Doug Bolles takes over as Baldwin softball coach

BALDWIN — Doug Bolles is back to spring sports coaching, but it’s with a different team this season.

Bolles resigned as baseball coach after last season, but has taken over as softball skipper. He replaces longtime coach Bob Hilts, who moved to Florida last summer.

In the fall, Bolles coached football and then he led the girls basketball team in the winter. Many of the same girls are playing softball.

Bolles started practice with the girls last week indoors. He said there continues to be a challenge with practice time, combating the weather and other scheduling conflicts.

“I’m real encouraged with what we have, but the numbers are low right now,” Bolles said last week, referring partially to illnesses with about four players. “There’s also a lot going on with spring break coming and college tours coming, a band and choir trip to Washington D.C. We’re OK, it’s fun, it’s a good experience so far.

“I had such a good time coaching girls in basketball. Our numbers are low in basketball. I thought that maybe if the girls got to know me in softball, I can get some of them to play basketball. I still love the sport.”

The season starts at home April 11 with Crossroads. Baldwin is at Walkerville on April 21 and at Brethren April 25. There also are home games April 28 with Manistee Catholic Central and May 9 with Onekama.

“Our goal was 20 (players),” Bolles said. “But we’re not going to have 20. We’ll probably have 14 or 15.”

Bolles said four-year player Makayla George will return and do some pitching “sparingly” because of her knee injury. Other pitchers are expected to be Riley Drilling, Diamond Cannon and twin sisters Marlena and Marissa Wrowblewski. He’s hoping to cut down the number of walks Baldwin pitchers have issued in the past.

“I don’t care how fast they throw, I just want them to throw strikes,” Bolles said.