Baldwin softball team set to play Crossroads in districts

BALDWIN — Baldwin softball coach Bob Hilts has seen some encouraging signs from his Panther team in recent weeks.

But it could all come to a close this week unless the Panthers are able to win their Division 4 district at Custer-Mason County Eastern on Friday.

The Panthers were tentatively scheduled to play at Manistee Catholic Central on Thursday in a regular-season game.

Baldwin was supposed to play at Mesick on Tuesday of this week.

“Mesick had a conference game they had to make up so we got bumped again,” Hilts said.

The game at Manistee Catholic Central was scheduled to be at home. But due to apparent transportation problems at MCC, Hilts said his team was scheduled to play at Manistee Catholic Central for the fourth straight season in West Michigan D League action.

On Friday, Baldwin is set to play Crossroads at 10 a.m. The winner is scheduled to play MCE at noon for the title. Crossroads swept Baldwin earlier this season.

“We’ve been playing good lately,” Hilts said. “We’ve improved. We really did good against Bear Lake the other night. We almost beat them. We were ahead going into the last inning. Then the wheels kind of fell off on us.”

The twinbill was Thursday.

“Even the girls that I thought were kind of struggling with the bat, hit the ball well,” Hilts said. “Hitting the ball, we did all right. Makayla (George) pitched both games and did fine both games.”

The first game was 18-14, in Bear Lake’s favor. The second game ended because of darkness.

“It was like 6-5 for a long time,” Hilts said. “Then we had an inning where the wheels came off and they scored eight runs in an inning and the umpires said ‘we weren’t going to start another one after that.”

George, a sophomore, has emerged as Baldwin’s top pitcher and will be No. 1 in the district, while twin sisters, Marissa and Marlena Wroblewski, a pair of freshmen, continue to impress Hilts in the pitching circle.

“Being districts are coming up, they may not pitch much,” Hilts said “I may give them a little bit of a shot at Manistee Catholic on Thursday, just get them acclimated.

“The girls are hitting well. Bailey Randall came off like a monster at Bear Lake. She had three hits and scored two runs. She’s one of my freshmen who’s a little timid at the plate but came out of her shell against Bear Lake. She hit a line drive down the third baseline, it looked like one of the more experienced girls. It was a good swing and everything. She was a little bit nervous and timid, it’s starting to get fun to her and that’s what it’s all about. All of these freshmen, when we get a little older, look out. We’ll be able to play some ball.”