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Havre High softball remains undefeated in conference play

 

Last updated 4/25/2022 at 8:12am

A week of bad weather postponing their games was not enough to slow down the Havre High softball team as they finally returned to the diamond Thursday with a doubleheader in Lewistown. The Blue Ponies got their bats going early as they defeated Glendive, 21-18, to start the day and then defeated Sidney, 21-2, to cap it off.

“Offensively, we were playing well. We’re running the bases well,” HHS head coach Tony Vigliotti said. “We’re getting contributions from up and down our lineup offensively.”

Despite not playing for nearly two weeks, the Ponies got the offense going early against Glendive. After two batters got on base to start the game, a single from Molly Huse got a runner home for a 1-0 lead. A sacrifice fly from Hannah Gingery then got another runner home to give Havre a 2-0 lead.

The Ponies kept it rolling in the top of the second inning. After opening the inning with a single, Elle Verploegen scored on an error later in the inning. With two runners on base, Alyssa Oliver hit a home run to center field to extend the lead to 6-0. Huse followed that up with a solo home run of her own to make it 7-0.

But the Red Devils got their bats going in the bottom of the second to get back into the game. With two runners on, a single finally got Glendive on the scoreboard. An error and a passed ball allowed another pair of Devils to score and cut the deficit to 7-3. Molly Eaton then smacked a home run to left field to cut the deficit to 7-6 to end the inning.

After the teams traded scoreless innings, the Ponies got their offense going again in the top of the fourth. After a walk and single to open the inning, Avery Carlson scored on a groundout by Oliver to increase the lead. Later in the inning, Lizzi Haney scored on a wild pitch. Camille Keeley then knocked in another runner with a single to extend the lead to 10-6.

In the bottom of the fourth, a Havre error allowed a Glendive runner to score and cut the lead to 10-7. But the Havre offense continued to roll in the top of the fifth. Even with two outs, the Ponies got two runners on base. Haney then hit a double to center field to drive in both runners. A triple from Oliver then got Haney home to push the lead to 13-7. Three more hits by the Ponies continued to drive in the runs and push the lead to 16-7 before the end of the inning.

“Our confidence right now is high at the plate up and down the lineup,” Vigliotti said. “Everybody’s contributing offensively.”

The Ponies continued to roll in the top of the sixth. After a walk, Carlson hit an RBI single to push the lead. Haney and Oliver then hit back-to-back singles to keep the scoring going. Oliver’s base running then allowed her to score to push the lead to 20-7.

But the Devils were not done yet. The Devils took advantage of several walked batters, hit batters and errors to get on base and score. While Havre still had a lead at the end of the sixth, Glendive had cut the deficit to 20-13. Looking to hold onto momentum, Keeley hit a home run to start the seventh and give Havre a 21-13 lead.

Again, the Devils did not relent as they fought back in the bottom of the seventh. After loading the bases with walks, the Devils used good base running to score several runs to cut the score to 21-16. The Devils were able to score another pair of runs to cut the deficit to 21-18 but Carlson was able to record a strikeout to get the third out to end the game. While they were happy to get the win, Vigliotti was disappointed by the Ponies’ defense that committed 10 errors and allowed the Devils to get back into the game.

“Defensively, we’re struggling,” Vigliotti said. “Probably should have won by rune rule twice so we’ve really got to work on our defense. We can’t have 10 errors in a game and expect to win.”

Carlson pitched all seven innings where she struck out nine batters and walked nine batters. While Glendive scored 18 runs, only three of them were earned runs. Five Ponies recorded at least two hits in the game. Oliver led the team with five RBIs while Keeley led the team with four hits.

The Ponies kept the offensive momentum going against Sidney later Thursday. After Carlson was hit by a pitch to start the game, Haney doubled to center field to get her home for the early 1-0 lead. Oliver then singled to get Haney home for another run. Oliver then scored on a wild pitch to stretch the lead to 3-0.

After two more runners got on base, Keylee Kline hit a home run to left field to stretch the lead to 6-0. After the Ponies loaded the bases, Danni Wirtzberger scored on a wild pitch to stretch the lead. Oliver then singled to get the other two runners home to make it 9-0. Huse wrapped up the inning with an RBI single and then eventually stole home to give Havre an 11-0 lead.

The Sidney Eagles were able to score a pair of runs in the first and second innings but were unable to keep up with the Ponies. Havre started the top of the third with two runners getting on base. Huse then hit a home run to left field to push the lead to 14-2. Good base running and strong hitting through the rest of the inning allowed the Ponies to run up the score to 21-2.

The Ponies then recorded three quick outs in the bottom of the third to end the game early. After allowing Glendive to come back earlier that day, Vigliotti believes that pitcher Verploegen as well as the Ponies were more relaxed this time out.

“We jumped out an early lead so it’s always a little bit easier when you score that many runs. You can go out and kind of relax defensively.” Vigliotti said. “I thought Elle Verploegen threw that game well.”

Verploegen recorded five strikeouts while only allowing two walks and two earned runs. Huse led the Ponies with four RBIs in the game while she, along with Haney and Oliver, recorded three hits.

The Ponies improved to 5-4 on the season and 5-0 in the Northeast A. While Vigliotti likes where their offense is right now, he knows they will have to improve their defense if they are going to accomplish their goals this season.

“Offensively, I think we’re going to score runs. We’re going to get kids on base and we’re going to run the bases well. We just got to get better defensively,” Vigliotti said. “We’re a much better team than the ten errors in one game so we’re just going to keep working on it and we’ll continue to get better.”

The Ponies will next play in a tournament in Frenchtown this weekend.

Havre 21, Glendive 18

HAV 2 5 0 3 6 4 1 - 21 19 10

GLE 0 6 0 1 0 6 5 - 18 7 2

WP - Avery Carlson

LP - M. Eaton

Havre Batting - Avery Carlson 2-3, Lizzi Haney 3-4, Alyssa Oliver 3-5, Molly Huse 3-4, Hannah Gingery 1-4, Camille Keeley 4-5, Elle Verploegen 1-5, Keylee Kline 1-5, Danni Wirtzberger 1-4.

Havre 21, Sidney 2

HAV 11 0 10 X X X X - 21 16 0

SID 1 1 0 X X X X - 2 3 3

WP - Elle Verploegen

LP - L. Wicks

Havre Batting - Avery Carlson 1-2, Lizzi Haney 3-3, Alyssa Oliver 3-3, Molly Huse 3-3, Hannah Gingery 1-4, Jersi Morse 1-3, Elle Verploegen 1-2, Keylee Kline 1-3, Danni Wirtzberger 2-2.

 

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