Spring Sports 2010 2.pdf
2 www.havredailynews.com H av r e D a i ly N e w s April 2010 Ponies will be young, but talented on the diamond Havre girls enter 2010 after the one of the best seasons in school history Daniel Horton Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org A year ago the Havre High softball program had its best season in its short existence. Now, entering their sixth season in girls fastpitch softball, the Blue Ponies are looking to keep progressing. Last year the Central A Ponies made an appearance at the state tournament. They went 1-2 on the weekend, and finished off with a 14-91 record overall. It was a great finish to a great year, where HHS also got off to a 5-0 record to start the season. This time around the Ponies are looking to keep the progress going and hopefully turn in another successful year. â€œWe really want to get out and play just so we can see how we react to the competition,â€ Havre High head coach Bob Evans said. â€œI am anxious to see how we look playing in a real game rather than just out on the practice field. I am excited just to see how they look.â€ Karly Evans, Samantha Mack and Natalie Kato will all be missing off of this yearâ€™s roster. And between the three of them, they take with them nine years of varsity experience. It also means the pitching arm of Evans will be missed as well as everything Mackâ€™s Class A All State status brought to the table. The Ponies do have some outstanding individual talent returning, but as a team they arenâ€™t as deep or experienced as they have been in years past. â€œWhen you lose quality kids like that itâ€™s hard to fill in,â€ Evans said. â€œBut with these younger girls, we just have to hope they step up. They are improving every practice, but itâ€™s going to take time because they have little experience. This is the first year we have this little experi- Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson Blue Pony infielder Kelli Kelsey tosses the ball during a Central A Conference girls fastpitch softball game last spring at the Sixth Avenue Memorial Field in Havre. After reaching the Class A state tournament a year ago, the Ponies are hoping for a similar result this season. But they must replace several key players with a young, but talented roster in 2010. ence. This year we just have to wait and see.â€ Seniors Holly Cartwright, Kelli Kelsey, Tabitha Myers and Abigail Ita headline the key returners. They have all been around the program for the last four years, and the teamâ€™s success will fall heavily on their shoulders. â€œI am just looking for good leadership, and they have already been good for our program,â€ Evans said. â€œThey are just quality kids and good competitors. I am going to have to rely on my seniors to pack the load while the rest of the girls get better as the season goes.â€ As of now the rest of the varsity roster is occupied by up-and-comers. They havenâ€™t a lot of varsity experience but show signs of promise. Junior Chelsea Nottingham has the most varsity experience as the Pony catcher, but joining her in the infield will be juniors Jasmine Chagnon, Alex Herrig, Dylann Williams and Ashley Keeling. And in the outfield junior Andrea Nault brings the most varsity experience along with sophomores Clarissa Martin and Ciara Donovan. â€œThey are pretty green as far as varsity goes,â€ Evans said. â€œWe have to mold another team together, but so far I am very pleased with them. They are great bunch of kids and they are really working hard. These are kids that truly want to play and are working hard at it.â€ As far as the bats go, Kelsey, Cartwright and Myers are also going to have to carry the load. They all hit very well last year, and should do the same this year. If they can pick up where they left off it would be a huge boost to the Ponies offense. And Evans said because of the lack of young superstars, their at-bats will play directly into how well this season will go. Pitching will also be key for the Ponies. HHS is moving from last year's three man rotation to a two-man rotation with Myers and Ita. But with their abilities, that wonâ€™t be a problem. Between the two of them, they combined for 10 wins last season. â€œWe have plenty of pitching,â€ Evans said. â€œIf they can come around like they did last year they should do well. They have the experience, it just depends if they can step it up and have the same kind of year as last year.â€ Once again the Ponies find themselves in a tough conference with a tough schedule. And the Central A is tougher than ever. Butte Central and Belgrade are continually two of the better teams in the state. And after they both finished in the top three at state last year, they arenâ€™t expected to skip a beat this season. But give Belgrade a slight advantage as they return most of their lineup including their Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson Havre High senior Holly Cartwright swings at a pitch during a girls fastpitch softball game last year in Havre. Cartwright is a four-year varsity player for the Blue Ponies, and is one of four key returning seniors to this year's HHS team. The Ponies have key home games on the schedule this spring, including the Havre Invitational on May 1. entire pitching staff. The Panthers are also playing in their first year in Central A softball. Belgrade had been competing in the Eastern A. â€œI know the both of them are always tough,â€ Evans said. â€œAnd I am sure they will be strong again this year.â€ Evans and the Ponies donâ€™t know a whole lot about Livingston, Lewistown or Browning, but they will by the end of the season since they face all of them numerous times this season. But looking at the Ponies now, HHS should be right in the mix competing for a top spot in the conference. The Ponies will have a better handle on where they are after they get some experience behind them. They have good returning talent as well as promising up and comers. They arenâ€™t as deep with experience as they were in years past, but they know they can move past that with time and competition under their belts. Havre's schedule includes home games against all of its Central A foes, as well as the Havre Invitational on May 1. The season will hopefully wind up with a trip to the Class A state tournament in Billings May 27-29.