The success the Havre High softball team has found off and on this season has proven the Blue Ponies house a lot of potential. And after a breakout weekend, the Ponies showed just how much potential they have, and exactly what they can do with it.
The Central A Blue Ponies played four nonconference games in two days this weekend. And more importantly, the Ponies grabbed three wins, while suffering just one loss.
Friday and Sturday, HHS competed at the LaVerne Combo Invitational in Butte. On Friday the Ponies dropped their first game to Corvallis 8-6, but rebounded to defeat Anaconda 5-4. And on Saturday, the Ponies went 2-0, earning impressive wins over Whitefish and Hamilton. HHS defeated Whitefish 11-5 and Hamilton 8-7. With the three wins and one loss, the Ponies overall record improved to 7-9 overall, while their conference schedule remains at 3-5.
“The whole weekend,” Havre High head coach Mike Thill said. “The girls played really relaxed. It was four nonconference games and state is out of our hands, even with a coin flip, so it was good to see. But with wins over teams like Hamilton, the No. 1 team in their conference, that has to give our girls a lot of confidence, beating a team of that caliber.”
Unfortunately for the Ponies, traveling does play a role in high school sports, and that was a key factor in their only loss of the weekend. Corvallis has an impressive program this season, but Havre was left wondering “what if?,” as they arrived in Butte just 15 minutes prior to game time.
It took several innings for the Ponies to warm up. They trailed 2-1 after three complete innings, but then trailed 8-2 after four. HHS gave Corvallis a scare with a four run fifth, but fell just short of a comeback win with four hits in the ballgame. Corvallis had 12 hits.
“It is tough when you only have 16 minutes to prepare for a game,” Thill said. “We like an hour and a half minimum, but we were there just minutes before the game. But Corvallis ended up going undefeated on the weekend, going 4-0.”
But in the win over the Anaconda Copperheads, the Blue Ponies picked up right where they left off, as they snuck away with a one run victory.
All five of the Ponies’ runs came in the top of the fourth inning, as they held a 5-2 lead over the Copperheads heading into the top of the fifth inning. While in the fifth, the Copperheads made a run at HHS, as they scored two runs and had the bases loaded with two outs. But Davee McLeod came in for the save and was impressive, striking out the batter on three straight pitches, giving the Ponies the slight and well earned advantage.
Rachel Majeres suffered the loss against Corvallis, but earned the win over the Copperheads in the pitching circle. And Majeres led the offensive efforts as well, going 2-of-2 at the plate. Michaela Boles, Paige Henderson, McLeod, Harlee Boucher, Mary Lyons, Morgan Mazurkiewicz and Clarissa Martin all had one hit. Lyons’ hit was a two RBI double.
The good times continued for the Ponies as they rolled into Saturday and earned two more big time wins.
In their first game of the day, HHS defeated the Whitefish Bulldogs 11-5. The offense hasn’t always been explosive for the Ponies this season, but this game it was, especially with a homerun by Martin, and Henderson going 2-of-3. The Ponies also scored at least two runs in each inning the came to the plate. HHS led 2-1 after the first, 4-1 after the second, 9-1 after the third and 11-3 after the fourth as they rolled through the Bulldogs.
Majeres got the start once again, but pitched just one and one-third innings. Majeres earned the win, but McLeod came on in relief as the Ponies’ duo allowed just five hits.
The Broncs have already clinched the No. 1 spot in the Southwestern A, making the 8-7 win by the Ponies even more impressive.
HHS scored seven of their eight runs in the second inning. They scored one run in the sixth to sneak past the Broncs by one. Boucher led the Ponies with two hits, including an RBI double, while Martin and Majeres had the two other Blue Pony hits.
Majeres got the win again, allowing just four hits in the six innings she spent in the circle. It was also the only loss of the weekend for the Broncs.
The Ponies needed outstanding pitching to succeed this weekend, and they got just that. Majeres got the four starts and earned the three wins, but McLeod also helped carry the load, coming in during relief and save situations.
But the offense and defense also stepped up in the four games. Martin’s homerun was a key moment, as was the Pony defense recording just five errors in the four games.
“We rotated our pitchers off and on, and they both did a good job. We basically played each game like we have been practicing all year long and really just executed everything they have learned throughout the year. We grabbed timely hits, our defense was strong and we made the plays when we had to. We really did all the things we have practiced, and they finally did all those same things in the game.”
The Ponies exit one packed weekend and gear up for another. The Ponies will get back into action on Friday and Saturday as they travel to Laurel for the Laurel Invite.
Corvallis 8, Havre 6
Havre 001 14 – 6 4 0
Corvallis 002 6x – 8 12 1
WP – Ashley Johnson; LP – Rachel Majeres.
HAVRE – Michaela Boles 2-3, Paige Henderson 1-2, Davee McLeod 0-1, Harlee Boucher 0-1, Mary Lyons 0-3, Clarissa Martin 0-2 RBI, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 1-1 RBI, Sydnee Huston 0-3, Rachael Majeres 0-1.
Havre 5, Anaconda 4
Havre 000 5x – 5 8 2
Anaconda 00 22 – 4 5 x
WP – Rachel Majeres; LP – unavailable
Havre – Rachel Majeres 2-2, Michaela Boles 1-3, Paige Henderson 1-3, Davee McLeod 1-2, Harlee Boucher 1-2, Mary Lyons 1-2 2RBI, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 1-2, Clarissa Martin 1-2.
Havre 11, Whitefish 5
Whitefish 100 21 – 5 5 2
Havre 225 2x – 11 7 1
WP – Rachel Majeres; LP – Andrea Lamoreux.
Havre – Michaela Boles 1-4, Paige Henderson 2-3, Davee McLeod 1-3, Harlee Boucher 0-4, Lyons 0-2, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 1-3, Clarissa Martin 1-2, Sydne Huston 1-2, Majeres 0-2.
Havre 8, Hamilton 7
Havre 070 001 – 8 4 2
Hamilton 014 101 – 7 4 1
WP – Rachel Majeres; LP – Rebecka Hood.
Havre – Michaela Boles 0-4 RBI, Paige Henderson 0-3, Davee McLeod 0-2, Harlee Boucher 2-3 RBI, Lyons 0-1, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 0-2, Clarissa Martin 1-3 RBI, Liz Facio 0-2, Majeres 1-1.