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Hawks close book on season


John Hamilton

LADY HAWK CAPTAIN Kelsey Frank makes a throw against Plains last week.

It wasn't the ending the Lady Hawks truly wanted, but it really wasn't that bad either.

Coach Jared Koskela and his Thompson Falls Lady Hawks completed season softball play with a 13-3 loss to Loyola in Missoula in a Western B-C divisional tournament play-in game Monday.

Although the Lady Hawks lost their chance to play more in this week's Western B-C tourney in Anaconda, they gained some self-respect from the competitive loss to Loyola, and also from a 9-6 loss to Plains-Hot Springs in Thompson Falls Friday.

"Yeah, we didn't win and that's tough," Koskela said. "But we were getting better late in the year and that is encouraging. We may not have won those games but the girls were still having fun and improving at the end, and that means something for the future of this program."

The play-in game with Loyola Monday started well for the Hawks.

After Breaker pitcher McKenna Bessette issued two walks to start out the first inning, Koskela turned to small-ball tactics to put the heat on the Loyola defense.

First, Riley Wilson bunted her way safely on, forcing an errant throw to first base. Then Jody Detlaff followed with another bunt which forced another bad throw and allowed the Hawks to score the game's first run.

John Hamilton

LOOKING TO MAKE CONTACT - Lady Hawk Danni-Jo Van Huss swings at a pitch against Plains-Hot Springs in Thompson Falls Friday.

With the bases still loaded, Izzy Helmer then slapped a solid hit into the outfield to score two more runs, giving the Hawks an unexpected 3-0 lead early. They still led 3-1 into the fourth inning before Loyola finally got their bats going and managed to pull away.

"We got their attention there early, got 'em rattled a little bit to start the game," Koskela said. "And Loyola is a good team, with their two solid pitchers they have as good a chance as anyone to win the divisional tournament this weekend."

Bessette, a transfer from Big Sky High in Missoula, only became eligible to play for Loyola a few weeks ago, giving the Breakers another ace in the hole right before the tournament season rolls around.

The Lady Hawks' loss to Plains-Hot Springs last Friday was another encouraging effort for the Falls girls. Although P-HS mixed up the lineup some to get some different girls playing time, the Hawks forced the action all game long and were never really out of contention until the final out.

No statistics from that game were available.


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