Havre Daily News sports editor
The Havre High softball team is six games into its second season in high school softball.
And the young Blue Ponies are already in the win column after a 4-3 win over the Columbia Falls Wildcats on Saturday evening in Columbia Falls. The win over the Wildcats kept Havre from being swept on its four-game, two-day road trip in western Montana.
On Friday, the Ponies were swept in a doubleheader in Libby. They also dropped the second game of their doubleheader with the Wildcats.
“We hit the ball pretty well in Libby, and we didn't hit it as well in Columbia Falls,” HHS head coach Bob Evans said. “It was kind of strange, because we went up against some very good pitching in Libby and we hit it pretty well. And in Columbia Falls, we should have won both games even though we didn't hit the ball well at all.
“But I think it was good to go down there and get a win,” Evans added. “We knew going into the season that Polson and Libby would be our toughest games, and we have already played them. So I think the kids know that if they step it up and play as well as they are capable of, we have a good chance to win some ballgames over the next few weeks.”
On Friday in Libby, the Ponies went up against some very tough pitching. In the first of two games, the Loggers pounded out 12 hits and took advantage of four Blue Pony errors en route to a 19-5 victory.
Havre did score five runs but managed just two hits against Libby's Shelly Hageness in the loss. Kelsey Evans took the loss for the Ponies. She went 1-for-3 at the plate. Sjanetee D'Hooge also went 1-for-2 for HHS.
In the second game, Libby's Lacie Dedrick surrendered just one run on two hits, as the Loggers again beat the Ponies, this time by a score of 11-1. Evans again paced the Blue Ponies at the plate and Erika Briese added a hit as well.
“I thought we hit their pitching pretty well,” Bob Evans said. “We were in the first game until the fifth inning. But our defense just wasn't there for either game. We really threw the ball around a lot and you can't do that against a good team like Libby.
“But I was really pleased with how we hit the ball,” he added. “we just didn't give our pitchers enough defense.”
On Saturday, the Blue Ponies got a standout performance from Stremcha on the mound in a 3-1 win over Columbia Falls. Stremcha held the Wildcats to one run on three hits, and she got help from the HHS defense. The Ponies didn't commit a single error in the game.
Katie Mcleod and Laura Zentmire led the Ponies at the plate with two hits apiece.
Havre didn't fare as well in the second game, as the Wildcats erased a late 3-2 deficit to earn a 4-3 win and a split with the Ponies. Patterson drove in two runs and Zentmire also knocked in a run for the Ponies in the finale of their four-game road trip.
“Steph Stremcha pitched really well in the first game,” Evans added. “She was very solid. And so was Kelsey Evans in the second game. We just didn't hit the ball all that well, and we should have scored some more runs.
“We let that second game get away from us,” Evans added. “But I was still pretty pleased with how we played, and I think the win will give our kids some confidence.”
Havre (1-5) will return home to host the Whitefish Bulldogs for a doubleheader Saturday.
Libby 19, Havre 5
Havre 020 03 - 5 2 4
Libby 466 3x - 19 12 2
W - Hageness (2-0). L - Evans.
Libby - Hageness 3-3, Sam Schultz 1-4, Lacie Dedrick 1-2, Teri Rebo 2-2, Shelby Barton 2-4, Sara Lawrence 1-4, Casey Hubbard 1-3, Katie Dedrick 1-4, Megan Wedel 0-3.
Havre - Erika Briese 0-2, Katie McLeod 0-3, Kelsey Evans 1-3, Laura Zentmire 0-1, McKayla Patterson 0-2, Sjanetee D'Hooge 1-2, Steph Stremcha 0-3, Stacey Sheppard 0-3, Tiffany Ranes 0-2.
2B - Shelley Barton 2, Sara Lawrence, Casey Hubbard; 3B - Haggeness; RBI - L 16, H 1.
Libby 11, Havre 1
Havre 100 00 - 1 2 0
Libby 200 36 - 11 9 0
W - Dedrick (1-0). L - Stremcha.
Libby - Hageness 3-4, Schultz 2-3, L. Dedrick 1-2, Rebo 0-2, Barton 2-3, Lawrence 1-3, Hubbard 0-1, K. Dedrick 0-2, Wedel 0-3.
Havre - Erika Briese 1-2, Samantha Mack 0-2, Kelsey Evans 1-2, Laura Zentmire 0-1, McKayla Patterson 0-2, Stacey Sheppard 0-2, Jayme Seidel 0-1, Sjanetee D'Hooge 0-2, Tana Tchida 0-2.
2B - Schultz 2, Hageness; 3B - Lacie Dedrick, Shelby Barton; RBI - L 9, H 1.
Havre 3, Columbia Falls 1
Havre 000 120 0 - 3 2 0
Columbia Falls 000 000 1 - 1 3 4
W - S. Stremcha. L - Johnson.
Havre - Samantha Mack 0-4, Katie McLeod 1-4, Erika Briese 0-2, Kelsey Evans 0-3, Laura Zentmire 1-3, McKayla Patterson 0-3, Tiffany Ranes 0-3, Sjanetee D'Hooge 0-2, Stacey Shepherd 0-1, Kaylee Benner 0-2, Jayme Seidel 0-1.
Columbia Falls - Sam Connor 1-3, Vanesha Riley 1-2, Brandy Rowe 0-3, James 0-3, Brittany White 0-1, Kayla Stinger 0-0, Amanda Milliard 0-3, Cedar Smith 1-3, Sam Venezio 0-2, Tia Yaeger 0-2.
2B-Smith; RBIs-Havre, NA; Columbia Falls Smith
Columbia Falls 4, Havre 3
Havre 000 003 0 - 3 2 1
Columbia Falls 010 100 2 - 4 3 3
W - Milliard, 1-0. L - Evans.
Havre - Samantha Mack 0-4, Katie McLeod 0-4, Erika Briese 0-3, Kelsey Evans 0-2, Laura Zentmire 1-3, McKayla Patterson 1-3, Stephanie Stremeha 0-1, Tanna Tchida 0-3, D'Hooge 0-3.
Columbia Falls - Connor 0-2, Stinger 1-2, Riley 0-3, Rowe 0-3, James 1-3, White 0-1, Milliard 0-1, Ashlee Nickerson 0-3, Smith 1-2, Johnson 0-0, Venezio 0-2.
3B-Patterson; RBIs-Patterson (2), Zentmire.