Local Softball Teams Prepare for Quarterfinals
Seven local softball teams will compete in their respective state quarterfinals on Tuesday, looking to secure a ticket to East Lansing to continue their postseasons later this week.
Rudyard is one of those teams back in the quarterfinals for the third straight season, but the Bulldogs are still seeking their first trip to the state semifinals.
They lost to Rogers City the two previous postseasons, but they are now preparing for a new quarterfinal opponent with Hillman.
These two met earlier in the season, with Rudyard winning both games by a combined 30 runs, but they expect a tough opponent in this quarterfinal.
“We have some common opponents and we know they’re good,” Rudyard coach Steve Davis said. “We have to just take care of what we can do. We have to pitch well. We have to block every pitch. Make sure we don’t let runners advance and score when we have runners in scoring position.”
“I’m just looking at it like every other team. Focusing on the strike zone. Hitting my spots. Making sure my spins are working,” Rudyard senior Morgan Bickel said.
Their game will start at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Rudyard.
Gaylord will also be competing against Hudsonville Unity Christian in their state quarterfinal matchup in Div. 2.
The Blue Devils only have one loss this season, and they are coming off a regional performance where they knocked off Escanaba. They will be playing at Cornerstone, so they are getting used to competing on a turf field for the first time.
“Adjust to the speed of the ball coming off the bat. Some of them have played on turf before, but we just haven’t this year so we want to make that adjustment before we get there,” Gaylord coach Abe Cruz said. “Mentally, they’re tough. They’re ready to go. Physically, we’ve got to give them a little rest and then we’ll go at it on Tuesday.”
Their game will start at 12 p.m. at Cornerstone.
Here’s a look at the local matchups for Tuesday’s quarterfinals:
Traverse City West vs. Grandville at Central Michigan University, 12 p.m.
Gaylord vs. Hudsonville Unity Christian at Cornerstone, 12 p.m.
Charlevoix vs. Standish-Sterling at Cadillac, 5 p.m.
Central Montcalm vs. Buchanan at Cornerstone, 4 p.m.
Shepherd vs. Richmond at Saginaw Valley State, 4 p.m.
Rudyard vs. Hillman at Rudyard, 2 p.m.