It took quite a bit longer than expected, but the Havre High softball team finally got back onto the field and finally got a look at the Lewistown Golden Eagles. Tuesday at the Sixth Avenue Memorial Softball Field in Havre, the Central A Ponies defeated the Eagles in two games. In game one the Ponies earned a 7-0 win, and in game two of the doubleheader the Ponies edged out the Eagles 5-3. “It really was good to finally get out onto the field again,” Havre High head coach Bob Evans said. “And our girls played very well I thought.” Game one of the evening was a conference win for the Ponies. But since the second meeting between the Ponies and Eagles was scheduled to be played in Lewistown, it wasn’t a conference game. Instead, the Ponies and Eagles will play one more time at the Laurel tournament later this month. But with the two wins HHS was able to lock down a spot in the Class A state tournament later this month, improving to 6-2 in the conference and 11-5 overall. "It was really big for us,” Blue Pony senior Tabitha Myers said. “We really needed these two wins. We’ve been practicing really hard and working on some things so it was good.” Myers pitched game one, and dominated. But she also got a lot of help from the defense and some big hits from all over the lineup. The Eagles kept the Ponies quiet through the first inning, but in the bottom of the second the Ponies got on the board. Alex Herrig drove in a run with a line drive off of the foot of the first baseman to put the Ponies up 1-0. In the third inning the Ponies added four more runs to the books on three hits and two Eagle errors. Myers had a single and Kelli Kelsey earned a walk to start the inning. And Chelsea Nottingham took care of the rest, crushing a three-run homerun over the left-center field fence giving the Ponies a 4-0 lead. Dylann William also drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt to give the Ponies a five-run lead. The bats were a little quiet after a big third inning, but they were back for the Ponies in the sixth. Andrea Nault drove in a run with a single, and Kelsey drove in a run after reaching on an error. Leading the offense, Nottingham went 2-of-4 with a homerun, four RBIs while also scoring two runs. Nault was also 2-of-4 with an RBI and one run scored. Myers, Herrig, Holly Cartwright, Kelsey and Abigail Ita also had a hit each for the Ponies. Defensively, the Ponies also played well. In the second inning Ciara Donovan made a sliding catch in right field to prevent a double. And in the third inning Myers grabbed a pop up bunt and turned a double play after picking off an Eagle base runner at first. “They played well,” Evans said. “Ciara Donovan made some really good catches in right field for us. They were key plays.” On the mound, Myers had another solid outing. She walked only three Eagles, all three coming late in the game, one in the sixth and two in the seventh. She also gave up zero runs on three hits and struck out eight. In the second half of the doubleheader, the Ponies squeaked out another win. Evans felt his Ponies came out slow in game two. They didn’t swing the bats as well and they just didn’t play as hard to start. “They came out slow just coming off of a win,” Evans said. “They just couldn’t really get anything going, they didn’t play bad, just nothing was happening.” The Eagles jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Ponies answered back. In the bottom of the first inning HHS put up two runs on yet another homerun. Kelsey brought the big bat this time and drove a tworun homer over the center field fence, giving the Ponies a 2-1 lead. In the fourth inning the Eagles Brittni Veyna got aboard on an error. And two batters later Veyna scored on a passed ball to tie the game 2-2. But in the fifth inning the Ponies went back on top by three runs on just one hit. Cartwright drove in a run with a double, while Kelsey drove in one on a fielder’s choice. Nottingham also earned an RBI after earning a bases loaded walk. Ita was on the mound and pitched seven innings. She pitched well, but ran into some trouble in the top of the seventh. She gave up a back to back singles to start the inning. She fallowed with a strikeout, but Lissa Quinlan gave the lead to 5-3 on another Eagle’s single. But Ita buckled down and earned another strikeout and a ground out to fallow, earning the win. Overall, Ita walked just two Eagles and earned eight strikeouts. She also gave up three runs on seven hits. “That was her best outing of the year as far as balls and strikes go,” Evans said. “I thought she pitched very well.” Kelsey led the offense going 2-of-3 with a homerun and two RBIs. Cartwright was 2-of-4 and scored two runs. Nault also had a hit. HHS should now safely be in the state tournament, no matter how the remainder of the season unfolds. The Ponies can now lose only four conference games at most and sit in good position if any tiebreakers are required, getting wins over Butte Central, Browning, Livingston and the Eagles. “It’s nice because we can use all of our players now,” Evans said. “Now that we have most of our conference games out of the way, we have six games that of course we want to win, but at least we use all the kids we want and give everybody a look.” Next in line for the Ponies is the Butte Central Invitational Friday and Saturday in Butte.
Home Sweep: Ponies beat Eagles, twice
Published: Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
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