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Trotters hoping to make State B-C

 

March 22, 2018



So close to making it to the State B-C tournament last spring, the Plains-Hot Springs Trotters will be looking to make that next big step this season.

Still coached by Michele Bangen, who was known as Michele Hunter last year, the Trotters were only a few outs away from earning their way to State at the divisional tournament last spring, leading Missoula Loyola 11-9 in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Breakers came back to tie the game at 11-11 in that inning and eventually win 12-11 in extra innings, denying the Trotters their trip to State.

With a lot of players back from that team, Bangen feels the Trotters are an even better team in the making this year, and could be making a delayed trip to the State B-C tourney, which will be played in Belgrade, later this spring.

“We have a solid 17 players on the roster and are looking forward to the season,” she said. “We have Kass (junior Kassidy Kinzie) back at pitcher and a bunch of experience everywhere else. We think we will have a pretty good season if all goes according to plan.”

Kinzie sat out the softball season last spring after injuring her knee during basketball. Judging by the all-conference hoop season she just had, she appears to be fully healed and ready to go this spring for softball.

“We have a lot of experience,” Bangen said, “and a lot of talented players. We will have the option of moving people around and trying some different things if we have to.”

Stacy Gray and Jessica Thompson are the team’s only seniors, Kinzie, Kenzie Angle, Natalee Deschamps and Brooklyn Stafford are the juniors, Sidney Jackson, Sage Jackson, Dakota Butcher, McKenzie Elliott,

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Kelsey Standeford, Danielle Graham, Emma Morgan and Brianna Gray the sophomores, and Skyler Bergstrom, McKenzie Blood and Emma Rae Rasmussen the freshmen.

Brianna Gray is in the same boat as Kinzie was last spring, on the roster but unable to play this season due to a knee injury suffered during basketball season.

The promising Trotters will open season play at rival Thompson Falls next Tuesday afternoon.

Bangen says that there are 11 teams split into two districts in the Western B-C division, and that the top four from each district earn berths into the divisional tournament. From the Western B-C tourney, the top four teams then advance on to the State B-C tournament.

Bangen ranks her Trotters as one of the better teams in the division, along with traditional powers Florence and Missoula Loyola, but doesn’t know what Anaconda or new league member Manhattan Christian will bring to the table this spring.

“We should be competitive with anyone we play,” she said. “It should be a fun season.”

 

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