Evart powers its way past Bucks in semifinals

Published 7:38 pm Friday, June 14, 2024

EAST LANSING — The No. 3-ranked Buchanan Bucks ran into a hard-hitting No. 4-ranked Evart in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 state softball semifinals at Michigan State University Friday.

The Wildcats banged out 14 hits against a pair of Buchanan pitchers in their 8-3 victory over the Bucks in the second semifinal at Secchia Stadium.

The win advances Evart to the state championship game Saturday afternoon against Ottawa Lake Whiteford, which defeated Clare 1-0 on the first semifinal Friday morning.

The Wildcats (36-4) finished with 14 hits, including three home runs and a double. They also got great pitching from Kyrah Gray, who went the distance, allowing three runs on five hits. She struck out seven and walked one.

Both teams scored a run in the opening inning. The score remained that way until the bottom of the fourth when future Michigan State Spartan Hannah Herman singled, moved to third on a bunt by Hailee Kara and scored on a single from Camille Lozmack.

It was all Evart from there.

The Wildcats scored two runs in the fifth on back-to-back home runs to take a 3-2 lead on the Bucks.

Evart would put the game out of reach with a four-run sixth inning.

Jillian Decker doubled to lead off the inning for the Wildcats. She would score on a throwing error, which was followed up by a three-run home run off the bat of Katelyn Gostlin.

Trailing 7-3, the Bucks (35-6) scored a run in the bottom of the sixth as Herman tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kara.

Evart would get that run back in the top-half of the seventh, and then turned it over to Gray, who send Buchanan down in order, including a strikeout.

Kara started and took the loss for the Bucks as she allowed three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Lozmack came on in the fifth and allowed five runs on seven hits.

Buchanan finished the game with five hits, led by Herman, who was 3-for-3 with and RBI. She also scored all three of Buchanan’s runs.

The Bucks’ seniors have nothing to be ashamed of as they played in the state championship game in 2021, the regional semifinals in 2022 and the state quarterfinals last season.

The senior class consists of Herman, Kara, Lozmack, Faith Bartley, Bailey Trail, Keegan May and Braelyn Dickson.

That group helped Buchanan to a 142-23 record, which included setting the school record for wins in a single season with 38 in 2023.



At East Lansing

Evart                    100         024         1 – 8 14 1

Buchanan          100         101         0 – 3 5 1

Kyrah Gray (W); Hailee Kara (L), Camille Lozmack (5)

2B: Jillian Decker (E)

3B: Hannah Herman (BU)

HR: Gray (E), Allyson Theunik (E), Katelyn Gostlin (E)

Records: Evart 36-4, Buchanan 35-6