Braves struggle against Evart’s Gray, fall in State Quarterfinals

Gladstone junior Allie Larson walks back to the dugout after recording the final out of a MHSAA Division 3 State Quarterfinal game against Evart on June 11, 2024 at Cadillac Softball Field. The Braves reached the State Quarterfinal round for a second-consecutive year in 2024. ("The Big Dog" Mitch Vosburg/Daily Press)

CADILLAC –For the second straight season, Gladstone softball found itself as one of eight teams remaining in Division 3. For the second straight season, the Braves found themselves one win away from playing in East Lansing.

The Braves 2024 season came to a halt on Tuesday with a 9-0 State Quarterfinal round loss to Evart at Cadillac Softball Field.

“It’s a tough day,” Braves skipper Rick Pepin said. “This is a day that we were all hoping would never get here with this group of seniors. But there’s a lot to be proud of.”

The Braves fell victim to a buzzsaw in the circle in the form of Wildcats sophomore Kyrah Gray, who struck out 14 batters in seven shutout innings. Gladstone junior Lauren Sundquist produced both of squad’s hits, a two-out double in the third and a lead-off single in the sixth.

Madison Sundquist drew a two-out walk in the second and Allie Larson drew a one-out walk in the fifth.

Evart (35-4) tacked on two runs in the first and led 5-0 after five innings. The lead ballooned to 6-0 in the sixth off a RBI single from Ally Theunick before Kate Gostlin delivered the death blow with a three-run home run.

Gladstone finishes the season with a District championship, a Regional championship and a final record of 22-12.

“I’m a softball coach because of these girls,” Pepin said. “They’ve put some hardware in the trophy case, but it’s not about that. It’s about the memories and relationships.”


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