By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
The Havre Softball Club had its second straight win within grasp, but in the late innings it couldn't quite grasp the softball.
Four errors in the fifth and sixth innings plagued Havre, allowing Cut Bank High School to break open a 2-2 game and propelling the Wolves to a 7-2 win Tuesday afternoon in Cut Bank.
"If we could get rid of just one inning, we'd be fine," said head coach Kim Staudinger. "They've never been in a close game like that. We made one mistake and it just snowballed from there. The girls couldn't put it out of their heads. They need to just forget about it and make the next play."
An error following Cut Bank's Abbi Fetters' lead-off single in the bottom of the fifth allowed the Wolves to take a 3-2 lead. An inning later, Cut Bank capitalized on three Havre errors to add four insurance runs and put the game out of reach.
It was a tough stretch in what was an otherwise close game.
"We played very well up to that point," Staudinger said. "We just didn't play very smart after that. We made mistakes and we knew we were making them even as we did it."
Havre grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second as Katie McLeod reached on an error and later scored on another Cut Bank error.
Cut Bank answered in the second inning, as a lead-off walk to Ashley Koepke and a Havre error set up runs from Koepke and Tori Miller.
Havre answered in its next at bat, as Casey Benner drew a lead-off walk and later scored on Mandy Boyce's single to tie the game at two.
However, Havre's bats went quiet in the final four innings, particularly with runners on. In all, Havre stranded 11 runners on base in the game and just could never get the big hit when it needed to.
Sjanetee D'Hooge, Brittany Callahan, Boyce, Kim Collins, Whitney Barnekoff, Kristin Evanson and Tara Borst all had hits for Havre.
Melanie VanSteel picked up the win on the mound for Cut Bank, striking out five Havre batters. Barnekoff took the loss in relief of Evanson.
"Overall, to be in a 3-2 game at the end and to make the kind of crucial plays to get to that point is good to see," Staudinger said.
Havre outhit Cut Bank with seven hits to four, but the errors and stranded runners were too much to overcome, which was frustrating for Staudinger.
"Cut Bank is a really young team," she said. "It was game we could've won and probably should've won."
Havre will be back at home on Saturday when it hosts Shelby at 1 p.m.
Havre Softball Club 011 000 0 - 2 6 5
Cut Bank High School 020 014 X - 7 4 3
Kristin Evanson (3), Whitney Barnekoff (LP) and Mandy Boyce, Kim Collins; Melanie VanSteel (WP) and Abbi Fetters.
HAVRE - Sjanetee D'Hooge 1-4; Casey Benner 0-2; Kelsey Evans 0-4; Brittany Callahan 1-3; Laura Zentmire 0-3; Mandy Boyce 1-2 (RBI); Kim Collins 1-1 ; Katie McLeod 0-2, Whitney Schwan 0-2; Whitney Barnekoff 1-4; Kristin Evanson 1-2, Tara Borst 1-1.
CUT BANK - Abbi Fetters 1-4; Rachael Tubbe 1-3; Melanie VanSteel 1-4; Candice Anderson 0-3, A Walters 1-1; Ashley Koepke 0-3; Tori Miller 0-2; Katie Hannah 0-2; Katie Minnie 0-3; Kate Luedtke 0-2.
2B - none
3B - none
HR - none.