BOYNE CITY — Saturday's day of firsts proved great for Charlevoix, not so much for Negaunee.
The Rayders won the softball program's first regional championship with a 3-1 victory in Boyne City over the previously undefeated and No. 8-ranked Miners.
"I'm so shocked," Charlevoix junior shortstop Grace Lentz said. "I knew we could beat Kalkaska, but this is just amazing. I mean they were undefeated. They were 38-0 and now they're 38-1. That's so exciting. I'm just shocked."
Lentz hit a solo home run in the Rayders' 2-1 win over Kalkaska to start the day. Kate Klinger also blasted a solo homer.
Lentz's was contested, though, with Kalkaska coaches saying it was foul.
"Well, there was some controversy behind it," Lentz said. "Some say that it hit the foul pole and bounced fair, but others were saying it didn't actually go over. But in the scorebook it's a home run, so we're counting as a home run. It helped us win that's for sure, so it makes me really excited."
Madelyn Sandison was in cruise control most of the day. She struck out 11 against Negaunee and 12 versus the Blazers.
"Her only thing all year was just believing in herself," Charlevoix head coach Tom Zipp said. "We've worked on that since our two tough losses against Boyne during the regular season. Even today, in between games, she was like, 'Are you going to warm up Kate (Klinger)?' And I'm like, 'No, it's you. You are believing what you're doing, work your pitches and hit your spots and see what happens.'"
Negaunee's only run came off an opposite-field solo home run by Katelyn Lammi in the third inning. The Rayders answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, with RBIs from Lentz, Avery Zipp and Klinger.
"I've been having a lot of trouble with my rise ball the back half of the season," Sandison said. "But I'm really happy I've been able to dial it in and the change-up really helped us in the first game to get through that."
Kalkaska's Lauren DeVol drove in the Blazers' only run, and Mia Miller fanned 10 in seven innings.
The Rayders move on to play Standish-Sterling in Tuesday's Division 3 quarterfinal at Cadillac. Standish-Sterling topped Traverse City St. Francis 11-4 Saturday.
"I'm so happy," Sandison said. "I never doubted us, but we were not expected to win at all. I think that's why it helped us get so far because we had nothing to lose. So we just put it all out there."
TC West wins program's 1st regional title
A pair of regional victories — the first time the Titans accomplished that feat — on a hot day did something unusual.
It quieted down a busload of high schoolers.
Traverse City West beat Midland 5-2 and Fenton 5-4 Saturday to win the school's first regional softball championship trophy.
"The bus is really quiet," Titans coach Dave Kenny said on the way back to Traverse City. "The girls are really exhausted. They left it all on the field."
Brittany Steimel struck out 12 in seven innings against Midland and another eight versus Fenton, throwing almost 250 pitches on the day.
"She was pitching on pure guts," Kenny said.
Steimel also homered in both games, driving in three runs. After her first homer, the Chemics intentionally walked Steimel, and Lydia Heymes responded with a three-run shot of her own.
Kaci Sowers and Ava Tiesworth each had three hits and Mallory Smith and Heymes two on the day for West (28-10), which faces Grandville at Central Michigan University on Tuesday. Grandville beat the Titans 7-5 and 6-4 earlier this season.
Gaylord mercies Big Rapids for quarterfinal berth
Gaylord 6, Escanaba 5 (regional semifinal): Gaylord — Jones WP, 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 K; Kozlowski 1-4, HR, 2 R, RBI; Jones 2-4, HR, RBI, R; Wangler 1-3, RBI, R; Shepherd RBI; Braleigh Miller RBI; DePew RBI, R.
Gaylord 12, Big Rapids 2 (regional final): Gaylord — Avery Parker WP, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 K; Jayden Jones 2-4, HR, 2B, RBI, R; Alexis Kozlowski 2-4, HR, 3B, RBI, 2 R; Hali Lenartowicz 1-4, 2 RBI; Alexis Shepherd 2-4, R; Parker 2-3, 2B, 2 R; Addison Wangler 3-3, 2 RBI, 2 R; Abby Radulski 2-3, 3 RBI, 3B, 2 R; Haylee DePew 1-2, 2B, R.
UP NEXT: The No. 4-ranked Blue Devils (40-1) play No. 10 Hudsonville Unity Christian at noon Tuesday at Cornerstone University.
No. 7 TC St. Francis 9
Traverse City St. Francis: Allee Shepherd WP in relief, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R; Quinn Boyle 1-3, 2 RBI; Shepherd 3-3, HR, 2B, RBI, 3 R; Sophie Hardy 3-4, RBI, 2 R, 2B; Maggie Napont 1-4, 2 R; Brooke Meeker 1-3, R; Camryn Craig RBI, R.
TC St. Francis 4
Traverse City St. Francis (35-7): Craig 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R; Meeker 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R; Hardy 2-3, R, SB; Napont 2-4, R.
No. 10 Mesick 11
Lk Leelanau SM 1
Mesick: Kelsey Quiggin WP, 5 IP, 10 K, 2 H, 1 BB; Mattie Akom 2-4, HR, 4 RBI, R; K. Quiggin 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R; Grace Quiggin 2-3, 2B; Harmony Harris 1-3, R, RBI; Angee Wheeler 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI, R; Grace Hawk 2-3, 2 R.
Lake Leelanau St. Mary: Hannah Dashner 5 IP, 1K; Audrey Smith 1-3; Leah Fleis 1-2, 2B; Delana Kirt 1-2.
No. 1 Holton 7
No. 10 Mesick 1
Mesick: K. Quiggin 4-4, R; Emma Blach 1-1, 2 BB.
Central Lake 1
Central Lake: Angel Shaw 1-2, HR, RBI, R; Ellie Dawson 1-2; Katelyn Wolgamott 1-2.