Regional champions! Evart edges Beaverton in championship game

Wildcats to play in Tuesday state quarterfinal

Evart's softball team shows off its regional championship trophy on Saturday.

Evart's softball team shows off its regional championship trophy on Saturday.

Courtesy photo

CLARE – Amanda Brown remembers the last time Evart won a softball regional championship.

It was 1999. She was the starting first baseman.

Brown is now coach for an Evart team which defeated Beaverton 2-1 in the Division 2 regional title game on Saturday to give the Wildcats a dramatic championship victory and its first trip to the state quarterfinals sinde 1999.

Evart (30-5) plays Kalkaska at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in Petoskey with the winner going to the state semifinal Friday at Michigan State.

“We played really well,” Brown said. “It was really fun to watch. We had an error in the first game and none in the second. We put the bat on the ball really well in our first game with Hart.

JoJo Tiedt’s sacrifice fly the bottom of the seventh won the game and the title for Evart. The Wildcats got a 1-0 lead in the title game on Ally Theunick’s home run. Beaverton tied it the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly.

Kylynn Thompson led off the seventh with a single, Skylar Baumgardner singled her to second but a bobble by the catcher on the throw-in allowed both players to advance, putting Thompson on third. Tiedt then contributed her sacrifice fly.

“It was in right center and we scored from third to win it,” Brown said. “That was pretty awesome.”

Theunick had two hits for Evart and had eight putouts defensively.

Addy Gray did all the pitching, allowing three hits and one run while striking seven and walking one.

In the regional semifinal, Evart defeated Hart 8-1. The Wildcats had five runs in the sixth inning. Veronica Lofquist, Riley Brigham and Kate Gostlin all key hits in the inning. Hart scored a run in the first but Evart came back to tie it on Thompson’s RBI single.

Gray led Evart with two hits. She threw a one-hitter and was the winning pitcher, striking out nine in seven innings.

Kalkaska beat Gladstone 1-0 in the other regional to get its spot in the quarterfinal. The Wildcats will be practicing two hours on Monday.

Brown said the 1999 team won the school’s first regional title. Evart lost in the quarterfinals.