By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
With their season ending a game early, the Havre fast pitch softball club team wanted nothing more than to end it with a win Tuesday night in Cut Bank.
Unfortunately, somebody forgot to tell the Cut Bank Wolves that. Cut Bank banged out 12 hits and scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to end Havre's season with a 9-4 loss.
"The girls knew it was the last game of the season," said head coach Kim Staudinger. "They came and out weren't intimidated at all. They wanted to go out with a win, but it just didn't happen."
Tuesday's game was a microcosm of Havre's whole season, with a possible win in reach, only to slip away in the later innings.
Havre grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth as Katie McLeod reached on an error and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Brittany Callahan.
The lead was shortlived as Cut Bank answered with four runs in the bottom half of the inning off of pitcher Kristin Evanson. Melanie Van Steeland laced an RBI single and Candice Anderson added a two-run double to power the attack.
Havre answered with a run in the top of the fifth on an RBI single from Sjanetee D'Hooge and two runs in the top of the sixth as Kim Collins spanked an RBI triple and Mandy Boyce added an RBI single to tie the game at 4-4.
However, Havre watched as the Cut Bank bats put the game away in the bottom of the sixth. The Wolves scored five runs in the inning on three hits, including a big two-run double from Katie Minnis to end Havre's hopes of a win.
"We played to have fun," Staudinger said. "Once they relaxed, they really played well. We had so much energy and intensity for the first five innings. I really didn't see us losing, but Cut Bank just started hitting and hitting."
Havre wrapped up its season with a 4-13 record in its inaugural foray into high school softball. But Staudinger was quick to point out that wins and losses don't necessarily reflect the success of the season.
"Teams know about us now and Havre has some excitement out there which will keep the program going," she said. "As for wins and losses, obviously we would have liked to have more wins. But we improved so much this season. We exceeded a lot of peoples' expectations, which makes it a success."
CUT BANK 9, HAVRE 4
Havre Softball Club 000 112 0 - 4 6 4
Cut Bank Wolves 000 405 X - 9 12 6
Kristin Evanson (LP) and Mandy Boyce; Melanie Van Steeland (WP) and Abbey Fetters.
HAVRE HITTING - Sjanetee D'Hooge 1-4 (RBI), Katie McLeod 1-4, Laura Zentmire 1-4, Brittany Callahan 1-4 (RBI), Kelsey Evans 0-3, Kim Collins 1-3 (RBI), Mandy Boyce 1-3 (RBI), Whitney Barnekoff 0-2, Kaci Owens 0-3.
CUT BANK HITTING - Rachelle Tubbe 1-5, Abbey Fetters 2-5, Melanie Van Steeland 1-3, Candice Anderson 4-4 (2 RBI), Ashley Koepke 2-4, Torrey Miller 1-4, Jessica Scott 0-2, Caitlyn Anderson 0-2 (RBI), Kelsey Hannah 0-4, Justine Wilson 0-1, Katie Minnis 1-2 (2 RBI).
2B - Minnis, Candice Anderson
3B - Collins
HR - none