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Frenchtown faces uphill climb to retain state title

Frenchtown faces uphill climb to retain state title

Missoulian Florence shuts out Broncs

CUT BANK - Frenchtown's quest for a fifth straight state Class B-C softball title is in serious jeopardy.

Paced by a splendid pitching effort from senior Tawnya Vernon, the Florence Falcons stunned the Broncs 5-0 in a quarterfinal game here on Friday.

It was Frenchtown's first loss in 22 games at the Class B-C tournament, which started in 1996. It was also the first time in 44 games that the Broncs have been shutout.

Vernon struck out nine and limited Frenchtown to just one hit. Frenchtown also committed six errors, including five in the top of the seventh inning.

"We just didn't hit the ball," said Frenchtown coach Mark McMurray. "Our bats were flat. You can't take anything away from Tawnya, she pitched a great ball game. She was smart and aggressive the whole day."

Florence placed third at state in 1998 and second last season. Florence had never beaten Frenchtown until Thursday.

Florence plays Conrad in a Saturday undefeated game at 9 a.m. The winner of that contest advanced to the championship game at 1 p.m.

Conrad upset No. 2 seeded Cut Bank 2-0 in the other quarterfinal game.

Frenchtown isn't dead yet. The Broncs rebounded with a 15-1 win over Loyola. Frenchtown must win four times on Saturday to capture the title.

"We certainly have the pitchers to do it," McMurray said. "It's a matter of us getting out there. If we get back in the title game, we stand a very good chance in the end. We can't overlook anybody."

"It's unfortunate that our first loss to a Class B team had to come at state, but it had to happen sooner or later," McMurray added. "We talked about our pitching and our defense and the fact that we have the tools to get all the way back. Things aren't over yet. We've got to take care of business in the following games."

Frenchtown plays the winner of the Cut Bank-Shepherd loser-out game, which was scheduled for 6 p.m. No score was available at press time.

No details were available for Loyola's 8-3 loser-out win over Thompson Falls and Sehepherd's 15-4 win over Eureka.

Florence 5, Frenchtown 0: Kim Heinz went 2-for-3 and Holly Richards had an RBI single in the third inning for the Falcons. It was the only earned run of the game.

Frenchtown unraveled in the seventh inning, committing five errors. Florence had runners on second and third with two outs when a throwing error scored Rachel Sullivan and Heinz. Candace Craun and Allena Johns also scored in the inning.

Sophomore Brianne Tweedy struck out eight, but took her first loss of the season. Shortstop Jeanne Bick had Frenchtown's only hit, a single.

Frenchtown 15, Loyola 1: The frustrated Broncs exploded for eight runs in the first and seven in the second. The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run rule.

Loyola pitcher Catie Priddy hit three batters in the first inning. Five of Frenchtown's eight first-inning runs were either walked in or scored because Priddy hit a batter with the based loaded.

Frenchtown's Kayla Brosious had a three-run triple in the second inning and finished with four RBIs. Bick, Christy Lefler and Anna Henderson each had two RBIs for the Broncs. Jessie Williams (10-2) notched the win.

Loyola 35, Poplar 1: Freshman Lynsey Evans fired a one-hitter and received plenty of offensive help in the morning loser-out win. The game was halted after five innings because of the 10-run rule.

Evans went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles. Reghan Miller also had two hits. The Heart Breakers scored 12 in the first inning. Poplar committed 12 errors.

Thompson Falls 13, Sunburst 3: Catcher Leah Clark went 3-for-4 and pitcher Kelly Taylor fired a one-hitter as Thompson Falls earned the win in a morning loser-out contest.

Thompson Falls scored eight in the second to break the game open. Taylor had a double.

Eureka 15, Simms 0: Senior pitcher Adrianna Benedict tossed a no-hitter as Eureka won for the second time this season. Eureka upset Loyola in the first round on Friday.

Chelsea Zarnowski and Janey Meier each had two hits for Eureka. Meier had a triple and Benedict had a double.

Loyola 10, St. Ignatius 1: Rachel Link went 3-for-3 and Theresa Riebe had a piar of hits as Loyola outset St. Ignatius from the tournament.

Jen Torosian and Sierra Howlett each had two hits for St. Ignatius.

Quarterfinal

Florence 5, Frenchtown 0

Florence 001 000 4 - 5 7 0
Frenchtown 000 000 0 - 0 1 6

Tawnya Vernon and Rachel Sullivan. Brianne Tweedy and Kayla Brosious. W - Vernon (12-7). L - Tweedy (10-1).

FLORENCE - Candace Craun 0-4, Allena Johns 2-4, Holly Richards 1-3, Michelle Block 1-4, Megan McKay 0-3, Nicole Hatfield 0-3, Rachel Sullivan 1-2, Kim Heinz 2-3, Haley Bradley 0-2, Jessica DuBois 0-1.

FRENCHTOWN - Williams 0-2, Jeanne Bick 1-3, Christy Lefler 0-3, Brosious 0-3, Dulcie Gillette 0-2, Julie Savik 0-2, Tweedy 0-2, Amanda Babon 0-2, Anna Henderson 0-2.

2B - Heinz. 3B - Johns. . RBIs - Richards.

Loser out

Frenchtown 15, Loyola 1

Loyola 000 01 - 1 4 3
Frenchtown 870 0x - 15 6 1

Catie Priddy, Lynsey Evans (2), Rachael Link (3) and Jos Weber, Megan Price (2). Williams and Brosious. W - Williams (10-2). L - Priddy.

LOYOLA - Christine Grenier 0-3, Theresa Riebe 1-3, Weber 1-1, Megan Price 1-2, Priddy 0-2, Chelsea Gilfillan 0-2, Reghan Miller 0-2, Rachael Link 1-1, Evans 0-1, Marci Miller 1-2, Jenna Bond 0-2.

FRENCHTOWN - Williams 0-3, Bick 0-2, Lefler 2-4, Brosious 1-1, Gillette 1-3, Savik 1-2, Babon 0-3, Tweedy 0-1, Anna Henderson 1-3, Erin O'Loughlin 0-1.

3B - Brosious. RBIs - Williams, Bick 2, Lefler 2, Brosious 4, Gillette, Savik, Henderson 2.

Loyola 35, Poplar 1

Loyola (12)65 48 - 35 11 0
Poplar 001 00 - 1 1 12

Evans and Weber. Nordwick and Gorder. W - Evans. L - Nordwick.

LOYOLA - Grenier 0-4, Riebe 0-2, Weber 1-1, Bond 0-1, Link 1-3, Priddy 0-1, C. Gilfillan 1-2, Kailey Cooley 0-1, R. Miller 2-2, Jodi Mann 0-2, Price 1-4, M. Miller 1-2, Jesse Knudsen 0-2, Evans 3-5, R. Gilfillan 1-1..

POPLAR - Gorder 0-3, Hagadone 0-2, Nordwick 0-0, Hopkins 1-2, Haugen 0-2, Strauser 0-2, Cantell 0-2, Black Dog 0-2, Long Hair 0-2.

2B - Evans 2, C. Gilfillan.

Thompson Falls 13, Sunburst 3

Sunburst 000 210 - 3 3 4
Thompson Falls 083 11x - 13 8 2

Kelly Taylor and Leah Clark. W - Taylor (2-0) . L - Morley.

SUNBURST - Olson 0-2, Horgus 2-2, Donovan 0-2, L. Morley 0-2, Jansen 0-3, Aschim 0-3, M. Morley 0-2, Klinger 0-2, Karst 1-2, Evans 0-1.

THOMPSON FALLS - Stephanie Pirker 1-3, Kayleena Sparsk 0-3, Bethany Thompson 1-3, Kelly Taylor 1-3, Robin Walker 1-4, Leah Clark 3-4, Jamie Kuzma 0-3, Cadi Bierwagon 0-2, Erin Clark 1-1.

2B - Horgus, Taylor.

Eureka 15, Simms 0

Simms 000 00 - 0 0 4
Eureka 534 3x - 15 8 0

W - Adrianna Benedict. L - Rindal.

SIMMS - Opheim 0-1, Mann 0-3, Ensley 0-2, Ingraham 0-2, Henderson 0-1, Marja 0-2, Rindal 0-1, Ivey 0-1, Crawford 0-0, Beil 0-2.

EUREKA - Chelsea Zarnowski 2-3, Janey Meier 2-2, Beth Leeman 0-3, Stacy 0-1, A. Benedict 1-1, Megan Gallegos 0-0, Rachael Capserson 0-2, Amber Baker 0-0, J. Benedict 1-2, Stafford 0-0, Fowler 1-2.

2B - A. Benedict, Wilson. 3B - Meier.

Loyola 10, St. Ignatius 1

Loyola 020 033 2 - 10 9 1
St. Ignatius 010 000 0 1 8 1

Pitchers not available.

LOYOLA - Grenier 0-3, Price 0-0, Riebe 2-3, Weber 1-4, Priddy 1-5, C. Gilfillan 1-4, R. Miller 0-2, Link 3-3, M. Miller 1-4, Bond 0-2.

ST. IGNATIUS - Jen Torosian 2-3, Angela Hawkaluk 1-1, Katie Mitchell 1-3, Bobbi Finley 0-3, Meghan Gallagher 1-4, Jaci Stewart 0-3, Jolene Foust 0-2, Shelby Printz 1-1, Sierra Howlett 2-4, Katrina Bocksnick 0-1, Young 0-1, Audrey Blood 0-1.

2B - Torosian.

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