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Western A's Libby, Central A's Hamilton win openers

POLSON - The Butte Central Maroons might still win their third consecutive state Class A softball title, but the road took a detour at the state Class A tournament on Thursday.

After receiving a first-round bye, the Central A Maroons lost to Eastern A Laurel Locomotives 2-1 as Sami McDonald struck out five and allowed just three hits. The Maroons will need to win seven straight games to claim their third straight title and fourth in five years.

The road to a state championship is much easier for Central A champion Hamilton and Western A champion Libby.

The Broncs and Loggers each received first-round byes and then notched impressive wins in the second round.

Behind the pitching of junior Melissa Weston, Hamilton knocked off tournament host Polson 3-1.

Libby scored a 7-3 victory over Western A rival Whitefish, which drilled Corvallis 11-3 in the opening round.

In other second-round games, last year's runner-up Billings Central beat Columbia Falls 4-2. The Wildkats beat Eastern A Glendive 17-0 in the first round. It was the most lopsided game of the day

Polson opened with a 4-0 win over Hardin. Laurel nipped an improved Ronan team 4-3 in the first round.

Hamilton (19-4) will meet Billings Central (17-6) in a quarterfinal game on Friday at 1 p.m. Hamilton beat Billings Central 6-0 two weeks ago at the Butte Central tournament.

Laurel (19-5) battles Libby (15-8) in the other 1 p.m. quarterfinal game. Laurel beat the Loggers 11-3 at the Butte Central tourney.

Libby 7, Whitefish 3: The Loggers' Lacy Thompson fanned four and gave up five hits to earn the victory. Stacy Bothman went 1-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Loggers' offense. Chelsi Howe went 1-for-2 for Whitefish.

Laurel 2, Butte Central 1: McDonald fanned five and gave up three hits to help Laurel send the two-time defending state champions into the loser's bracket. Laurel broke a 1-1 tie with a run in the fifth inning. Brooke Lowman and Keoni Gallagher each went 1-for-3 for Laurel. The Locomotives' April Greer went 1-for-1. The Maroons were led by Kelsey Orizotti, Ciana Roeber, and Liz Henrich, who each went 1-for-3.

Billings Central 4, Columbia Falls 2: Emily McRae went 2-for-2 with a triple and three RBIs to lead Central to a second-round victory over the Wildkats. Margaret Landau added a double for the Rams. Columbia Falls was paced by Kristin Werner, who went 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Hamilton 3, Polson 1: Ashley Dutton's bloop single down the right-field line scored two in the bottom of the sixth to give the Broncs the second-round victory. Karly Manning went 2-for-3 with an RBI and ace pitcher Melissa Weston got the complete-game victory for the Broncs. Weston fanned three and improved to 16-3. Polson senior Ashley Meidinger went 2-for-3 with a double to lead the Pirates.

Whitefish 11, Corvallis 3: Howe went 3-for-4 with a double as the Bulldogs pummeled Corvallis in opening-round action. Trina Olson struck out three and allowed four hits to earn the win for Whitefish. Heather McEvoy contributed a 2-for-4 day for the Bulldogs. Dawn Bender went 1-for-3 for Corvallis.

Laurel 4, Ronan 3: Tiff Saatzer went 3-for-3 and earned the win on the mound as the Locomotives squeaked past the Maidens in the opening round. Tonya Saatzer went 1-for-2 with an RBI for Laurel. Ronan's Jenaia McGreevey went 1-for-3 with an RBI, but also took the loss for Ronan.

Columbia Falls 17, Glendive 0: Danelle Pettit went 1-for-3 with four RBIs to lead the Wildkats to a first round-drubbing of Glendive. Stephanie Robertson allowed three hits in garnering the victory for Columbia Falls. Ashley Cheff added three RBIs and Melissa McReynolds contributed two RBIs for the Kats.

Polson 4, Hardin 0: Amber Wock limited Hardin to four hits as Polson earned a first-round shutout of Hardin. Charmel Burke led the Pirate offense, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs. Becky Owen added a double for Polson.

Second round

Libby 7, Whitefish 3

W - Lacy Thompson. L - Jill Schatte.

WHITEFISH - Chelsi Howe 1-2, Melody Cerra 0-3, Laura Harthan 0-3, Mae Clark 1-3, Amber Webster 1-3, Emily Robinson 0-2, Michelle Sheldon 1-3, Whitney Baldwin 0-3, Heather McEvoy 1-2.

LIBBY - Stacy Bothman 1-3, Erin Cooper 0-2, Kori Fansler 1-4, Danielle Armstrong 1-4, Mandy Foss 1-4, Kelly Bothman 0-4, Lacy Vincent 0-2, Juli Barnes 0-3, Thompson 1-3.

2B - Fansler, Armstrong. 3B - Thompson. RBIs - Cerra 2, Robinson, S. Bothman 2, Armstrong 2, Foss, Barnes 2.

Laurel 2, Butte Central 1

Laurel 100 010 0 - 2 4 2
Butte Central 000 100 0 - 1 3 0

Sami McDonald and Brooke Lowman. Lindsay Thatcher and Ciana Roeber. W - McDonald. L - Thatcher.

LAUREL - Keoni Gallagher 1-3, Lowman 1-3, Tiff Saatzer 0-3, Tonya Saatzer 0-3, Amanda Preston 0-3, McDonald 1-2, April Greer 1-1, Julie Wombolt 0-3, Megan McCleod 0-1, Holly Brester 0-1.

CENTRAL - Thatcher 0-3, Meghan Foley 0-3, Kelsey Orizotti 1-3, Roeber 1-3, Liz Henrich 1-3, Bubba Mahoney 0-2, Aimee Stagnoli 0-2, Jess VanDaveer 0-3, Tiffany Brown 0-2.

3B - Greer.

Billings Central 4, Columbia Falls 2

W - Ashley Dobson L - Stephanie Robertson.

COLUMBIA FALLS - Melissa Mcreynolds 0-3, Ashley Cheff 0-2, Kristin Werner 1-2, Kerrianne Kuka 0-3, Robertson 1-3, Danelle Pettit 1-2, Tara Pyles 0-2, Chelsey Jolley 0-3, Shannon Anderson 0-3.

CENTRAL - Fay Bustos 1-4, Calley Rigg 0-2, Chelsi Dietrich 0-3, Margaret Landau 1-3, Emily McRae 2-2, Lesley Johnson 0-2, Mollie Jacobson 0-3, Keriann Lundi 1-2, Jen Hadyma 0-2.

2B - Landau. 3B - McRae. RBIs - Cheff, Werner. Rigg, McRae 3.

Hamilton 3, Polson 1

Polson 100 000 0 - 1 8 1
Hamilton 100 002 x - 3 7 1

W - Melissa Weston L - Amber Wock

POLSON - Leena Dailey 1-4, Jackie Johnson 1-3, Ashley Meidinger 2-3, Charmel Burke 1-3, Kdee Meidinger 1-3, Becky Owen 1-3, Sarah McLain 0-3, Erin Turnage 0-3, Carly Nelson 0-3.

HAMILTON - Krystle Peterson 1-3, Weston 1-3, Karly Manning 2-3, Kristin Hanson 0-1, Ashley Dutton 1-3, Chelsey Smith 1-3, Sarah Fraser 0-2, Sarah Stamper 0-2, Jenna McCartney 0-2.

2B - A. Meidinger, Peterson. RBIs - Burke, Manning, Dutton 2.

First round

Whitefish 11, Corvallis 3

Corvallis 100 020 0 - 3 6 3
Whitefish 108 001 1 - 11 12 4

W - Trina Olson L - Chanel Evanoff

CORVALLIS - Kayla Chavez 0-3, Evanoff 1-2, Nicole Murray 1-4, Heather Ruhnke 0-3, Ashley Byron 0-3, Dawn Bender 1-3, Jayne Simmons 0-2, Whitney Mowsley 0-1, Megan May 0-3, Amy Messer 1-3, Roxanne Wagner 0-1.

WHITEFISH - Chelsi Howe 3-4, Melody Cerra 0-5, Laura Harthan 1-4, Mae Clark 1-4, Amber Webster 1-4, Emily Robinson 1-4, Michelle Sheldon 1-4, Whitney Ruwarn 0-2, Heather McEvoy 2-4.

2B - Murray, Howe, Harthan.

Laurel 4, Ronan 3

Ronan 101 000 1 - 3 2 1
Laurel 103 000 x - 4 4 3

W - Tiff Saatzer L - Jenaia McGreevey.

RONAN - Erika VanMaanen 0-2, Tara Irvine 0-2, Charla Bick 1-3, Cara Irvine 0-3, McGreevey 1-3, Angie Patch 0-3, Athena Brown 0-2, Sara Drollman 0-1, Leslie Anderson 0-2, Sharinda Burland 0-1, Amanda Luke 0-1.

LAUREL - Keoni Gallagher 0-2, Brooke Louman 0-2, Tiff Saatzer 3-3, Tonya Saatzer 1-2, Amanda Preston 0-2, Sami McDonald 0-2, April Greer 0-3, Julie Wambolt 0-3, Holly Brester 0-1, Andrea Hagfeldt 0-1.

RBIs - McGreevey, Tiff Saatzer, Tonya Saatzer, McDonald.

Columbia Falls 17, Glendive 0

W - Stephanie Robertson L - Alicia Sackman

GLENDIVE - Alison Ziegler 0-3, Sackman 1-3, Nikki Wold 0-1, Kelly Unahein 0-1, Molly Wiseman 0-2, Brittany Milne 1-2, Jesse Reynolds 1-2, Erin Arwell 0-2, Mandy Mindt 0-1.

COLUMBIA FALLS - Melissa McReynolds 0-1, Ashley Cheff 2-4, Kristin Werner 0-3, Kerrianne Kuka 0-2, Robertson 0-2, Danelle Pettit 1-3, Terra Pyles 0-1, Chelsey Jolley 1-2, Shannon Anderson 0-1.

RBIs - McReynolds 2, Cheff 3, Robertson, Pettit 4, Pyles 2, Jolley 2, Anderson.

Polson 4, Hardin 0

Polson 301 000 0 - 4 6 1
Hardin 000 000 0 - 0 4 2

W - Amber Wock L - Melissa Roth

POLSON - Lena Dailey 1-3, Jackie Johnson 1-2, Ashley Meidinger 0-3, Charmel Burke 2-3, Kdee Meidinger 1-3, Becky Owen 1-3, Sarah McLain 0-1, Erin Turnage 0-3, Wock 0-2, Bridget Johnson 0-1.

HARDIN - Lindsey Corbin 0-3, Randy Hart 0-3, Roth 1-3, Molly Seder 2-3, Tana Perez 0-3, Kiera Pattison 1-2, Kate Koyama 0-3, Lindsey Burroughs 0-3, Jamie Torske 0-2..

2B - Owen, Burke 2. 3B - Roth. RBIs - Burke 3, K. Meidinger.

Pairings

At Polson

Thursday

Polson 4, Hardin 0

Columbia Falls 17, Glendive 0

Laurel 4, Ronan 3

Whitefish 11, Corvallis 3

Hamilton 3, Polson 1

Billings Central 4, Columbia Falls 2

Laurel 2, Butte Central 1

Libby 7, Whitefish 3

Friday

9 a.m. - Ronan (6-13) vs. Polson (15-8-1), loser out

9 a.m. - Corvallis (12-9) vs. Columbia Falls (11-11), loser out

11 a.m. - Hardin (15-8) vs. Butte Central (17-4), loser out

11 a.m. - Glendive (7-12) vs. Whitefish (12-9-1), loser out

1 p.m. - Hamilton (19-4) vs. Billings Central (17-6)

1 p.m. - Laurel (19-5) vs. Libby (15-8)

3 p.m., 5 p.m. - loser bracket games

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