May 29—Glacier ended up fourth and Belgrade may end up with a most unusual four-peat.
The Glacier Wolfpack exited the State AA softball tournament at KidSports Saturday, losing 6-0 to Missoula Sentinel in the last game of a blustery, cool day.
The Pack won twice — 14-1 over Helena and 5-3 over Great Falls High — to set up the sixth battle between the Western AA's top two teams. The Spartans evened it at 3-3, getting a four-hitter from pitcher Charlie Hoover and taking control with four unearned runs in the fourth inning.
Sentinel (23-4) will play Billings Senior (20-7) at 9 a.m. for the right to play Belgrade (20-6) in today's championship game. Whoever loses at 9 is third; whoever wins will have to beat the Panthers twice for the title.
Belgrade's softball program has taken nicely to Class AA; when the school moved up the Panthers were three-time State A champions (2017-19). The Panthers solved strikeout pitcher Kennedy Venner in their 7-5 semifinal win over Senior Friday.
Glacier's Sammie Labrum (10) brings in two runs with a single against Helena during the State Class AA Softball Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Glacier's Kenna Vanorny (5) connects on a single in the first inning against Helena during the State Class AA Softball Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Glacier's Kenadie Goudette (20) slides into second ahead of the tag by Helena second baseman Reegan Walsh (3) during the State Class AA Softball Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Glacier pitcher Kynzie Mohl (1) delivers to a Helena batter during the State Class AA Softball Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Glacier shortstop Sammie Labrum (10) fires to first after fielding a ground ball against Helena during the State Class AA Softball Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Glacier's Teagan Powell (18) brings in two runs with a single against Helena during the State Class AA Softball Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Glacier's Alli Kernan (11) slides safely across home plate after teammate Sammie Labrum (10) singled against Helena during the State Class AA Softball Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Glacier center fielder Kenna Vanorny (5) makes a diving catch in the outfield against Helena during the State Class AA Softball Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Glacier's Kynzie Mohl (1) connects on a single against Helena during the State Class AA Softball Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Glacier second baseman Kenadie Goudette (20) flips the ball to first baseman Teagan Powell (18) for an out after fielding a ground ball against Helena during the State Class AA Softball Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Sentinel 6, Glacier 0
The Spartans, who rallied to win a wild game from Billings West 8-7 to advance, broke out in the fourth. A one-out error put two on, and after Ella Farrell fanned Mac Wright, Grace Hardy was intentionally walked with first base open.
The third out would not come: Haley Wolsky hit a gork up the third base line for an infield single to bring in one run; Kodi Fraser followed with a line shot up the middle to bring in two more. Wolsky came in on another Glacier miscue, and it was 5-0. None of the four runs were earned.
The Wolfpack offense, meanwhile, never got untracked against Hoover, who fanned four. She never let Pack leadoff hitter Kenna Vanorny reach base, and she struck out Kynzie Mohl — who'd earlier Saturday hit a home run to put away Great Falls — one.
"We just ran out of steam," Glacier coach Abby Connolly said. "Sentinel's a great team, and I couldn't be more proud of the girls. Of course it would have been a little more fun if we'd have won, but I couldn't be more proud. They really competed today."
Ella Farrell struck out six in four innings of work, allowing three hits, three walks and five runs, none earned.
Glacier 000 090 0 — 0 4 4
Sentinel 010 401 x — 6 8 1
Kynzie Mohl, Ella Farrell (3) and Halle Schroeder, Mohl (3). Charlee Hoover and Emma Ries.
GLACIER — Kenna Vanorny 0-3, Mohl 1-3, Sammie Labrum 0-3, Kenadie Goudette 1-3, Farrell 1-3, Zoey Allen 0-0, Schroeder 0-2, Emma Cooke 1-3, Teagan Powell 0-2, Alli Kernan 0-2.
SENTINEL — Grace Hardy 1-3, Haley Wolsky 1-4, Kodi Fraser 1-2, Addy Gaub 2-4, Keena Kay 0-4, Amy Taylor 1-2, Ries 0-2, Schweitzer 0-1, Morgan Holmes 1-3, Mac Wriight 0-3.
2B — Cooke. RBI — Fraser 2, Holmes, Wolsky, Gaub.
Belgrade 7, Billings Senior 5
The Panthers' Tayler Thomas allowed just three hits, and all three came during Senior's 5-run seventh inning.
Kara Conway led off with a single and Dacee Zent followed with a 2-run homer, and the next three Broncs reached as well, two by error.
Isabelle Dillon and Kennedy Venner both came to the plate as the tying run, but hit into a force and then flied out to short to end it.
Venner, the state's strikeout leader, walked four, gave up seven hits and fanned just three.
Belgrade surged ahead with a 5-run fourth. Elizabeth Ybarra got the big inning going with a leadoff double, and scored on a two-out error on a grounder by Tyclee Bowler.
Maddie Tomasetti followed with an RBI double, and Tayler Thomas and Arin Eaton added RBI singles.
Belgrade 000 520 0 — 7 7 1
Billings Senior 000 000 5 — 5 3 1
Tayter Thomas, Talyn Campbell (7), T Thomas (7) and Campbell, T Thomas (7) and Campbell (7). Kennedy Venner and Hollis Baker.
BELGRADE — Kenna Thomas 0-4, Kamie Gorrell 0-4, Tyclee Bowler 0-4; Maddie Tomasetti 2-4, T. Thomas 2-4, Arin Eaton 1-4, Shaylis Osler 0-4, Elizabeth Ybarra 1-3, Campbell 1-3.
BILLINGS SENIOR — Isabelle Dillon 0-4, Veneer 0-4, Kara Conway 0-3, Dacee Zent 1-3, Baker 0-3, P Opp 1-3, A Waddingham 0-3, D Mayo 0-3, V Martin 1-3.
2B — Toimasetti, Ybarra. HR — Zent. RBI — Eaton, T Thomas, K Thomas, Eaton Tomasetti 2, Zent 2, Martin 2.
Glacier 5, Great Falls 3
Mohl's 2-run homer in the seventh broke a 3-3 tie.
The Wolfpack led 3-0, thanks to an RBI single by Kenadie Goudette in the first inning, and an RBI groundout — scoring Vanorny, who'd hit a leadoff double — by her in the third.
The Bison managed just two hits, but one by Ryen Palmer, coupled with two walks issued by Mohl, capped a 3-run outburst in the fifth inning.
Farrell came on for Mohl and retired seven of nine batters faced, six by strikeout.
Vanorny drew a walk and scored her all-class record 62nd run on Mohl's 18th homer of the season.
The hit came as a pod of Glacier fans continued waving a sign reading: "No. 1, hit it here." Her liner into a harsh wind came reasonably close.
"I think on one field, yeah, I was pretty close," said Mohl, a Montana Grizzlies signee.
"That's just one example of what a great player does," Connolly said. "In a really tough situation she got up there and. ... was the one that got the bat on the ball.
"She's a deadly hitter. I'm not sure I'd ever want to throw to her."
Farrell also drove in a run for the Pack.
The Bison ended up 17-10. Glacier improved to 23-4, only to falter against the Spartans.
"I'm definitely going to miss a lot of these girls," Mohl said. "Especially Ella (Farrell) — throughout this whole season we have bonded over our pitching and catching combo. Not seeing her every day will be really hard."
Glacier 201 000 2 — 5 8 0
Great Falls 000 030 0 — 3 2 2
Mohl, Farrell (5) and Schroeder, Mohl (5). Morgan Sunchild and Bloomgren, Senger (6).
GLACIER — Vanorny 1-3, Mohl 3-4, Labrum 0-3, Goudette 2-4, Farrell 0-4, Schroeder 1-3, Cooke 1-3, Powell 0-3, Kernan 0-3.
GREAT FALLS — Palmer 1-3, Jones 0-3, Sunchild 0-3, Bloomgren 0-2, Jablonski 1-2, Hens 0-2, Senger 0-2, Newman 0-2, Galloway 0-3.
2B — Vanorny, Jabonski. HR — Mohl. RBI — Mohl 2, Goudette 2, Farrell, Palmer 2.
Glacier 14, Helena 1
A pair of late-inning rallies turned this into a laugher while Mohl threw a complete game four-hitter for the Pack.
Glacier got all the runs it needed with Sammie Labrum's 2-run double during a 4-run second inning, but Teagan Powell added a sacrifice fly in a 3-run sixth and a 2-run single while Glacier scored four times in the seventh.
Halle Schroeder added RBI singles in the sixth and seventh as well.
Vanorny drew three walks and scored three times, and Mohl scored three runs as well.
In the circle the senior slugger allowed one walk and struck out two.
Ashley Lamping had the lone RBI for Helena (13-12).
Glacier 140 203 4 — 14 13 2
Helena 010 000 0 — 1 4 3
Mohl and Schroeder. Koenig and Countryman.
GLACIER — Vanorny 1-2, Mohl 1-3, Labrum 1-5, Goudette 2-4, Farrell 2-4, Allen 0-0, Schroeder 2-4, Cooke 1-4, Powell 2-3, Kernan 1-5, Avalon Viau 0-0.
HELENA — Countryman 0-4, Walsh 0-2, Ark 1-3, Richardson 0-3, Koenig 0-3, Manibusan 0-3, Wezel 2-3, Lamping 1-3, English 0-3, Campbell 0-0.
2B — Goudette, Ark. RBI — Labrum 3, Popwell 3, Schroeder 2, Farrell 2, Goudette 2, Cooke, Allen, Lamping.
Sentinel 8, Billings West 7
West put up four runs in the sixth inning, getting a 2-run homer from Emma Balsam and an RBI single from Kanzie Matthews, to lead 7-4.
Sentinel came back with four in the top of the seventh — Keena Kay's 2-run homer capped the rally — and then turned two hard-hit balls by West's Halle Spring and Marleigh Nieto into outs to end it.
Matthews drove in three runs for the Eastern AA champion Golden Bears, who ended up 20-6.
Sentinel 14, Capital 1
Amy Taylor, Wolsky and Montana softball signee Grace Hardy all hit homers for the Spartans, with Walksy and Taylor going deep in a 4-run second inning.
Capital ended up 14-11.
In Friday's other early games, Belgrade beat Great Falls 11-4 and Billings Senior knocked West into the loser's bracket, 5-2.