,” he said. “If we can hit and put some runs n the board we can beat them. But that has to come with clean defense.”
1 — at Saginaw Valley State University
Ubly vs. Vestaburg, 11 a.m.
2 — at Bailey Park, Battle Creek
Kalamazoo Christian vs. Morenci, 3:30 p.m.
3 — at Brighton
Fowler vs. Westland Huron Valley Lutheran, 5 p.m.
4 — at Traverse City West
Rogers City vs. Central Lake
1 — Ubly/ Vestaburg winner vs. Kalamazoo Christian/Morenci winner, 3 p.m.
2 — Fowler/Westland Huron Valley Lutheran winner vs. Rogers City/Central Lake winner, 5 p.m.
Semifinal winner 1 vs. Semifinal winner 2, 5:30 p.m.
Note: Division 4 semifinals and final will take place at Michigan State University in East Lansing.