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Kats on a tear as postseason begins

| May 15, 2024 8:15 AM

Hungry Horse News

The Columbia Falls softball team ended the regular season at 17-3 as they won five in a row last week. The team is super hot heading into the Western A Divisional playoffs this week in Polson.

The Wildkats dropped Ronan at home on a chilly night 4-1 last Tuesday, then beat Laurel 12-3, Lockwood 9-0, Hardin 16-10 and Manhattan 7-2 at the Laverne Combo tourney in Butte over the weekend.

The Kats open the divisional tourney Friday at 5 p.m. against the winner of the No. 5 seed from the Northwest against No. 4 team from the Southwest.

The home game against Ronan was a key matchup, as the Maidens are an excellent ball club behind the pitching of Nikki Kendall, one of the hardest thrower in the league.

Ronan got on the board first after an error by Bella Mann in the top of the first allowed a run to score.

Mann made up for it in a big way in the bottom of the third as she hit a two strike bunt and Kendall made an error on the throw to first. The ball went far enough into the outfield that the speedy Mann was able to round the bases and score. The Kats then added another run in the inning as they loaded up the bases and Kendall walked in a run.

They added a run in the bottom of the fifth and sixth and ace Maddie Moultray went the distance for the Kats striking out 16 while giving up five hits and no earned runs in the win.

Coach Dave Kehr is pleased with the way the girls are playing down the stretch, but cautions there’s a lot of good pitching by many teams this season and none of the games will be easy in the divisional and state tournaments.

He said it’s the most parity he’s seen in years.

As a side note, the Columbia Falls girls sang the national anthem to start the Ronan game, which proved to be a crowd favorite on senior night.