Last week the Havre High softball team had two very important conference games against one very tough team. And while one win would have almost ensured the Blue Ponies' trip to the state tournament, the Ponies will have to wait and see how the season turns out.
Unfortunately for the Ponies, in two games against the conference rival Lewistown Golden Eagles the Ponies were swept. On Thursday in Lewistown, the Eagles defeated the Ponies 13-2 in five innings. The Ponies got another shot at the Eagles on Saturday at the Havre Invite in Havre, but this time around the Eagles defeated the Ponies 15-5 in seven innings.
The Ponies and Livingston Rangers have been locked in a tie for second place in the conference all season long. A win over Lewistown would have put the Ponies in second place alone, and almost guaranteed them a spot in the state tournament. But losing twice, the Ponies must now sit back and see how the Rangers do against the Eagles in their second game. The Eagles defeated the Rangers the first time around, so if the Rangers lose, Havre’s and Livingston’s fate will come down to a coin toss as a tie breaker.
Headed into Thursday and Saturday’s games against the Eagles, the Ponies knew they would have a tough battle on their hands. The Eagles are a very well rounded squad, and have held steady as the No. 2 team in the conference all season long. HHS didn’t know many specifics about the Eagles, especially before the game on Thursday, but the Ponies battled in both games, and even showed signs of improvement the second time around.
“In both games we lost by about 10 runs,” Havre High assistant coach Mike Majeres said. “We had a lot of trouble playing defense, and we just didn’t hit the ball very well. We weren’t making the plays that were given to us, and we had some trouble in the field and we just couldn’t score runs.
“And the lineup was pretty much the same (for the second game),” Majeres added. “I think we just played more aggressive at the plate, resulting in putting a couple more balls in play and scoring a few more runs.”
In the first game, the Eagles took down the Ponies in just five innings. But the Ponies showed they can battle in the second game, as they pushed the Eagles to play a complete, seven-inning game at the Sixth Avenue Memorial Field in Havre during the Havre Invitational.
Hosting the Eagles, the Ponies fell behind early.
Rachel Majeres got the start on the mound and pitched two complete innings, as HHS fell behind 5-2. Davee
McLeod came on in relief for the remaining five innings, but the Ponies’ offense just couldn’t keep pace with the Eagles. Through the remaining five innings the Ponies were outscored 8-3.
A true bright spot came in the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Ponies mustard up two key runs to keep from losing by way of the 10 run mercy rule. Michaela Boles and Paige Henderson got things going with back to back singles, and McLeod got on with walk. With one out and the bases loaded, Boles then scored on a wild pitch, with Harlee Boucher driving in Henderson on another single. The Ponies trailed 13-4, but more importantly kept their hopes of a comeback alive.
The Eagles added two runs in the top of the seventh and the Ponies added their final run in the bottom of the seventh.
Conference losses are tough, but it is even harder on the coaching staff when they see the true potential of a team. This was the case yet again, when the Ponies followed their two losses to Lewistown with a solid win over Glasgow on Saturday afternoon.
“I think it (inconsistency) has a little to do with how young we are,” Coach Majeres said. “But we know the ability is out there, because we get to see it at different times during different games. The potential is here, but the consistency isn’t and hopefully we will get more and more consistent over the next week.
“We didn’t execute as well as we are capable of,” Senior outfielder Boles added. “We need remember that this is just a game, and that we have to play hard no matter if it is against a conference or a non-conference because those conference games always seem to make us a little nervous.”
No statistics were reported for Thursday’s loss, but in the loss on Saturday, Boles, McLeod and Boucher, who all had two hits each, led the Ponies. Boucher also had on RBI. Henderson, Morgan Mazurkiewicz, Clarissa Martin, Masha Barnekoff and Majeres also had one hit each, while Mazurkiewicz and Majeres also had one RBI each.
After the two losses to Lewistown, and the non conference win over Glasgow last week, the Ponies now sit at 4-8 overall and 3-5 in the conference, still tied with Livingston for the No. 3 spot in the Central A. And HHS will get back on the road Friday and Saturday, as they take part in the Butte Central Invite in Butte Central.
Lewistown 15, Blue Ponies 5
Lewistown 231 250 2 – 15 10 2
Havre 020 020 1 – 5 11 7
WP – Allie Adams; LP – Rachel Majeres
Havre – Michaela Boles 2-4, Paige Henderson 1-4, Davee McLeod 2-4, Harlee Boucher 2-4 RBI, Mary Lyons 0-4, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 1-4, Clarissa Martin 1-4, Masha Barnekoff 1-3, Rachel Majeres 1-1 RBI, Sydne Huston 0-2
Lewistown – Nadja Robertson 2-5 2RBIs, Alyssa Yaeger 1-5, Allie Adams 4-5 3RBIs, Amanda Stenseth 2-5 3RBIs, Maddie Comes0-5 RBI, Mary Birdwell 1-5 RBI, Cassi Miller 0-5, Ashlee Jarvis 0-3, Kylee Hould 0-4.
Blue Ponies 10, Glasgow 2
Glasgow 100 100 – 2 7 2
Havre 110 116 – 10 10 2
WP – Davee McLeod; LP – Tyana Rasmusan
Glasgow — Sadie Sukut 2-3, Tyana Rasmusan 2-3 RBI, Alex Page 1-3, Shyla Bergtoll 1-3 RBI, Kenady Hall 1-3.
Havre -- Michaela Boles 1-4, Paige Henderson 1-4, Davee McLeod 1-4 RBI, Harlee Boucher 2-4 RBI, Mary Lyons 1-4 2RBI, Morgan Mazurkewicz 1-4, Masha Barnekoff 1-3, Lexi Olson 2-3 RBI.