The Kent City Varsity Softball team traveled to Bath High School on Saturday for its MHSAA Regional softball tournament. They opened the day with a 3-0 win over Lainsburg, earning a spot in the championship game. Against Laingsburg, the team looked great in all facets of the game. Sophomore Alyssa Larson dominated in the pitching circle, throwing a completed game one-hitter. She struck out 7 and gave no free passes. The defense behind her committed only one error, but immediately made up for it with a beautiful double play when shortstop Kenzie Bowers scooped up a hot grounder to the middle, stepped on second and fired to first for the double play, erasing the error. Offensively, Nicole McCullough led the Eagles ripping a single and a double. Larson added two singles. The highlight at the plate had to be when Bowers laid down the perfect suicide squeeze bunt as Larson sprinted home to score.
That win put the Eagles in the title game against the Squires of Calvin Christian. Larson once again took the circle, looking for Kent City’s first regional title in 20 years. The Squires proved to be a formidable foe. They swung hard and also bunted for 8 total hits. Larson struck out 6 and gave up 5 walks. The Eagles only booted two balls defensively, but they resulted in four total runs for the Squires. At this level, the little plays matter! Kennedy Campbell was worthy of the highlight reel with a great diving catch in left field to ice a Calvin hitter. At the plate, Kent City struggled some against quality pitching, striking out 9 times. Bowers led the way with a double and a single; Taryn Preston and Larson each added doubles of their own. Senior Janelle Krueger crushed a double in her final high school at bat. McCullough had a single in this game as well. The Eagles simply got beat by a better team on that day.
The team finished the year with a 23-11 campaign. They won three tournaments and finished second in the Central State Activities Association Silver division. They will be losing only two seniors, with a strong group of returners. It isn’t too soon to start thinking about a regional title and more for the 2020 season.