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Three Local Softball Teams Prepare for Semis

EAST LANSING — Three local softball teams will look to continue their historic postseason runs when they play in the state semifinals on Friday at Michigan State University.

Evart will compete in the state semifinals against Grandville Calvin Christian in Division 3.

The Wildcats have never been to the state semifinals and made just their second quarterfinal appearance in program history. They will be taking on a team that has been to the state semifinals five times and won a pair of state titles. Evart hopes to continue their historic run.

“It feels so great,” Evart’s Addysen Gray said. “We’re the first team of our school to even go this far, so it’s just so awesome.”

Their game will start at 12:30 p.m.

Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart will follow that game with a matchup against Ottawa Lake Whiteford in the Division 4 state semifinal.

The Irish have never made it to the state championship despite a pair of trips in 1994 and 2012. Their opponent lost in the state quarterfinals last year and last made an appearance in the semis in 1994, where they defeated the Irish.

Ottawa Lake Whiteford is coming off an impressive 13-0 win over Kalamazoo Christian in five innings, but Sacred Heart has some confidence in their team’s play recently.

“We had our ups and downs, but we always knew we had it in us and I think we really have shown up the last couple of weeks like we can, like we have been able to all season,” Laura Goenner. “We just put all of our pieces together.”

Their game will start at 3 p.m. in East Lansing.

On the other side of that bracket sits Pickford, whose community had a sendoff for them Thursday. The Panthers will take on the two-time reigning state champion, Unionville-Sebewaing.

The Panthers are experiencing their best season in program history, with plenty of firsts. Their first quarterfinal appearance and victory has them in the state semifinals.

“This means a lot to me, honestly, because I was playing softball my whole life and this is our first time even winning districts and even making it this far honestly is really huge for us,” Pickford’s Lucy Bennin said.

They will take on a Unionville-Sebewaing team that will make its fourth straight semifinal appearance and 16th overall.

“This is a big deal. You know, we’re trying to build a program, so hopefully we’re inspiring kids to come out and play and keep it rolling,” Pickford head coach Matt Hudecek said. “I think everybody’s loose and having fun with it and and just excited to go. See what we can do.”

Their game will start at 5 p.m.