By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
When you only have three home games for the entire season, you can't help but want to make the most of them.
For the Havre softball club team, Saturday's game against the Shelby High School Coyotes will be the last time for the better part of a month it will be playing in the spacious confines of 6th Avenue Memorial Field.
And for the first time this season, Havre will be the more experienced team. Like Havre, it is the first year for Shelby's softball program. But unlike Havre, the Coyotes have yet to play a game as bad weather and a class trip cancelled some earlier scheduled games.
With Havre already having three games under its belt, head coach Kim Staudinger is fairly confident heading into Saturday's game.
"It's getting much easier for the girls having played three games," Staudinger said. "It's frustrating for them because they know they're better than their record shows. We understand that we're still a first-year program, but we've been playing decent against other schools and it's really motivated them."
Because the Coyotes have yet to play a game this season, Staudinger doesn't quite know what to expect. But she does have a little background about Shelby's program and knows exactly what their coaches are going through, because she is going through the same thing.
"They are definitely equal to us in terms of experience," Staudinger said. "They've had some problems getting girls to come out of the team and are taking anyone that wants to come out. We have an advantage in that our girls play all year round; Shelby doesn't have a summer fast pitch program."
But even with the slight advantages, Staudinger isn't about to chalk up a win for her squad. After it committed some costly errors and committed even more costly mental mistakes in losses to Browning and Cut Bank, she admitted her team must clean things up offensively and defensively to win on Saturday.
"We've been working on bunting and offensive situations," Staudinger said. "We bunt well in practice, but we froze up in our games and couldn't execute."
Defensively, Havre has committed a plethora of errors in its first three games. It is something that doesn't just bother Staudinger, but also the players.
"They've been on each other to play smarter and communicate more," Staudinger said. "They're sick of losing that way and they know they should probably be 3-0."
Kristin Evanson will get the start on the mound for Havre.
"She wants the ball," Staudinger said. "She'll be ready."
Since there will be only one game, Staudinger isn't making any promises about playing everyone. It's just too difficult in seven innings. Plus, she wants to get a win at home.
"We're playing to win," she said. "We're going to play our best lineup and go from there. It's just too tough to get everyone in a seven inning game."
With this being their only home game for awhile, Staudinger and her team know the importance of getting a win, especially in a game it should win.
"We're not home again for over a month, so we want to get a win," Staudinger said. "We need to use this game to get ready for tournaments coming up and you always want to play well at home in front of your friends and family."
Havre and Shelby will meet at 1 p.m. with the possibility of a scrimmage of sorts to follow at 3 p.m.