Havre Daily News Sports Editor
It's in the record book. It's official. It's a win for the Havre High fast pitch softball team. In its final opportunity of the weekend, Havre scored 11 runs in the first two innings en route to a 12-6 win over the Columbia Falls WildKats on Saturday at the Sixth Avenue Memorial Field.
Besides getting the first win in the program's brief history, the Ponies also got a mountain of weight off their shoulders with the victory.
"It's huge for us," said head coach Bob Evans. "You come into this new situation and you really don't know if you are going to win any games. Getting this win should allow our girls to be a little more relaxed and not so concerned about getting that first win."
Havre's victory came as the result of a few breaks and some timely hitting to capitalize on those breaks.
The Ponies trailed 1-0 after the WildKats' first at-bat. However, Havre ripped off five runs in the bottom of the first, highlighted by Steph Stremcha's RBI single and Tara Borst's two-run single. In the second, the Ponies tacked on six more runs, as Laura Zentmire delivered an RBI single and Kendra Mader ripped two singles.
With an 11-1 lead, Evans knew that a win was all but ensured, barring a minor catastrophe.
"When we got that big lead, I was pretty confident that we would win," he said. "I was a little disappointed that we didn't end the game in five innings. Our girls have to learn that when we get a big lead like that we have to put teams away."
Instead, Havre added one more run in the game and pitcher Kelsey Evans staved off some minor rallies for the win.
"Kelsey threw pretty well in that game," Evans said. "She threw strikes and we made the plays defensively behind her."
Mader and Evans led the offensive attack with two hits apiece. Laura Zentmire, Sjanettee D'Hooge and Tara Borst each added hits
As much as Evans was happy with the win, he was a little irked, knowing it should have been his team's second win.
In Saturday's first game, Havre had plenty of opportunities to get a win, but instead lost 5-2. Errors late in the game and stranded base runners hurt the Ponies.
"We had a lot of runners on base, we just couldn't seem to get them in," Evans said. "We just couldn't come up with that big hit when we needed it, or we could have very easily could have had two wins."
Kristin Evanson took the tough loss for Havre. Zentmire went 2-3 with an RBI, while Barnekoff and Kyla Kelsey each added hits.
While Saturday was a day for celebration, Friday wasn't quite as much fun as Havre was swept by Class A power Libby. In the opening game, Libby freshman Brooke Hageness twirled a one-hit shutout in a 13-0 win. Libby banged out 14 hits and a plethora of stolen bases in the win.
"(Hageness) was tough," Evans said. "She certainly doesn't throw like a freshman. They have a very good team. They're probably the best team we've played this season."
The second game was marginally better, as Havre only managed one hit again, but did scratch out two runs off freshman pitcher Lacey Dedrick. Barnekoff ripped an RBI double and later scored on a Logger error to provide all of the Ponies' offense.
But even the three losses on the weekend, couldn't diminish the one win.
"It's big to get that win," Evans said. "I was happy for the girls. They were excited and it's something we can build off of. It really was a team effort, everybody contributed."
Havre will be on the road this weekend
Libby 13, Havre 0
Libby Loggers 300 505 - 13 14 1
Havre Blue Ponies 000 000 - 0 1 2
Brooke Hageness and Teri Rebo; Kristin Evanson and Kyla Kelsey.
WP - Hageness; LP - Evanson.
LIBBY HITTING - Nicole Rowan 3-4, Sam Schultz 2-4, Brooke Hageness 2-4, Lacey Dedrick 2-4, Erin Bothman 1-4, Teri Rebo 1-4, Rose Young 0-4, Casey Doyle 2-3, Sara Lawrence 1-3.
HAVRE HITTING - Kelsey Evans 1-3, Casey Benner 0-3, Whitney Barnekoff 0-3, Laura Zentmire 0-3, Kyla Kelsey 0-3, McKayla Patterson 0-3, Sjanettee D'Hooge 0-2, Kendra Mader 0-2, Steph Stremcha 0-2.
2B - Lawrence
3B - none
HR - none
Libby 13, Havre 2
Libby Loggers 001 354 - 13 7 2
Havre Blue Ponies 000 002 - 2 1 4
Lacey Dedrick and Teri Rebo; Kelsey Evans and McKayla Patterson.
WP - Dedrick; LP - Patterson.
LIBBY HITTING - Nicole Rowan 1-5, Sam Schultz 2-5, Brooke Hageness 0-4, Lacey Dedrick 2-5, Erin Bothman 0-2, MacKenzie Grotjohn 1-2, Teri Rebo 2-4, Rose Young 2-4, Lea Caster 0-2, Casey Doyle 0-2, Sara Lawrence 1-3
HAVRE HITTING - Kelsey Evans 0-3, Erika Briese 0-2, Kendra Mader 0-1 (RBI), Whitney Barnekoff 1-3 (RBI), Laura Zentmire 0-3, Kyla Kelsey 0-3, McKayla Patterson 0-3, Sjanettee D'Hooge 0-3, Tara Borst 0-1, Stacey Sheppard 0-1, Steph Stremcha 0-1.
2B - Dedrick, Barnekoff
3B - Schultz
HR - none
Columbia Falls 5, Havre 2
Columbia Falls WildKats 010 202 0 - 5 6 3
Havre Blue Ponies 100 000 1 - 2 3 2
Kym Island and Vanessa Riley; Kristin Evanson and McKayla Patterson
WP - Island; LP - Evanson.
COLUMBIA FALLS HITTING - Lea Bukowski 1-4, Kate Eubank 0-4, Vanessa Riley 2-3, Amanda Puryer 0-3, Kym Island 3-4, Kaylee Wolf 0-1, Sam Venezio 1-3, Jenny Johnson 0-3, Crystal Schwarzrock 0-2.
HAVRE HITTING - Kelsey Evans 0-4, Casey Benner 0-3, Steph Stremcha 0-1, Kyla Kelsey 1-2, Laura Zentmire 2-3 (RBI), Whitney Barnekoff 1-3, McKayla Patterson 0-2, Sjanettee D'Hooge 0-2, Tara Borst 0-2, Kendra Mader 0-3.
2B - Riley
3B - Zentmire
HR - none
Havre 12, Columbia Falls 6
Columbia Falls WildKats 101 020 2 - 6 4 2
Havre Blue Ponies 560 010 X - 12 7 0
Kym Island and Vanessa Riley; Kelsey Evans (4), Kristin Evanson (3) and Kyla Kelsey
WP - Evans; LP - Island.
COLUMBIA FALLS HITTING - Kate Eubanks 0-3, Vanessa Riley 1-4, Kym Island 0-4, Amanda Puryer 1-3, Lea Bukowski 1-2, Kaylee Wolf 0-1, Sam Venezio 1-2, Jenny Johnson 1-3, Crystal Schwarzrock 0-3.
HAVRE HITTING - Kyla Kelsey 0-2, Kelsey Evans 2-4, Whitney Barnekoff 0-2, Laura Zentmire 1-4, Kendra Mader 2-4 (2 RBI), Sjanettee D'Hooge 1-3, Tara Borst 1-2 (RBI), Kristin Evanson 0-2, McKayla Patterson 0-2.
2B - none
3B - none
HR - none