George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
The Havre Invitational softball tournament turned out to be everything that the Havre High softball team was hoping for almost. On Saturday in Havre, the Blue Ponies won two of three games in their own tourney, and even in a seemingly lopsided loss to Glasgow in the opening game, the Ponies played good softball. "We played 21 innings on Saturday and I feel like we played 18 pretty good innings," HHS head coach Bob Evans said. "We have a bad inning against Glasgow, but for the most part, the kids stepped up and played pretty well the whole day." Havre opened the tournament at the Sixth Avenue Memorial Field with a 10-1 loss to the Glasgow Scotties. However, that game saw Glasgow clinging to a 4-1 lead going into the seventh inning. The Scotties got there behind the strong arm of pitcher Kelsey Archambeault, who struck out 13 Blue Ponies. "We played very well for most of that game," Evans said. "But we had an inning where we threw the ball all over the place and we just made some bad mistakes that cost us. "Plus, she (Archambeault) was really pitching well," he added. "It was one of those games where she was just better than our hitters." Steph Stremcha was tabbed with the loss against Glasgow, and HHS did little at the plate against Archambeault. Karly Evans did have a hit and an RBI while Tabitha Beck scored HHS's only run. In Havre's second game of the tourney, the Ponies got a strong outing from Stremcha as they blanked Cut Bank 6-0. The Cut Bank game saw Kelli Kelsey hit an inside-the-park home run, as well as drive in a pair of runs, as HHS rebounded from its difficult loss to the Scotties. The Ponies also finished the tournament strong by beating Class B power Conrad 11-3. Despite facing a strong pitcher in Conrad's Katlyn Fowler, HHS's bats came alive as Karly Evans had three hits as did Mack and Kelsey. Kelsey's strong outing also included three RBIs, and Abi Ita had a hit and drove in a pair of runs in the easy victory. Evans also pitched a strong game for HHS as she picked up the win against the Cowgirls. "The last two games, I was really proud of our kids because they played with a lot more emotion and energy," Bob Evans said. "And we hit the ball a lot better, especially against Conrad. We also played solid in the field the last two games. We just didn't make very many mistakes and that was good to see. "Kelli Kelsey just had an outstanding all-around tournament," he added. Karly (Evans) and (Sam Mack) also hit the ball all day. Everybody stepped up at one time during the day, but those three really got a lot of big hits for us. So all-in-all, I was pretty happy with the way we played." The Havre High junior varsity team also participated in the tournament with a pair of games at the Hospital Park on Saturday. The Blue Ponies tied Sunburst 11-11 and beat the Glasgow Jvs 11-10. The Ponies (6-10) have eight games left on the schedule, beginning with four games this weekend in Butte. Havre will play Laurel, Glendive, Corvallis and Anaconda this weekend at the Butte Central tournament.