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Western Montana softball players shine

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The Montana Avalanche 18U (White) softball team based in Missoula continued its winning ways along with catching college coaches’ attention. 

The team picked up another first-place trophy in Hillsboro, Oregon, in their bracket. Two losses in pool play were to teams that finished in the top four of the whole tournament. One game was lost by a one-run difference in the sixth inning. We had to compete against teams from Canada, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Nevada and Wyoming. The girls fought their way back through five games on Sunday to take home the trophy.

The next weekend took them to Pasco, Washington, to compete in the Washington NSA State Tournament. Despite playing in 112 degrees, the team ended up finishing in second place. It was a tough loss in the championship game, leading 4-1 through the sixth inning. Avalanche gave up three runs in the bottom of the sixth, forcing extra innings. We led 6-5 in the top of the ninth but gave up two runs to end the game. It was a long, hot day, but the girls almost pulled off a big upset.

After winning the Blast into Summer tournament in Kent, Washington, and finishing second at the USA Preps Summer Slam Off in Richland earlier, on top of being ranked fourth in the nation, the team continued to show just how well Montana girls can play softball.

The final games were in Florida at the USSSA Road to Orlando World Series Event. The team flew out of Missoula on July 10 and returned July 20. The whole team worked hard all year to make this possible. The team was placed in the top A bracket to compete with the top teams in the nation. The girls finished the tournament ranked 12th out of the 38 teams in the A and B brackets. Three of the losses were to teams that finished higher in the A bracket. Three of the games were lost by one, two and three runs and could have gone either way.

To say that Montana softball was well represented in the Western Region this season is an understatement. Congratulations to the coaches and girls for a great 2015 18U ASA season.

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