Evart softball girls third in the state

EVART — Another area softball team has enjoyed success this summer.

Evart 10 and under girls softball team tied for third place in Van Buren Township last week.

“It was the Michigan’s Little League State finals,” Evart coach Shaun Gray reported. “It started a few weeks back during district play against Big Rapids, White Lake, Reed City twice. It then continued to Van Buren starting this past Friday for opening ceremonies.”

All the girls are from Evart.

Gray mentioned the Evart girls started the state playoff with a 18-0 win over Parchment then a 12-2 win over Holly.

“Those two wins assured us of advancing past pool play and into the quarterfinals,” Gray said. “We did, however, have one more pool game vs. Gladstone in which we lost 5-0. I thought defensively we gave them their five runs but they had a solid pitcher that was hard to put runs up against anyhow, especially when we were chasing pitches out of the zone. We made an awesome pitcher a goddess.”

Evart went to the quarterfinals and played Lac St. Clair.

“We jumped out to a 2-0 lead,” Gray said. “Again defensively we had walks and a few mistakes they grabbed a 3-2 eventually and had that lead until the bottom of the fifth and two outs.

“That’s when Allyson Theunick hit an inside the park home run to tie the game at 3-3.

“We eventually won on a bloop single to center by Brooklyn Decker to score Katie Gostlin from second for a walk off win in the eighth inning 4-3.”

Games usually last six innings, Gray pointed out.

“Kyrah Gray battled on the mound to get us to extra innings and Alivia Vanassche pitched very effective to get us the win. Both had some pretty solid defense behind them,” Gray said.

Evart played Grandville in the semifinals.

“They jumped on us 2-0 in the first inning,” Gray said. “After that, starting pitcher Kyrah Gray settled down and pitched a great game. Allyson Theunick threw out two base stealers behind the plate and our infielders made some exceptional plays behind their pitcher. They tacked on another run in the top of sixth and beat us 3-0.

“We left bases loaded in first two innings and had a girl on third with one out in the fifth. We just couldn’t get that big hit.”

Gray was impressed with the support his team received.

“I heard a bunch listened on Gladstone radio network,” Gray said. “I heard over 100 watched our quarterfinal game live on Facebook and another 60 watched our semifinals. To watch 9, 10, 11-year old girls, that’s absolutely cool.”

A lot of comments were made on the Evart team, Gray said.

“The guy running the tournament said he didn’t know where it was or had ever heard of it,” Gray said. “As the week went on I got more and more compliments about these girls. So they won more than any trophy is worth. They won respect.”

Evart's softball team

Evart’s softball team

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with Herald Review as well as the Pioneer and The Lake County Star. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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