Millington vs. Evart – – MHSAA Division 3 Softball Final – – The Bleacher Denizen – – June 18, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

Today is the day of the State Softball Final between the Wildcats of Evart and the Millington Cardinals.

Millington won Friday’s semifinal with a big final inning comeback against Algonac. Their final score was 4-3. Evart beat Grand Rapids Calvin Christian 6-1 in their semifinal.

Your Bleacher Denizen has just finished watching the Division 2 Final between Trenton and Stevensville Lakeshore. Here is that play by play!

https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2022/06/18/stevensville-lakeshore-vs-trenton-mhsaa-division-2-softball-final-the-bleacher-denizen-june-18-2022-by-chuck-krafft/

Before we get too far into this game, I’d like to send both teams some Good Vibrations from my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube Channel!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3482fQh0Rdo

Its a beautiful day for a State Final Softball team and the stands are full of Wildcat and Cardinal fans!

The MHSAA Second Half Page has provided some information about the top players on both these teams. Please note that the statistics do not include Friday’s semifinal games.

The Evart Wildcats come into the game with a 32-8-1 record.

Some of Evart’s best hitters include Katelyn Gostlin, who is hitting .512 with 22 doubles and 50 RBI. Addysen Gray, who is hitting .445 with 29 RBI. Addysen Gray also contributes in the pitcher’s circle where she has a 20-4 record to go along with a 1.50 ERA and 207 strikeouts. Kayanne Tiedt is batting .447. Brooklyn Decker has a .395 average and 10 doubles.

Skylar Baumgardner is batting .378, Ally Theunick is hitting .377 with 29 RBI. Kylynn Thompson is batting .370 and also helps with the pitching. She has a 7-3 record in the pitcher’s circle to go along with a 2.04 ERA.

The Millington Cardinals are 34-3 and enter the game rated at Number 1. Here are some of their top players.

Ashley Ziel is hitting .339 with 10 doubles. She also had a huge hit in the game-winning rally in yesterday’s semifinal game. In the pitcher’s circle, she has a 25-3 record with a 1.64 ERA and 209 strikeouts. Trinity Fessler has a .475 average to go along with 18 doubles and 44 RBI. Lilly Sherman has a .516 average. She has hit 21 doubles and has 51 RBI. Lilly Sherman also pitches; she is 8-0 with a 2.38 ERA.

Dylan Holmes is batting .472 with 11 doubles and 35 RBI. Leah Coleman bats .414 and also has 16 doubles as well as 36 RBI. Emma Dickie is hitting .412 with 10 doubles and 41 RBI. Falon Wilson is batting .337 and Shannon Ziel has a .296 average.

Here are the starting lineups. Evart will bat first and Millington will be the home team.

EVART:

Addysen Gray p

Katelyn Gostlin 3b

Ally Theunick c

Kylynn Thompson ss

Skylar Baumgardner cf

Kayanne Tiedt 2b

Veronica Lofquist 1b

Riley Brigham dp

Brooklyn Decker rf

Lillie Gallinger will play left field, but will not bat.

MILLINGTON:

Ashley Ziel p

Leah Coleman rf

Lilly Sherman 1b

Trinity Fessler c

Dylan Holmes ss

Emma Dickey cf

Falon Wilson 2b

Shannon Ziel lf

Kendall Payne dp

Leila Damm will play third base, but will not bat.

It is now time to review the events of this game through the semi-observant eyes of an aging Bleacher Denizen whose baseball career took a bad turn when the powers that be insisted that he stop hitting off a tee when the other children did so. It was a traumatic time from which the Bleacher Denizen’s baseball career never recovered!

In the top of the first inning, Cardinal Pitcher Ashley Ziel struck out the leadoff batter. Katelyn Gostlin was safe at first on an error. Ashley Ziel retired the next two hitters on a liner to third base and a strikeout to end the inning.

Wildcat Pitcher Addysen Gray retired the three Cardinal hitters in the bottom of the first inning on a fly to center field, a strikeout and a fly to right field.

Millington Shortstop Dylan Holmes made a brilliant catch while falling on a fading flare by the Evart second inning leadoff batter to record the first Wildcat out of the second inning. Ashley Ziel struck out the next Wildcat hitter. Veronica Lofquist walked and went to second base on a wild pitch. Ashley Ziel struck out the next batter to end the inning.

Trinity Fessler walked to lead off the bottom of the second inning for Millington. Trinity Fessler advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Dylan Holmes and to third base on a groundout to first base by Falon Wilson. Addysen Gray struck out the next Cardinal batter to end the inning.

After two full innings, the game was in a scoreless tie.

Brooklyn Decker lined a single to center field to lead off the top of the third inning for Evart. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Addysen Gray. Ashley Ziel retired the next two Wildcat batters on a popup to second base and a grounder to the shortstop to end the inning.

Addysen Gray struck out the Cardinal leadoff batter in the bottom of the third inning. Kendall Payne walked. Ashley Ziel doubled to center field and Kendall Payne moved to third base. Leah Coleman beat out a bunt single to load the bases as the runners held at second base and third base. Lilly Sherman hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Kendall Payne. Ashley Ziel advanced to third base and Leah Coleman to second on the play. Evart Centerfielder Skylar Baumgardner had to go back almost to the warning track to catch a fly by Trinity Fessler for the third out.

Millington scored one run in the bottom of the third inning to take a 1-0 lead.

Ashley Ziel struck out the Evart leadoff batter in the top of the fourth inning. Skylar Baumgardner punched a single to left field. Ashley Ziel recovered from a 3-0 count to strike out the next batter. Veronica Lofquist walked and Skylar Baumgardner advanced to second base. The Wildcats made their third out on a popup to the shortstop.

Evart Pitcher Addysen Gray retired the Millington leadoff batter in the bottom of the fourth inning on a bouncer to the shortstop. Emma Dickie was hit by a pitch. Addysen Gray retired the next two Cardinal batters on a fly to left field and a fielder’s choice grounder to third base.

Brooklyn Decker walked to lead off the top of the fifth inning for the Wildcats. Cardinal Shortstop Dylan Holmes went back into left field to catch a soft fly to record the first Evart out. Katelyn Gostlin beat out an infield single and Brooklyn Decker went to second base. Ally Theunick was out on a short fly to right field caught by the second baseman. Brooklyn Decker tagged to go to third base. On an errant throw, Brooklyn Decker scored and Katelyn Gostlin went to second base. The next Evart was out when a baserunner interfered with the Cardinal Shortstop as she tried to field a grounder.

Evart scored one run in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game at 1-1.

Addysen Gray retired the Millington leadoff batter in the bottom of the fifth inning on a popup to second base. Ashley Ziel singled to left field. Addysen Gray struck out the next Cardinal hitter. Ashley Ziel advanced to second base on a wild pitch. The next Cardinal batter was out on a grounder to second base to end the inning.

Ashley Ziel retired the Evart leadoff batter in the top of the sixth inning on a bouncer to third base and struck out pinch hitter Katelynn Duncan and the following batter to end the inning.

Trinity Fessler singled up the middle to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning for the Cardinals. The next hitter was out on a foul popup to the catcher. Emma Dickie doubled off the center field fence to drive in Trinity Fessler. When Emma Dickie tried to take third base on the throw home, Evart Catcher Ally Theunick rifled the ball to third base to cut her down. Falon Wilson was safe at first on an error. The next batter was out on a foul popup to the catcher.

Millington scored one run in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead.

Riley Brigham led off the bottom of the seventh inning for Evart with a single to right field. Calli Duncan came in to pinch run for Riley Brigham. Brooklyn Decker was safe at second on an overthrow error and Calli Duncan went to third base with no one out. Addysen Gray hit a fly to left field. Shannon Ziel caught it and fired home to Catcher Trinity Fessler to throw out the runner when she tried to score from third base. Brooklyn Decker advanced to third base on the play and scored the tying run when Katelyn Gostlin was safe at first on an error.

Ally Theunick drew a walk and Katelyn Gostlin advanced to second base. Ashley Ziel retired the next batter on a foul popup to the catcher to end the inning.

Evart scored one run in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at 2-2.

Addysen Gray struck out Millington’s leadoff hitter in the bottom of the seventh inning and retired the next batter on a fly to first base. Leah Coleman singled and advanced to second base on a passed ball. Addysen Gray struck the next batter to end the inning.

The teams are tied at 2-2 after seven innings, so the game is going into extra innings.

Skylar Baumgardner was safe on an error to lead off the top of the eighth inning for Evart and went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Kayanne Tiedt. Veronica Lofquist walked. Ashley Ziel retired the next hitter on a foul popup to the catcher. Skylar Baumgardner went to third base and Veronica Lofquist to second on a wild pitch. Ashley Ziel struck out the next batter to end the inning.

Trinity Fessler beat out an infield single to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. Dylan Holmes grounded a double to the warning track to drive in Trinity Fessler with the winning run.

Millington won the game 3-2 in eight innings to win the Division 3 State Softball Championship!!

Katelyn Gostlin, Skylar Baumgardner, Riley Brigham and Brooklyn Decker each had a single for Evart.

Addysen Gray pitched the entire game and struck out eight Cardinal batters.

Dylan Holmes had two doubles and two RBI for Millington. Ashley Ziel had a double and a single. Trinity Fessler had two singles. Leah Coleman had a single. Lilly Sherman had one RBI.

Ashley Ziel pitched a complete game allowing only four hits and giving up no earned runs. She struck out nine Wildcat hitters.

Congratulations to the Millington Cardinals on winning the State Softball Championship. Thank you also for supporting my blog when I covered your games. I really enjoyed watching your players as well as working with your coaches and your fans!!

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