Going into the weekend, the Havre High softball team knew the conference rival Belgrade Panthers have emerged as one of the top teams in the state. And after the Panthers took advantage of several Blue Pony mistakes, HHS saw exactly how the Panthers have gained this reputation.
Friday at the Sixth Avenue Memorial field in Havre, the Ponies hosted a conference doubleheader with the Central A leading Panthers. Unfortunately for the Ponies, the Panthers won both contests. Belgrade took game one 24-0 and took game two 16-0. Both games were over in five innings with the 10 run rule in effect.
Havre just wasn’t able to get anything going against the Panthers. The Ponies bats weren’t connecting with the ball, the pitching gave up way too many hits, and the defense helped the opposition with more errors than any team would ever like to commit.
“Belgrade did just that (took advantage of our mistakes),” Havre High head coach Mike Thill said.
In the two games, the Ponies had just one hit, that coming from Harlee Boucher in the first inning of the first game with a single. And in the combined 10 innings, the Ponies had just four total batters get on base. Morgan Mazurkiewicz was walked in the first game, while Paige Henderson and Lexi Olson both earned walks in the second. Justine Taylor pitched the first game for the Panthers, and Kristina West pitched the second, both nearly shutting down the Ponies efforts.
But the Ponies also committed a total of 14 errors in both ball games, 10 in the first and 4 in the second. And the errors came from all over, including dropped balls and overthrows, giving away much-needed outs to a hot Panthers offense that racked up 40 runs and 32 hits in the doubleheader.
Davee McLeod pitched the first game for the Ponies, and Rachel Majers pitched the second. Both had their ups and downs, but couldn’t find the accuracy or the help on defense needed to stop a team like Belgrade. McLeod did have one strikeout and Majers had four.
After the rough Friday, the Ponies turned around and kept their postseason hopes alive with a better doubleheader against the Livingston Rangers.
Havre is back at home on Friday to host the Browning Indians in a varsity/JV doubleheader. The Blue Ponies will return to the road this Saturday for a critical game against the Lewistown Golden Eagles.
Belgrade 24, Blue Ponies 0
Belgrade 967 20x x – 24 17 0
Havre 000 00x x – 0 1 10
WP – Justine Taylor; LP – Davee McLeod
Belgrade – Justine Taylor 2-5 2RBIs, Kristina West 3-5 2RBIs, Morgan Wandler 4-5 6RBIs, Taylor Johnson 1-4,Taylor Hill 3-5 3RBIs, Annie Prickett 0-4, Allison Alstrom 3-4 5RBIs, Autumn Rollins 1-2, Marina Layman 0-4. Rylee Cygan 0-2, Rachel Salsbury 0-2.
Havre – Michaela Boles 0-2, Harlee Boucher 1-2, Davee McLeod 0-2, Mary Lyons 0-2, Paige Henderson 0-2, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 0-2, Lexi Olson 0-2, Clarissa Martin 0-2, Sydne Huston 0-1.
Belgrade 16, Blue Ponies 0
Belgrade 662 2xx x – 16 13 0
Havre 000 00x x – 0 0 4
WP – Kristina West; LP – Rachel Majers
Belgrade – Justine Taylor 1-3, Kristina West 2-4, Morgan Wandler 2-4, Taylor Johnson 2-4, Taylor Hill 2-3 4RBIs, Annie Prickett 2-3 RBI, Allison Alstrom 1-3 2RBIs, Autumn Rollins 1-3, Marina Layman 0-2.
Havre – Michaela Boles 0-2, Harlee Boucher 0-2, Davee McLeod 0-2, Mary Lyons 0-2, Paige Henderson 0-2, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 0-2, Lexi Olson 0-2, Clarissa Martin 0-2, Masha Barnekoff 0-1.