KALISPELL-- The Eastern AA dominated the first day of the 2021 State AA softball tournament, and surprise performances continued on Friday. No. 3-seed Billings Senior moved on to the undefeated semifinal with a win over No. 1-seed Billings West. The Broncs will face Belgrade, who shut down a previously red-hot Great Falls High offense to win 11-4.
Billings Senior 5, Billings West 2
Senior opened the scoring with a second-inning solo home run from Hollis Baker, and then Alexis Waddingham knocked in two runs in the third inning. West responded in the bottom of the fifth when Avery Martin and McKinsey Matthews each drove in runs to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
But Baker struck again in the sixth for Senior, mashing a two-run home run to right-center field to make the score 5-2 and put things away for good. For the second consecutive day, Kennedy Venner pitched a complete game for the Broncs.
Belgrade 11, Great Falls High 4
Great Falls High sophomore pitcher Tehneson Ehnes struggled with her command early, and Belgrade took advantage. In the first inning, Kenna Thomas scored from third on an infield single, while Maddie Tomasetti scored on a bases-loaded walk earlier in the inning. Ehnes escaped a few jams, and Great Falls was able to scratch across a run in the bottom of the third inning when Ashlyn Jones singled home Ryen Palmer to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Panthers broke things open in the fourth. Tomasetti drove in Kenna Thomas, then Tayler Thomas hit a three-run homer later in the inning to make it 6-1. Belgrade cruised from there to win 11-4.
Belgrade and Senior will play in the undefeated semifinal at 4 p.m. Friday. The winner clinches a berth in Saturday's championship game.
Missoula Sentinel 14, Helena Capital 1
Kalispell Glacier 14, Helena High 1