SportsHigh School


Seniors lead Central Montcalm back to softball quarterfinals

5 Hornets played in 2018 quarterfinals as freshmen
Central Mon
Posted at 2:39 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 17:54:07-04
Seniors lead Central Montcalm back to quarterfinals

The Central Montcalm softball team has been on a mission this year.

"We have a lot of goals set for ourselves and we have reached a lot of them," senior pitcher and first baseman Gabrielle Hirkway said. "Our goal in the beginning was MSU 2021 and we are part of the way there."

The Hornets are now just one win from playing at Michigan State University and the state semifinals.

They will play Buchanan on Tuesday for a spot in East Lansing.

"Mentally our game is so strong right now because we are seniors, we were here in quarterfinals freshman year," senior pitcher and first baseman Isabele Doyle said. "It's just different, our mental game is better than it was our freshman year."

Central Montcalm has five seniors on this year's team that all played in the 2018 state quarterfinal loss to eventual state champion Coloma as freshmen.

Four of the five started in that game.

"We have a special bond between each and every one of us," senior shortstop and second baseman Brynn McKay said. "I think that is what has really worked between us because not a lot of teams have that and we click very well together and we know what it is like to go out there and give it our all."

"Their freshman year was a big year for them," junior second baseman Kamryn Nicholson added. "I've played with them growing up and they have just left a really big impact on this program and the school."

The seniors have taken it upon themselves to help lead the younger players and it has gotten them to 33 wins and counting.

"Every player is just as important as another," senior third baseman Grace Flanigan said. "We strive to teach our littles (younger players) what we learned our freshman and sophomore years on varsity."

"We said how cool would it be to start in a quarterfinal and then finish or beyond that as seniors in quarterfinals so real special," Hornets head coach Bruce Nicholson said. "Those girls have been with us forever and just really a good group of kids."

Central Montcalm will attempt to use what it learned three years ago when it takes the field at Cornerstone University.

"The crowd and having everybody there and being super loud, understanding to kind of block that out and play through it," senior catcher Mekenzie Faling said. "I think that was important for me as a freshman, I understand that now."

Tuesday's division three state quarterfinal game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m..