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Havre High softball team sparkles in home debut

 

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The Havre High softball team got off to a 2-2 start to their season, but this weekend the Blue Ponies got off to a 2-0 start in conference play. The Blue Ponies (4-2, 2-0) played host to two conference opponents on Saturday. And, after the Browning Indians forfeited their varsity matchups, the Ponies defeated the Butte Central Maroons 7-4, giving HHS a 2-0 start to their conference schedule. "Browning was just a game for us," Havre High head coach Bob Evans said. "But Butte Central for us was a big game. We expect Butte Central, Livingston and Belgrade to be up there, so a win for us was nice. It was just a good win for us." Tabitha Myers took the mound for the Ponies, and pitched very well from start to finish. Myers took care of four batters in the first inning, and gave up only two runs on two hits in the game. "You have to hand it to Tabi (Myers)," Evans said. "She played a great game, she came out and got us going in the first inning. She could have very easily had a shutout. And she normally gets the ball a little higher than that, but she kept it down where I like it to be." Myers struck out six batters and walked only two. And while she forced a couple of batters to fly out, she earned 10 outs by way of ground ball. In the bottom of the first inning, the Ponies took the lead on one hit. Holly Cartwright scored the run giving the Ponies a 1-0 advantage. In the second inning the Ponies got back on the board after retiring three straight Maroons in the top half of the inning. With one out, Chelsea Nottingham got things started with a bloop single, while Ciara Donovan reached after an illegal pitch. Andrea Nault loaded the bases after a collision in right field, and Cartwright knocked in a run after another dropped ball in right. Myers also drove in a run on a fielder's choice. HHS took a 3-0 lead, but in the fifth inning the Maroons answered back. They scored two runs on two hits and cut the Pony lead to 3-2. Overall the Ponies bats weren't as active as Evans would have liked. But when they needed them, they did get hits. In the sixth inning, the Ponies took care of the Maroons defensively. And, on offense, they put two more runs on the board to secure the win. With two outs Myers connected with the first pitch, knocking the ball into center field and driving in two more Pony runs. "We have to get a little better production," Evans said. "But the girls that I thought would get the hits got them. We had a one-run lead, but when you are coming into top of the seventh and you get a couple more that is pretty sweet. It takes the pressure off the defense and the pitcher. You can just make outs instead of thinking of how to make outs." And in the top of the seventh, the Ponies did just that, they got outs. They gave up only one hit, but no runs on their way to a Central A win. In the game, Myers went 1-of-4 and drove in 2 RBIs to lead the offense. Donovan was 1-of-3 and scored two runs. Dylann Williams, Kelli Kelsey and Nottingham also had one hit each for the Ponies. "I am really really pleased with our girls," Evans said. "They are playing extremely hard and having fun and they are very very coachable. I am pleased." HHS moved to 4-2 overall and now sits at 2-0 in the conference. The Ponies will get back to competition on Saturday when they travel to Columbia Falls.

 
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