George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
Although today's opponent will be any thing but easy, the Havre North Stars will be glad to be back in the friendly confines of Legion Field. Today at 3, the North Stars play host to the Lethbridge Spitz Miners in a conference doubleheader, and playing at home couldn't come any sooner. The North Stars haven't been home since June 15, and their most recent road trip, a two-game sweep at the hands of Medicine Hat on Saturday was indicative of just how tough life has been on the North Stars lately. In two games against the Monarchs Saturday in Medicine Hat, the North Stars scored just two runs, one in each game, and Havre's usually steady pitching didn't get the defensive help it needed against the Monarchs' bats. In the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, Havre lost 11-1 as Havre got just three hits in the game. Roman Surber did pitch well for the North Stars despite the lopsided score. Six of Medicine Hat's runs were unearned as Havre's defense struggled to back Surber up. In the six-inning loss, Paul Jensen had an RBI double, and Havre's only other hits were by Nick Nault and Tyler Olthoff. Things didn't get any better for the North Stars in Saturday's second game. Kyle Miller took the loss for Havre, and the North Star bats were rendered almost silent as Shane Kemmer picked up Havre's only two hits of the game in a 10-1 loss to the Monarchs. The losses put Havre at 12-13 on the season and behind in district standings. Also, the North Stars were coming off steady play at tournament's in Havre and Bozeman, so the lopsided affairs in Medicine Hat have head coach Steve Fanning knowing his team needs to get things turned around in a hurry. "After the way we have competed in tournament play I am disappointed to see this in a conference double header," Fanning said. "Medicine Hat has a much improved club and will by vying for a ticket to the state tournament, but we didn't show any glimpse of the team that competed in the Gallatin tournament. This is an important run into the district tournament over the next three weeks. We have a lot of games and we are going to be on a shorter roster. This will be quite a test for our club." That important run starts today when the North Stars take on Lethbridge at home. Havre has played Lethbridge four teams this season and is just 1-3 in those games and 0-2 in conference play. On a recent trip to Lethbridge, the Miners dispatched the North Stars in two games. However, the North Stars have a 10-0 win over the Miners to their resume, and with today's game being conference affairs, a Havre sweep could go a long way towards its district tournament aspirations. Today's games at Legion Field between Havre and Lethbridge will start at 3 and the teams will play two seven-inning games.