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Ponies take care of Rangers, twice

 

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In a weekend where the Havre High softball team knew it had four tough games, the Blue Ponies got things started off right. On Friday, the Central A Ponies earned a two-game sweep over the conference rival Livingston Rangers at home. In game one, the Ponies earned a dominating win, defeating the Rangers 9-1 And in game two, the Ponies earned an 8-6 win, coming from behind after trailing by as much as four runs. "Those were huge wins for us," Havre High head coach Bob Evans said. "That puts us up two games on a team that I figured to be in the top two or three teams in our conference, so those were just huge wins for us." In game one of the afternoon the Ponies went scoreless through the first two innings. But in a breakout third, they jumped out to a 6-0 lead on four hits and a Ranger error. Dylann Williams got things started with one out, earning a walk for the Ponies. Holly Cartwright followed with a bloop single into center field, while two batters later, Tabitha Myers drove in Williams with an RBI double. Cartwright and Myers would score when Kelli Kelsey's fly ball into right field was dropped. Chelsea Nottingham got in on the action and earned an RBI single, giving the Ponies a 4-0 lead. And Abigail Ita also joined in, crushing a two RBI homerun over the left field fence, giving the Ponies a 6-0 lead. All six of the Ponies' third inning runs were scored with two outs. The Ponies other three runs came in the fifth and sixth innings. Andrea Nault scored a run on another Nottingham RBI single in the fifth, while HHS would tack on two more runs in the sixth on two more hits. Ciara Donovan led off the sixth with a single, and later scored when the Rangers attempted to throw out a stealing Cartwright at second base. And Nault came up big again when she drove in Cartwright with an RBI single. The only Ranger run came in the seventh inning. Myers pitched the complete game, but gave up a solo homerun to McKenzie Schofield before closing out the game and earning the 9-1 victory. Nottingham was 2-of-3 with an RBI for the Ponies. Nault was 2-of-4 and also had an RBI, while Ita was 1-of-3 including a homerun with two RBIs. Cartwright was also 2-of-4 with an RBI, while Myers was 1-of-4 with an RBI. Myers on the mound gave up only one run on two hits, while recording seven strikeouts in game one. And in game two she was just as impressive, pitching only three innings. Ita started game two, giving up six runs on four hits and four walks in five innings on the mound. Ita also struck out six Rangers before being relieved by Myers in the fifth inning. Myers gave up only one hit in her game-two appearance. "She (Myers) pitched really, really well." Evans said. "She did what she had to do for us to win, she had a great weekend." The first three innings of game two went scoreless. In the top of the forth Clarissa Martin gave the Ponies a 1-0 lead with an RBI single. But in the bottom of the fourth the Rangers took a 2-1 lead on two hits. Myers tied the ballgame at 2-2 with an RBI single in the top of the fifth, but the Rangers answered once again in their bottom half. The Ponies gave up four runs on three hits, and found themselves trailing 6-2. In the seventh inning, the Ponies came alive, tying the game at 6-6 with some explosive offense. Nottingham changed the game with one big swing, and probably the biggest hit of her Pony career. With two outs Nottingham crushed a three-run homer over the fence and tied the ballgame at 6-6. "She (Nottingham) had a great day," Evans said. "She got on base for us in both games, and that homerun from somebody you wouldn't expect to hit a homerun was huge. It was a shot, a hit like that the girls will never forget." Myers and the Pony defense got three quick outs in the bottom of the seventh and pushed the game into extra innings. And with new life the Ponies took full advantage. Once again, Williams got things rolling, reaching on a base hit to start the eighth inning. Cartwright also earned her away aboard, but when Nault hit into a fielders choice the Ponies quickly had two outs with two runners on. Myers then came through for the surging Ponies when she hit a fly ball into right that scored tow runs when it was dropped. The Ponies took an 8-6 lead and Myers then closed out the bottom of the eighth with three more quick outs. "With Tabby (Myers) on the mound I knew once we got tied we would win," Evans said. "It showed a lot of guts, our girls came out and kept on playing hard, so it was a great win for them, they were really excited after the game." Nottingham led the Pony offense by going 2-of-4 with three RBIs, a home run and a run scored. Ita also went 2-of-4, while Williams was 1-of-4 and scored a run as well. Myers also earned an RBI going 1-of-5. Cartwright was 0-of-5 but scored two runs.

 
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