Buchanan edges Bobcats, routs Bees for district title

Published 2:49 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

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NILES — Division 3 District softball host Brandywine gave rival Buchanan all it wanted in the semifinals Saturday before falling to the No. 3-ranked Bucks 6-5.

Buchanan went on to win the district championship with a 14-4, five-inning victory over Bridgman.

The Bucks, who are looking for their third consecutive regional championship, will travel to Constantine to face Hanover-Horton (30-10) in the semifinals.

Buchanan rode the strength of Camille Lozmack’s bat and Hailee Kara’s arm to the district championship.

Lozmack had a pair of home runs and four RBIs in the semifinals against the Bobcats.

Buchanan scored three runs in the top of the third inning to take a 4-0 lead, only to have Brandywine come back with four runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 4-4.

The big blow for the Bobcats was a two-run home run off the bat of Parker.

The Bucks scored the winning runs in the top of the fourth when Cameron Carlson scored on a wild pitch and Faith Bartley scored on the same play off an error.

Brandywine was able to cut the lead to 6-5 with a run in the sixth, but was shut down by Kara after that.

Kara went the distance, allowing four earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts.

Besides Parker’s home run, the Bobcats also got doubles from Macy Pellow and Paige Krisher.

Kadence Brumitt suffered the loss for Brandywine as she also went the distance, allowing five earned runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts.

“Brandywine always plays us tough and credit to them for getting some clutch hits and pitching well,” said Buchanan Coach Rachel Carlson. “We knew it would be a tough game and I am proud of the tremendous plays we made defensively that were critical to our win. Camille Lozmack was absolutely incredible both offensively and defensively. It’s hard to win a district against teams you play throughout the year let alone four in a row and I am proud of how my kids prepare for tough games and how they rally around each other.”

Carlson said that the Bucks face a strong challenge in the regional semifinal.

“Hanover-Horton is 30-10 so they are tough,” she said. “We will work this week to prepare for them and fine tune our game to take them on.”

In the championship game, Buchanan scored four runs in the back-to-back innings to break the game open.

A five-run sixth inning sealed the victory.

The Bucks had 15 hits in the contest, including five for extra bases. Lozmack picked up her third home run of the day, while Carlson and Bailey Trail both tripled, and Aspen Berry and Kara both doubled.

Kara worked all five innings for Buchanan. She allowed two earned runs on nine hits with six strikeouts.