The Wildkats went 3-2 at the Class A State Softball Tournament in Polson over the weekend, downing Stevensville, Custer County and Ronan while falling to eventual champion Belgrade and runner-up Polson.
The top six hitters in the Wildkat lineup had a strong tournament, combining to go 43 for 98 (.439) at the plate with 12 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 29 RBI.
Trista Cowan finished the tournament 8 for 17 with six doubles, a triple and seven RBI while Alyssa Blankenship was also 8 for 17 and added two doubles, a triple, a home run and brought in four runs. Graceanne Sevesind led the team with eight RBI at the tourney, while going 7 for 15 with two doubles and a home run. Kaylee Ashe had six RBI, Ryley Kehr added three, Jasmine Marino has two and Isabell Johnson, Chloe Kienas and McKenna Rensel had one each.
Ellis picked up all three wins in the pitching circle and both losses, giving up 24 runs on 27 hits while striking out 16 and walking 16 in 25.2 innings of work.
The Kats used a walkoff RBI double by Blankenship to pick up win over Stevensville to open the tournament Thursday.
Blankenship got the Kats on the board first with a home run in the bottom of the first inning before Cowan scored on a passed ball to push the lead to 2-0. Stevensville tied the game with a pair of runs in the top of the second but Ashe put the Kats back on top with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning. The Kats led 3-2 into the seventh inning, where the Yellowjackets were able to tie the game at 3-3. Ellis led off the bottom of the inning with a single to right and courtesy runner Abbey Underdahl advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ashe before Blankenship’s double brought home the game-winning run.
The Kats were overmatched in the second game Thursday, falling to Belgrade 10-0 in five innings.
The Kats bounced back in a big way Friday morning, downing Custer County 17-7.
Columbia Falls jumped out to a 4-1 lead after two innings before opening the game up with seven runs in the third. The Kats led 12-6 before scoring five runs in the sixth to end the game via the 10-run rule.
Cowan was 4 for 5 with four RBI in the win while Sevesind and Ashe each brought in four runs on two hits each.
The Wildkat bats did not cool off in their next game as C-Falls downed Ronan 14-0 on 19 hits.
Cowan had another 4 for 5 performance to lead the Wildkat offense while Ashe, Sevesind, Kehr and Johnson had three hits each.
Ellis had a masterful performance for the Kats in the pitching circle, allowing just three hits while striking out five and walking none in a complete game shutout.
The Kats came up short in their final game of the tournament, picking up just two hits in an 11-0 loss to Polson.
With their play at the state tournament, the Wildkats finish the season 15-12.