EVART – Evart’s softball team has moved into the contender’s category this season, thanks especially to the strong performances of pitchers Rebekah Wirkutis and Chelsea Kruse.

Wirkutis, a senior was happy with a recent performance against Harrison despite an 8-4 loss.

“Overall, I thought we did really good,” she said. “We started hitting good and we worked together well.”

It’s still early in the season but Wirkutis has seen a lot of promise on her team’s side.

“It’s going all good,” she said. “On my changeup, I’m starting to get better. I have my fastball and curveball. I’ve improved quite a bit, especially being confident with throwing the different pitches rather than just having a fastball.”

Hitting is an area Wirkutis said she needs to focus on.

As a team, “our goal is to win districts,” she said. “I think we can do that this year.”

“The more games we play, the better we’ll get as a team,” Kruse said. “I believe we have strength in batting as long as we’re confident in the box. Pine River and Beal City will be tough teams. We’ll go in with confidence we can beat them.”

Kruse is also a senior for the Wildcats who has been effective in sharing mound duties with Wirkutis. A recent 4-2 victory over Harrison was among Kruse’s best performances of the season.

“I feel I’ve done pretty good this year,” Kruse said. “I’ve improved with my pitching. I was going to the corners of the plate. They weren’t expecting me to go to the corners and the different types of speed. My batting has definitely has improved as well as my pitching.”

“She keeps hitters off balanced very well,” said Evart coach Josh Johnson. “She doesn’t strike out a lot of girls. Her thing is that she’s constantly changing speed, locates well and does a good job. She doesn’t walk many.”

Kruse said she focused a lot a lot during the offseason in softball.

“During the summer, I worked major on my batting,” she said.

Kruse also plays first base and outfield.

“I have a good glove and a good arm,” she said.