Pitching and defense carry Bucks to district title

Published 7:05 pm Sunday, June 5, 2022

BUCHANAN — The pitching of Hailee Kara and a perfect performance defensively helped the No. 6-ranked Buchanan softball team win its second straight Division 3 District championship Saturday.

The host Bucks blanked arch rival Brandywine 2-0 in the district semifinal and then shut out No. 7-ranked Schoolcraft 5-0 in the championship game. Buchanan did not commit an error the entire day.

Kara, just a sophomore, was solid in the circle in both games. Against the Bobcats, Kara tossed a four-hitter with eight strikeouts, while against the Eagles, she tossed a three-hitter with four strikeouts.

“We played great ‘D’ [defense] today,” said Buchanan Coach Rachel Carlson. “Almost flawless ‘D’ and Hailee threw great. They are playing together, that is the biggest thing. They believe in each other and they believe in the plan. I couldn’t be any happier for them.”

Carlson was concerned with the number of runners left on base, but was happy that her team did capitalize on enough scoring opportunities to advance to Saturday’s Division 3 Regional semifinal against host Parchment.

“We left a few runners on, so that was a little bit stressful,” she said. “But we finally got some hits when we got some kids on and pushed some runs across the plate.”

The Bucks (32-6) had seven hits in the semifinals against Brandywine, which bows out of the state tournament with a 16-15-1 overall record.

Hannah Tompkins was 2-for-3 with a double for the Bucks against Brandywine, while Hannah Herman also had a pair of hits.

The Bobcats’ hits were all singles.

In the championship game against Schoolcraft, Cameron Carlson was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, while Alea Fisher and Tompkins also doubled. Camille Lozmack had a triple for the Bucks. Fisher and Tompkins both drove in a pair of runs.