EVART — Evart dropped its first softball game of the season in an 8-4 loss to Harrison on Monday in non-league action but bounced back to win the second contest 4-2.

Rebekah Wirkutis took the pitching loss in the first game. Chelsea Kruse was the winning pitcher in the nightcap.

“I feel I’ve done pretty good this year,” Kruse said. “I was going to the corners of the plate tonight. They weren’t expecting that and the different speeds.”

“She keeps batters off-balanced,” said Evart coach Josh Johnson. “She doesn’t strike out a lot of girls. She’s constantly changing speeds, locates well and does a good job. She doesn’t walk many.”

Dana Casey had a double and single while Sam Bramer added two singles for Evart. Tiffany Danley had a single and RBI while Karena Hipkins had a hit.

Danley and Magdalen Hyde had two singles apiece for Evart in the second game.

Christine Race had a single and RBI for Evart’s fourth run in the sixth. Hyde also had an RBI.

“That gave us a cushion going into the last inning,” Johnson said. “It gave our defense a chance to breathe a bit.

The Wildcats (5-1) play at Marion on Wednesday to open the Highland Conference season.

“A goal for us tonight, we knew we were facing s quality pitcher, was to see where we were at against good pitching,” Johnson said, referring to Harrison’s Miranda Brewer. “The pitcher and catcher were sisters, they’re tough. The first game she dominated us. We didn’t hit well. We caught up with her the second game.”

On Thursday against Buckley, the Wildcats won a pair to give them a 4-0 record at that point of the season.

“The team’s playing really well,” Hipkins said. “We’re hitting the ball well.”

Hipkins expects a tough run in the Highland.

“Our conference is full of tough ones,” she said. “We have Beal City, Pine River and Manton. Manton is pretty good this year.”

BASEBALL

Evart’s baseball team swept Harrison on Monday in non-league action 11-1 and 10-0.

Kyle Brandon was the winning pitcher in the first game and fanned 10 batters and giving up one hit. Tyler Mishler had three hits and Preston Boyd and Jarek VanOrder had two apiece.

John Danley went four innings in the second game, striking out two batter and giving up two walks. Boyd had four hits at the plate. Matt Mishler had two hits, three runs scored and three stolen bases. VanOrder had two hits.

“Defensively, we played solid,” said Evart coach George Sims. “We’re still having too many strikeouts (offensively).”

Last Thursday, Evart beat Buckley 5-4. Matt Mishler had three hits including an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh for the win.

Jared VanOrder, Jared Wheeler and Josh Wirth had two hits apiece. Wirth was the winning pitcher in one inning of relief.