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Kats drop Polson for first conference crown in years

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | May 25, 2022 12:30 PM

Hungry Horse News

Between innings in the Columbia Falls-Polson game Saturday evening, John Denver was playing over the public address. The game was tight and the Wildkats were clinging to a two-run lead. The conference title was on the line.

Columbia Falls shortstop Haylee Lawrence and her teammates were dancing to the music.

No worries. The girls were just having fun. They seem to never forget that in the end, it’s just a game.

It’s been that way all season and Saturday night it was that way again as the Kats would lose the lead to the Lady Pirates in the top of the seventh and then win in dramatic fashion, 5-4, on a hit by Maddie Moultray that drove in Aspen Dawson from second for the game winner.

There was some dispute on whether Moultray’s shot to right field was a hit or an error. Some folks called it a hit, others a fielding error.

Whatever the case, the victory resulted in the Wildkats’ first conference crown in years.

Hakuna Matata.

“That’s this team,” coach Dave Kehr said after the win. “It’s a focused fun. They stayed in there and hung in there.”

The Kats finish the season 20-3 overall.

Moultray got the win on the mound, allowing nine hits and four runs, but only two were earned runs. She struck out four and walked just one batter on 102 pitches over seven innings.

The Kats scored three runs in the bottom of the second to open up the scoring in the game. Sydney Mann hit a single with two onboard to drive in a run and then two more scored on an error on fly ball to right field by Haylee Lawrence.

Then in the fourth Mann hit a double with one out and Lawrence drove her in on a grounder to right. The Pirates threw Lawrence out but had no play at the plate.

The Pirates then mounted a comeback with a run each in the fifth and sixth and then tied it with two in the seventh.

But in the bottom of the seventh, Abbie Dawson hit a double with two out and then Moultray dug a pitch out of the dirt for a zinger to right and Dawson scored as the ball skipped past the defender’s glove.

On Friday, the girls dropped Ronan 20-3. Moultray had four RBIs in the game which went four innings.

Moultray pitched two innings, Mann two innings and Peters one in the win.

The Kats travel to Hamilton Thursday for the state tournament where they’ll have a first-round bye and then face the winner of the Park and Lewistown game on Thursday.

If they win that one they would likely face Billings Central, which has yet to lose a game this season on Friday.

That game is at 1 p.m. The weather forecast is not great, with rain expected Friday and Saturday.

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