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Helena High softball made school history with state title appearance

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Posted at 8:08 PM, Jun 02, 2023

HELENA — Helena High took second place at the Class AA state softball tournament last week at Batch Fields. Despite the wind and the rain, the Bengals ended the season with the best finish in the program's 38-year history.

After overcoming Missoula Sentinel and guaranteeing itself a spot in the championship game last Saturday, Helena faced Kalispell Glacier for the championship, but the Wolfpack prevailed 19-7 in the second of two title games.

Bengals senior Brooke Richardson was one of the team leaders. Richardson finished her high school career with 22 home runs. She also had 81 RBIs and scored 66 runs in 74 games played as a Bengal.

“It feels amazin, to be able to finish out high school strong,with my family, you know?” Richardson said.

Outfielder Maloree English will be taking a break from sports as she looks to continue her academic pursuits at the Montana Western in Dillon. She said: “It’s kind of sad, but I’m ready for the next chapter.”

“I just love this team and I think that what we had was really special and I think our legacy will definitely stick with Helena High forever,” English said.

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Brooke, Faith, Kendall and Maloree

Kendall Klemp, another senior, meant so much to this year’s group as the catcher behind the plate. Klemp would always keep the team rolling.

“We just went into Saturday saying we want to keep playing with each other for as long as we possibly can, and we did just that, we went out with a bang,” said Klemp.

Faith Howard and Riley Schlepp will each be returning next year to pitch for the Bengals. “Next season I just want to enjoy the moment. Because I know a lot of the seniors are kind of realizing that it’s hard, so I just really want to embrace that,” said Howard.

“I think that in the moment we were all sad but after the fact I think we realized that’s the best that we’ve ever done and I think that we need to embrace that and understand that (it's) really special for us,” added Howard.

Not only were English, Klemp and Richardson key contributors during their final season of softball for Helena High, but fellow seniors in Makenna Campbell, Madi Lamping and Kalley May also played major roles on and off the field.

"This particular class, every single one of them contributed and saw the field, a lot, and that's a rarity, and they're a special group because of that, they are great softball players for sure, but they're really exceptional people," said Schulte.