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State AA softball: Helena Capital to host defending champ Kalispell Glacier in championship

Posted at 8:29 PM, May 25, 2024

HELENA — A team that wasn't anticipating hosting a tournament will play the defending champion for all the marbles on Sunday.

Helena Capital, which saw the State AA softball tournament shuffled to its venue at the 11th hour due to a late spring storm, fended off No. 1 East seed Billings West 3-2 in Friday's undefeated semifinal to automatically advance to the championship.

That win sent the Golden Bears into the consolation final against reigning champ Kalispell Glacier, where the Wolfpack built a big lead and then held on for a 7-6 victory to give the Western AA's top seed a chance at preserving its title.

The championship is set to be played on Sunday at noon at Capital.

In Capital's undefeated semi win over West, the Bruins broke a scoreless tie by scoring all three of its runs in the bottom of the third inning. Taylor Sayers notched an RBI for the game's first run and then Kathryn Emmert had a 2-RBI single to give Capital a 3-0 lead.

West's Ryane Viker batted in a run for West in the top of the fourth and Mya Boos batted in a runner for the Bears in the fifth.

In the third-place game, Glacier reeled off five runs in the second inning, West responded with a five-run third inning and then the Wolfpack scored two runs in the top of the seventh. West got a run in the bottom of the seventh before Glacier pitcher Ella Farrell delivered the final pop out.

Cazz Rankosky and Emma Cooke each notched a pair of RBIs for Glacier and Farrell piled up five strikeouts. The Wolfpack fell to Capital 7-2 in the semifinals before earning a 12-2 run-rule victory over Great Falls CMR in the consolation bracket to get a shot at West.

Both the Wolfpack and Bruins will be hunting for their third state softball championships Sunday. The last time Capital won it all was 2009.