Havre Daily News
It was a very unpleasant way to kick off the 2006 season for the Havre High softball team. The Ponies were swept in dominating fashion by Class A defending champion Polson in the season opener for both teams on Friday night in Havre.
In the first game of the double header, the Pirates rolled the Ponies 21-0. The Pirates got off to a hot start, scoring four runs in the first inning after some mental mistakes by the Ponies. After holding Polson scoreless in the second inning the Ponies once again gave up a slew of runs in the third. Polson drove home five more runs to make the score 9-0 after three innings.
Meanwhile, the Ponies struggled even to get on base. Pirate hurler Dylen Zetterberg completely shut down the Ponies, holding them to just two hits scattered over five innings. She walked one batter and struck out seven on her way to earning the win.
In the fifth inning, the Pirates really blew the game open. They capitalized on more HHS miscues to notch an 11-run inning that put the Pirates ahead 21-0.
The game was stopped after the fifth inning because of the mercy rule.
“We struggled early on in the first game,” HHS head coach Bob Evans said. “We gave up a lot of easy runs and that led to some big innings. We just hesitated too much on easy plays, and we need to do a better job of covering the bases and not making mistakes. They are a very good team, they hit the ball hard and they throw it very hard, too.”
In the second game the Ponies played much better.
Polson jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. But in the bottom of the first inning, the Ponies responded when Laura Zentmire hit a two-run triple to give the Ponies their first lead at 2-1.
Polson tied the game up in the top of the second. But in the bottom of the third, the Ponies once again found some offense. Erika Briese singled to start off the inning, and then after a stolen base and a single by Katie McLeod, Briese was able to advance to third. Briese then scored on a passed ball to give Havre a 3-2 lead. Later on in the inning, Zentmire knocked in McLeod on a fielder's choice to give Havre a 4-2 lead.
“We played much better in the second game,” Evans said. “We cut down on some of the mental mistakes and we hit the ball a little bit. Steph Stremcha also gave us some good innings pitching, which allowed us to stay in the game.”
The Ponies took a 4-3 lead into the top of the fifth inning, but that's when the wheels came off. The Pirates lit up Stremcha and the Ponies for an eight-run inning to put them ahead 11-4. Dylen Zetteberg would then shut down the Ponies for the next two innings to seal up the 14-4 victory.
“I was pretty pleased with how we played in the second game,” Evans said. “We took them to seven innings and I didn't think that we could do that, so I was pleased with how we played. Kelsey Evans played well at shortstop and Laura Zentmire did a nice job hitting for us.
“We just have to keep working on getting better and not making so many mistakes, so we can cut down on the big innings because that is what really hurt us,” he added.
The Ponies will take their show on the road next weekend to meet Class A foes Libby and Columbia Falls in conference action.
Polson 21, Havre 0
Polson - 405 111 - 21 14 0
Havre - 000 00 - 0 2 5
WP - Dylen Zetteberg
Havre Batting Leaders - Katie McLeod 1-2, McKayla Patterson 1-2.
Polson 14, Havre 4
Polson - 110 181 2 - 14 9 2
Havre - 202 000 0 - 4 6 1
WP - Dylen Zetteberg
Havre Batting Leaders - Kelsey Evans 2-4, Erika Briese 1-3, Katie McLeod 1-2, Jessica Obrecht 1-2, Teryl Schrauger 1-2.