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Trotters drop Breakers

 

April 18, 2019

John Hamilton

PLAINS-HOT SPRINGS third baseman Natalee Deschamps makes a throw to first baseman Dakota Butcher for an out in Plains Monday. Loyola coach Brian Bessette watches the play from the background.

PLAINS – For being an early-season game, this one had a post-season feel to it.

The Loyola Sacred Heart Breakers visited Plains Monday for a key doubleheader with the Plains-Hot Springs Trotters and the first game turned into a classic pitching duel between Breaker Kayla Hickethier and Trotter Kassidy Kinzie, both returning All-State B-C players from a year ago.

Using a pair of runs scratched out in the bottom of the third inning, the Trotters then stood firm behind the stellar pitching of Kinzie to hold on and win 3-2. The game ended on a dramatic double play with a Loyola runner on base as third baseman Natalee Deschamps made a diving catch of a bunt attempt which turned into short pop-up in front of the plate, and then got up and threw to first base for the final out.

The Trotters got the runs they needed in the third inning as catcher Kenzie Angle started the rally with a single and then gave way to pinch-runner Brooklyn Stafford. Stafford advanced to second base on a fielder's choice and Sage Jackson then drove Stafford home with a single to right field.

Kinzie then helped her own pitching cause by rapping out a double to drive in Jackson, making the score 3-1 in favor of the Trotters. Backed by P-HS's strong defense behind her, the hard-throwing Kinzie effectively shut down the Breakers the rest of the way to win.

With promising freshman hurler Celsey VonHeeder pitching for the Trotters in the second game, Kinzie, now playing shortstop, blasted a 3-run home run early and the Trotters hit well as a team on the way to a 17-7 win in the nightcap.

Coach Michele Bangen, who is being assisted by former Lady Griz softball player Dani Walker and Kati Mitchell this season, felt her Trotters could play better, but was happy with the wins.

"I think we can hit better than we showed in that first game," Bangen said, "but we were able to stay in it mentally and get the win. Those are two huge wins for us though. The top five teams in the Western B-C are going to be fighting it out all season, and these games were an example of that."

John Hamilton

HELPING HER OWN CAUSE - P-HS's Kassidy Kinzie hit this pitch for a run-scoring double and went on to pick up the pitching win against Loyola Monday.

A big part of P-HS's success in the first game, was keeping the flame-throwing pitcher Hickethier, who is also an effective hitter, off the bases. "Our biggest win was keeping Kayla off the bases," Bangen said. "She has really hurt us at the plate in the past and Kass managed to keep her under control."

Plains-Hot Springs opened season play with a doubleheader in Deer Lodge Saturday and left Montana's prison-city with 16-2 and 12-11 wins over the Lady Wardens.

Now 4-0 in Western B-C play, the Trotters will travel to Eureka Thursday to take on the Lady Lions and their All-State B-C pitcher Avory Escobar. Led by Escobar, Eureka is one of those other top five teams in the division that Bangen is talking about.

"This will be another good test, Avory is a very good pitcher," Bangen said. "We are looking forward to seeing, and playing Eureka."

 

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