FRENCHTOWN – The bottom half of the bracket at the state B/C softball tournament provided a thriller, and an impressive performance by one of the favorites.
Huntley Project came from behind in the final innings to beat Missoula Loyola 3-2, in 8 innings. Libby finished off an 11-1 win over Great Falls Central in the 6th inning due to the 10-run rule.
Loyola struck first on an RBI double by Morgan Nicholson in the second inning. By the 4th, the Breakers had extended the lead to 2-0. And the 3-seed from the West held that lead all the way into 7th against the 2-seed from the East.
Huntley Project rallied with their backs against the wall. The Red Devils scored twice in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game. And then walked off with the winning run in the bottom of the 8th.
Libby set the tone for their victory early. Madisen Monigold pulled a homerun over the left field fence on the first pitch of the bottom of the 1st inning. Abbey Ennenga added a 2-run homer in the 3rd to extend the lead to 5-0.
The top seed from the West held a 7-1 lead entering the bottom of the 6th. Then the Loggers scored four runs on a single, double and a pair of Mustangs errors to finish off the four-seed from the East with only one out in the inning.
Khalyn Hageness only gave up one run and two hits to the Mustangs, and also went 2/4 with 3 RBIs at the plate.
Libby and Huntley Project will now collide in the second round at 10:00 AM Friday. Missoula Loyola and Great Falls Central will play a loser-out at 12:00 PM.