Daniel Horton Havre Daily News email@example.com
With the season winding down for the Havre High softball team, the Western A Blue Ponies are looking for their last conference win amongst another four game weekend. On Friday, the Ponies (10-4, 5-4) will attend the Glasgow Tournament in Glasgow where three tough opponents await them. The Ponies face the Glasgow Scotties at 11 a.m., the Huntley Project Red Devils at 2 p.m. and the Columbus Cougars at 3:30 p.m. And on Saturday the Ponies turn around to face the conference rival Browning Indians for the second time this season. The Ponies and Indians get under way at 12 p.m. in Browning. The Scotties, Red Devils and Cougars may all be coming out of the Class B, but they all bring extremely talented programs with them. The Scotties are a solid program across the board, and will give the Ponies a run for their money. And the Red Devils were crowned state champions three years ago, while the Cougars have been defending Class B state champs for two years running. “They are all good softball teams,” Havre High head coach Bob Evans said. “In fact, I think these three teams (Glasgow, Huntley Project, and Columbus) are probably all better than Hardin, Anaconda and Miles City.” HHS defeated all three of those Class A programs last weekend, but are expecting a tougher road on Friday. Friday’s games are also expected to push the Ponies more than Saturday’s matchup against the conference rival Indians. “Browning should be the easiest game of all four,” Evans said. In their season opener, the Ponies defeated the Indians by a score of 14-2 in just five innings of play. Karly Evans took the mound and allowed only two hits and one walk. HHS rolled through the Indians with relatively no problem, and should do so again on Saturday. “It’s a game that we should win,” Evans said. “If we go there with any attitude at all, there is no reason why we shouldn’t beat them.” It is going to take the same game plan through four games if the Ponies want to come out of this weekend successfully. Like always, they need to have good defense back up good pitching, and smarter at bats. The Ponies need to stay patient. They cant go up to the plate swinging at every pitch. And they need to wait for a good pitch they can hit hard and put in play. “Just because it’s a strike they think they have to swing,” Evans said. “Well, sometimes pitchers throw strikes that are almost unhittable, so you gotta look for a pitch early in the count that you can hit somewhere.” Better starts to games will also pay dividends for the Ponies. This year they have struggled to get out of the first few innings without giving up a run. And avoiding that this weekend will be crucial, especially since they will be without one of their top players. Last weekend Tabitha Myers injured her wrist and will not play for the Ponies Friday or Saturday. This means the Ponies will be without one of their aces on the mound and out the field. “That will hurt us,” Evans said. “She is one of our starters in the outfield and on the mound. But it will give some other gals a chance to step up. She’s a big player to be missing.” With Myers out of the rotation, Karly Evans and Abigail Ita will now carry the load for the Ponies. And with four games ahead of them, both girls will take control from the mound in two appearances. “For our two pitchers, that shouldn’t be a problem,” Evans said. “They are all capable of throwing a couple games in a day. There is no reason why they can’t step it up and pitch all four games, but she (Myers) is our starting center fielder and I’ll probably miss her there more than on the mound.” The Ponies would love nothing more than to return home with four more wins. But more than anything, they need the win over the Indians. If the Ponies can capture a win over the Indians and go 6-4 in conference they will most likely land in No. 3 spot in the Western A. If the Ponies drop to 5-5 in conference they could easily drop to the No. 4 spot and have to play a No. 1 seed at the state tournament. “We would like to go down and get a sweep,” Evans said. “That’s what I am shooting for, four wins and I am not looking for anything else. I think if we play well we should be able to get four wins.” On Friday the Ponies will attend the Glasgow Tournament in Glasgow where they will play three tough games. HHS will play Glasgow at 11 a.m., Huntley Project at 2 p.m. and Columbus at 3:30 p.m. And on Saturday the Ponies will stay on the road to face Browning at noon.