Wolfpack softball heads to AA state play as the top seed from Western Divisional

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MISSOULA — The Western AA Divisional softball tournament was canceled on Saturday due to unplayable field conditions, granting Glacier an automatic berth to the state tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Several second round and loser-out games were rescheduled from Friday because of wet fields and rain. Around 9 a.m. on Saturday, as teams arrived to go through their warmups, umpires assessed the fields and determined that conditions were still too poor for play to continue.

The MHSA then reverted to the initial seeding of teams to determine who would head to Butte on Thursday for state.

Glacier had a bye to the second round and its game versus Missoula Hellgate was rescheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m., but the Wolfpack ended the weekend without playing one game.

“We of course would have loved to play some games,” Glacier coach Abby Connolly said. “The bummer is going two weeks without a game.”

Since ending the season with an 11-game win streak, the Wolfpack has not played since May 9.

Inclement weather also forced the cancellation of the Eastern AA Divisional, so those teams will also have a two week break.

Connolly plans to hold a scrimmages in practice this week to keep the players sharp for state. There are 19 players on Glacier’s postseason roster, which is “enough to have a scrimmage,” she said.

Despite the circumstances, Wolfpack players made the best of the weekend. Connolly said it helped them grow closer as a team.

“One thing I did like about this weekend, though we didn’t play any games, the girls traveled well,” Connolly said. “Definitely a good bonding experience. That’s going to help you when you’re ready to compete.”

One small quirk of the divisional’s cancellation was that Helena High will go to state as the No. 4 seed despite being upset 13-9 by No. 5 Hellgate on Friday.

“That stinks (for Hellgate),” Connolly said. “Not a lot you can do about it.”

Glacier is scheduled to play Billings West at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Stodden Park.

Western B/C Divisional

ANACONDA — Missoula Loyola, Florence, Plains and Manhattan are the four teams headed to the state tournament after a wet weekend at divisionals.

Loyola claimed the divisional championship and No. 1 seed, defeating Florence 6-5 in the title game. Plains is the No. 3 after beating Manhattan 17-9 in the third place game.

The usual two-loss format was not followed for Saturday’s later rounds because of cancellations on Friday.

Eureka was eliminated from the tournament on Saturday after losing 8-7 to Anaconda. The Lions also lost to Florence on Friday, 13-8.

The state tournament starts Thursday in Belgrade.

Northwest A

Polson 16, Libby 8

LIBBY — There was little at stake for the Polson Pirates, who had already nailed down the No. 1 seed in the Northwest A Division, but they made their last game of the season count with a 16-8 Saturday win against the Libby Loggers.

Libby is the western No. 3 seed for the state tournament in Polson, which starts Thursday.

Polson’s bats were hot, as the Pirates scored 16 runs on 17 hits. A seven-run third inning powered Polson into the lead.

Libby managed eight runs on 12 hits.

Josie Caye, Lexy Orien, Kobbey Smith and Lisa Costilla all homered for Polson. Taylor Holm doubled, tripled and homered for Libby. Holm also had three RBI.

Polson 337 010 2 — 16 17 4

Libby 3 40 001 0 — 8 12 3

W — Lauren Vergeront, Katelyne Druyvestein (2).

L —  Kira Ward, Linsey Walker (3).

POLSON — Josie Caye 2-5, Kaylanna DesJarlais 0-2, Paige Noyes 2-5, Lexy Orien 2-4, Savanna Carpentier 3-3, Anna Vert 0-1, Vergeront 1-2, Druyvestein 1-3, Kobbey Smith 3-5, Lisa Costilla 2-3, Kallie Finkbeiner 1-3, She Brown 0-1, Gracie Quinones 0-0.

LIBBY — Walker 1-5, Emily Carvey, Sammee Bradeen 2-4, Taylor Holm 3-4, Sheyla Gallagher 1-3, MaKenzie Proffitt 2-4, Samantha Miller 1-4, Ward 0-2, Amaya Borden 0-0, Aren James 0-1, Cerria Swagger 0-1, Bethany Thomas 1-3, Ember Rode 0-0.

2B — Noyes, Orien, Carpentier; Gallagher, Bradeen, Holm; 3B — Holm; HR — Caye, Orien, Smith, Costilla; RBI — Vergeront, Caye (2), Noyes, Orien (2), Carpentier (2), Smith (2), Costilla (2), Druyvestein; Gallagher (2), Holm (3), Proffitt (2), Walker.

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