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Softball wraps up state tournaments

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ANACONDA — After cruising to pair of easy wins over Anaconda and Billings Central on the opening day of the Class A State softball tournament in Anaconda, the Lady Pirate fastpitch squad had to hustle to hang with some tough competitors en route to a third-place finish.

For their third game, the Polson girls tangled with powerhouse Frenchtown, the eventual state champion, and came away with a 3-0 loss. The Lady Pirates dusted themselves off and took to the field versus Libby, this time squeaking by with a 5-4 win to ensure they would play again Saturday.

Behind Hannah Fryberger, who went 3 for 4 with a double, Polson came back from a 7-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning to pick up a 8-7 win over Hamilton.

The Lady Pirates moved on to play Belgrade in a loser-takes-third match, and despite a mighty comeback attempt in the bottom of the fourth, picking up six runs on five hits, the Polson squad couldn’t fend off the Panthers’ hot bats. Belgrade had 18 hits for the 13-7 win, and Polson finished third, ending the season with a 20-9 record.


State A Tournament



Butte Central 4, Livingston 3

Polson 11, Anaconda 1

Libby 3, Laurel 0

Miles City 8, Havre 7

Frenchtown 10, Butte Central 0

Polson 8, Billings Central 1

Belgrade 3, Libby 2

Hamilton 21, Miles City 7



Butte Central 6, Laurel 2, loser out

Billings Central 6, Havre 2, loser out

Libby 3, Livingston 0, loser out

Anaconda 2, Miles City 1, loser out

Frenchtown 3, Polson 0

Belgrade 11, Hamilton 2

Libby 10, Anaconda 5, loser out

Butte Central 4, Billings Central 2, loser out

Polson 5, Libby 4

Hamilton 9, Butte Central 5



Frenchtown 7, Belgrade 5, undefeated game

Polson 8, Hamilton 7, loser takes fourth

Belgrade 13, Polson 7, loser takes third

Frenchtown 11, Belgrade 1, championship


State B-C Tournament


BELGRADE — Lake County teams certainly made their mark at the State B-C softball tournament Thursday through Saturday, with Ronan finishing as runner-up to state champ Conrad and Mission-Arlee-Charlo coming in a close third. The only loss for both local teams in the tourney came at the hands of the title-winning Cowgirls.




The Maidens rolled to a quick win over Great Falls Central, 11-1, to start the State B-C tournament on Thursday, sending Ronan to a quarterfinal against Conrad-Choteau on Friday. It wouldn’t be the last time the Maidens would face Conrad, but the match gave Ronan’s batters their first taste of Conrad pitcher Tristin Achenbach’s mastery of the mound. Achenbach led her team to a 7-3 victory over the Maidens, and Ronan moved on to a loser-out match against Glasgow that nearly ended the Maidens’ postseason run.

Scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning, Ronan stacked up 10 runs in that frame to send Glasgow home, 10-5.

From there it was on to a loser-takes-fourth match with Florence, where Maiden slinger Carston Rhine struck out five batters and all nine Ronan starters tallied hits. Kendra Starkel went 4 for 4, smashing a two-run homer in the first frame and stacking up three RBIs. The Maidens finished on top, 9-5, ending the Falcon’s season.

Next came a battle of Lake County teams in a loser-takes-third game with Mission-Arlee-Charlo, a rematch of the rival teams’ divisional

championship game, when MAC pulled out a nailbiter over the Maidens, 4-3.

This time Ronan would not give in so easily, as the Maidens drove in five runs in the first, taking a lead the Lady Bulldogs could not catch. Behind home runs from Starkel and Kenzie Dulmes with Rhine striking out five MAC batters, Ronan advanced to the championship game with a blowout win by mercy rule in just five innings, 13-1.

The tables were turned on the victory-high Maidens as they took on Conrad-Choteau in a rainy conclusion to the state tournament Saturday afternoon, with Achenbach throwing off the Ronan batters time and time again. The Conrad pitcher held the Maidens to just four hits, and the Cowgirls turned the match into a barnburner in the third inning, racking up seven runs for a 9-0 lead. It was too much for the Maidens to recover, and the game was called due to the mercy rule after six innings, confirming Ronan as the state runner-up, 12-2. Ronan’s two runs came from an RBI single by Rhine and a double by Amanda Morency.

The Maidens lose just two seniors to graduation, Starkel and Morency.


Conrad-Choteau 12, Ronan 2

Ronan 000 101 – 2 4 1

Conrad 207 003 – 12 15 3

Carston Rhine and Kaitlyn Sassaman. Tristin Achenbach and Michaela DeBoo.

WP-Achenbach (23-1). LP-Rhine.

RONAN – Sassaman 0-3, Kenzie Dulmes 1-3, Kendra Starkel 1-2, Amanda Morency 1-3, Rhine 1-3, Jordyn Clairmont 0-3, Kiana Brown 0-2, Marissa Mock 1-2, Gabriella Wirz 0-1, Sadie Wirz 0-0.

CONRAD – DeBoo 1-4, Gabby Drishinski 2-3, Achenbach 1-2, Emily Harwood 2-4, Hannah Bowers 3-4, Jade Breding 2-4, Nicole Erickson 2-4, Danielle Moritz 1-3, Hailey Gouchenour 1-3, Maddie Hampton 0-0.

2B—Starkel, Morency, Erickson. HR—DeBoo. RBI—Rhine, DeBoo 3, Bowers, Breding 2, Erickson 3, Moritz.




Soaring off of a Western B-C divisional championship earned the previous week in Ronan, the Mission-Arlee-Charlo Lady Bulldogs attacked the state tournament with vigor, scoring wins over Shepherd in the first round, 5-4,and reigning state champion Florence in the next, 13-7. That put the Lady Bulldogs into an undefeated matchup with Conrad, the only team to beat either Lake County squad in the tournament. Behind Achenbach’s fearless pitching, the Cowgirls cruised to a 7-1 blowout win over the Lady Bulldogs, who then moved on to play Ronan in the loser-takes-third match.

The Maidens stacked up five runs in the first frame and continued to build their lead from there, ending the game early on the 10-run rule after five innings, 13-1. Rhine allowed just three hits, an RBI double by MAC’s Shania Dubois and singles from Emilie Charlo and Jaycee Anderson, and the Lady Bulldogs ended the tournament in third place.


Ronan 13, MAC 1

Ronan – 524 11 – 13 16 2

MAC – 100 00 – 1 3 1

Carston Rhine and Kaitlyn Sassaman. Randee Charlo and Kenzie Couture.

WP-Rhiner. LP-R. Charlo.

RONAN – Sassaman 2-5, Kenzie Dulmes 2-4, Kendra Starkel 1-3, Amanda Morency 3-4, Rhine 2-4, Jordyn Clairmont 2-3, Kiana Brown 3-4, Marissa Mock 0-2, Gabriella Wirz 1-2, Heather Pospishil 0-0.

MAC – Mikalyn Roylance 0-3, Jordyn Eichert 0-2, Emilie Charlo 1-3, Shania Dubois 1-2, Morgan Malatare 0-1, Kenzie Couture 0-2, R. Charlo 0-2, Jaycee Anderson 1-2, Madison Savage 0-1, Haley Carroll 0-1, Vanessa Kent 0-0.

2B—Morency, Rhine, G. Wirz, Dubois. 3B—Morency. HR—Starkel, Dulmes.

RBI—Sassaman, Dulmes, Starkel, Morency 2, Rhine, Clairmont 2, Brown, Mock, Dubois.


State B-C Tournament



Conrad-Choteau 9, Plains-Hot Springs 0

Ronan 11, Great Falls Central 1

Mission-Arlee-Charlo 5, Shepherd 4

Florence 12, Glasgow 1



Conrad-Choteau 7, Ronan 3

Mission-Arlee-Charlo 13, Florence 7

Great Falls Central 14, Plains 10, loser out

Glasgow 8, Shepherd 6, loser out

Florence 11, Great Falls Central 7, loser out

Ronan 10, Glasgow 5, loser out

Conrad 7, Mission 1, undefeated game

Ronan 9, Florence 5, loser takes fourth



Ronan 13, Mission-Arlee-Charlo 1, loser takes third

Conrad 12, Ronan 2, championship


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