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Big Sky stays in the hunt

Big Sky stays in the hunt

Missoulian CMR looking strong

HELENA - Missoula Big Sky's hopes for a state Class AA softball title are still alive, but the Eagles have some serious work ahead of them if they hope to fulfill those dreams.

Three-time defending champion Great Falls Russell downed Big Sky 6-1 in a quarterfinal game on Friday. The Eagles rebounded with a 7-2 win over Missoula Sentinel in a loser-out game.

Big Sky will play Billings Senior Saturday at 9 a.m. The Eagles need to beat the Broncs and then win three more to capture the title.

CMR's quest for a fourth straight title looks good. The Rustlers blanked Butte 3-0 in the undefeated game to advance to Saturday's 1 p.m. championship game. The winner of Big Sky-Senior plays Butte for the right to face CMR.

Billings Senior made an amazing run on Friday. The Broncs, who lost to Helena in the opening round on Thursday, trounced Bozeman 15-0, blanked Kalispell 6-0, stymied Great Falls High 3-0 in nine innings, and nipped Billings West 1-0 to stay alive.

€ CMR 6, Big Sky 1: Senior Lindsey Graham won the battle against Lisa Macki. Macki struggled early, walking in a run in the first inning. Graham blasted a solo home run in the second inning.

Big Sky's lone run came in the fourth inning. Macki, Diedre Ranf and Lynnea Foshag all hit singles to load the base. Macki scored on a wild pitch.

Graham finished with 13 strikeouts and no walks. Macki had just three strikeouts.

Graham followed her effort against Big Sky with a shutout over Butte. She fanned nine Bulldogs and allowed just three hits.

€ Big Sky 7, Sentinel 2: The Eagles broke open a 1-1 game with three runs in fifth and three more in the sixth. Sentinel beat Big Sky in two regular season meetings.

Macki went 3-for-4 and drove in Collette Phillips for the Eagles' first run in the first inning. Amanda Armstrong and Ranf each had two hits for the Eagles.

Macki struck out four to raise her season total to 210. She needs six to tie Corvallis' Kristin Tintzman for most strikeouts in a season by a Montana hurler.

Brandi Hills went 2-for-4 for Sentinel, which finished the season 17-9.

€ Sentinel 4, Helena 3: Hills brought home Maren Buck and Jenn Feeley with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Spartans to the win in an afternoon loser-out contest.

Hills drilled a line drive to right field for a single. Helena's Melissa Brooks mishandled the ball, allowing both runs to score.

Feeley went 3-for-3 in the contest and Hills had a pair of singles. Buck notched the win.

€ Sentinel 4, Helena Capital 0: The Western AA champions kept their season alive behind a great effort from Buck and freshman Stefani Hertz . Buck and Hertz combined to limit the Bruins to just one hit. Buck went 2-for-4 at the plate

Sentinel scored all four of its runs in the first inning. Hills went 2-for-4 and Whitney Eriksson and Josi Carlson each had hits.

€ Billings Senior 6, Kalispell 0: Senior Stephanie Sulser tossed a no-hitter to knock the Bravettes out of the tournament.

Jenny Balgua and Rachel Quarnberg each had two hits for the Broncs.

Cynthia Houston and Kristi Burton had Kalispell's hits. The Bravettes finished their season 14-11.

€ Great Falls 8, Missoula Hellgate 2: Joey Ehnes went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and Terilee Ehnes went 2-for-4 as Great Falls ended Hellgate's season.

Hellgate freshman Erica DeMers shut down the Bison for four innings and Hellgate took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Great Falls exploded for seven in the frame. Karin Gorseth had a double for the Knights, who finished their season 8-14.

(Only leading hitters for each team were available).

Quarterfinal

CMR 6, Big Sky 1

Missoula Big Sky 000 100 0 - 1 3 1
C.M. Russell 103 020 x - 6 7 1

W - Lindsey Graham. L - Lisa Macki.

BIG SKY - Amanda Armstrong 1-3, Deidre Ranf 1-3, Lynnea Foshag 1-3.

CMR - Julianne Vasichek 2-2, Lindsey Graham 1-3, Courtney Funderburk 1-3, Nikki Alexander 1-2, Tina Houtz 1-3, Mary Lester 2-2.

2B - Houtz. HR - Graham.

Loser out

Billings Senior 6, Kalispell 0

Senior 120 021 0 - 6 9 1
Kalispell 000 000 0 - 0 2 3

W - Stephanie Sulser. L - Natalie Dachs.

SENIOR - Jenny Balgua 2-4, Sarah Buening 1-3, Rachel Quarnberg 2-3, Whitney Shepard 1-4, Miranda Kephart 1-4, Lorraine Lonnie 1-4, Abby Kochel 1-3.

KALISPELL - Cynthia Houston 1-2, Kristi Burton 1-3.

2B - Balgua.

Great Falls 8, Missoula Hellgate 2

Hellgate 200 000 0 - 2 7 2
Great Falls 000 017 x - 8 7 0

W - Kate Sinnott. L - Erica DeMers.

HELLGATE - Mandy Hays 1-4, Karin Gorseth 1-4, Molly Hays 1-3, Erica DeMers 1-3, Courtney Callaghan 1-3, Katie Lear 1-3, Charis Cardarelli 1-3.

GREAT FALLS - Terilee Ehnes 2-4, Joey Ehnes 3-4, Kate Sinnott 1-3, Kaila Fowler 1-2.

2B - Gorseth, Joey Ehnes 2.

Missoula Sentinel 4, Helena Capital 0

Capital 000 000 0 - 0 1 4
Sentinel 400 000 0 - 4 6 2

W - Maren Buck. L - Sheena Nelson.

CAPITAL- Julie Swehla 1-3.

SENTINEL - Maren Buck 2-4, Brandi Hills 2-4, Whitney Eriksson 1-4, Josi Carlson 1-3.

Missoula Sentinel 4, Helena 3

Helena 000 120 0 - 3 7 1
Sentinel 010 100 2 - 4 8 1

W - Maren Buck. L - Melissa Cronen.

HELENA - Jen Maloy 1-3, Anna Doubek 2-3, Jade Anders 2-3, Amanda Duncan 1-2, Ashley Miller 1-1.

SENTINEL - Maren Buck 1-4, Brandi Hills 2-3, Whitney Eriksson 1-3, Jen Feeley 3-3, Josi Carlson 1-3.

Big Sky 7, Sentinel 2

Sentinel 000 020 0 - 2 4 2
Big Sky 100 033 x - 7 10 2

W - Lisa Macki. L - Stefani Hertz.

SENTINEL - Brandi Hills 2-4, Whitney Eriksson 1-3, Jacque Chatriand 1-3.

BIG SKY - Amanda Armstrong 2-3, Lisa Macki 3-4, Deidre Ranf 2-4, Lynnea Foshag 1-4, Holly Zeier 1-4, Meaghan Houlihan 1-3.

2B - Ranf. 3B - Hills.

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