A Havre first: Mack to play college softball
June 19, 2009
Daniel Horton Havre Daily News [email protected]
In her four years as a varsity player, Samantha Mack has played a crucial role in the development of the young Havre High Blue Ponies softball program. And now as a Blue Pony graduate, Mack is still putting Havre on the map as the first Pony to ever sign to play college softball. “It's a pretty big deal,” Mack said. “Especially considering players like Kelsey Evans and Stephanie Stremcha, players you would have thought would have gotten signed somewhere and didn't. It's a big honor to be the first Blue Pony to do that.” After visiting the Wenatchee Valley Knights campus last winter, Mack knew that was exactly where she needed to be. She made the long trip to Washington to work out with the team, and everything the Knights had to offer seemed to be a perfect fit. The coaching staff, players and the overall success of the program really attracted the attention of Mack. Shelly Pflugrath has coached the Knights for the last eight years, and is only the fifth coach in the last 25 years of the program. And under Pflugrath's guidance, the team has found overwhelming success, achieving a 253-153 win-loss record. And in the last 10 seasons, the Knights have had winning records in eight. “Just from that workout and seeing their environment, it was awesome,” Mack said. “I knew definitely that was where I wanted to go, I didn't need to look anywhere else. That was it for me.” The success and love of the game Mack has found as a Blue Pony is what has propelled her to attempt success at the next level. She helped lead the Ponies to state tournament berths in three out of her four years as a varsity player. And she has also received a handful of awards including numerous team awards and All Conference honorable mentions. But it was Mack's senior year that really lifted her to an elite level. She overcame an injury early in the season and let her playing speak for itself, adding her name as one of the top Class A softball players in the state. As far as team awards went her senior year, Mack earned offensive player of the year as well as team MVP. But it was the First Team All Conference and First Team All State honors that finally gave her the statewide credit and the attention she had deserved. “To be honest, freshman year I was really surprised I even got on varsity,” Mack Said. “I didn't even think about it, but then throughout the year I realized how much I loved the sport and did want to go further. After state this year Bob (Evans) told me that I got All State and I was really surprised and really happy. It's a great honor, and to have my other teammates win awards too, that was awesome. It says a lot about how our program is advancing.” While attending Wenatchee Valley College, Mack isn't 100 percent sure on what she wants to focus on in the classroom. Though she knows someday she would like to coach, for now she will focus on general education classes and earning a spot on the Knights roster. “I want to show people what I can do,” Mack said. Blue Pony hoops... Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson Charlie Christianson, age 12, goes in for a layup during an outlet drill at the Blue Pony Basketball Camp Thursday morning at Havre High School. The camp for grades 3-12 concluded Thursday afternoon. Sports Line Got a sports tip or upcoming event? Call Sports Editor George Ferguson at 265-6795, ext. 19, FAX 265-6798, or e-mail [email protected] Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson Photo left: Blue Pony Samantha Mack swings at a pitch during a girls high school softball game earlier this spring in Havre. Mack recently signed a collegiate letter of intent to play softball for Wenatchee Valley, and in doing so, became the first Blue Pony graduate to become a collegiate softball player since the program was started five years ago.