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State AA softball: Western division proves tough with Glacier, Sentinel, Helena advancing

Bozeman vs Missoula Sentinel
Missoula Sentinel Softball 1
Great Falls Bison 1
Bozeman Hawks 1
Flathead Bravettes 1
CMR vs CHS 2
Capital vs Great Falls CMR
Posted at 8:08 PM, May 25, 2023

HELENA — On Thursday, 12 Class AA softball teams from around Montana converged on Batch Fields with one goal — to win a state championship.

Following is a recap of first-round and quarterfinal games:

Quarterfinals

Kalispell Glacier 7, Missoula Big Sky 0

Kalispell Glacier's Ella Farrell led the way for the Wolfpack in the tournament's second round, throwing a complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts against the Missoula Big Sky Eagles.

Missoula Sentinel 17, Billings Senior 4

After dropping 10 runs on the Bozeman Hawks earlier in the day, the Spartans exploded for 17 against the Billings Senior Broncs en route to the quarterfinal victory. The Spartans Emma Ries was 5-5 on the day with three RBI's while the team tallied four total home runs in the effort.

Glacier and Sentinel will square off Friday at 1 p.m. for a berth in the undefeated semifinal game.

Helena 7, Great Falls 0

Brooke Richardson hit a solo-home run for Helena in the fourth inning to kick-start the Bengals' offense. The big damage was done by Ashley Koenig, who hit a bases-loaded double in the fifth to put Helena ahead 5-0.

Billings West 11 vs. Great Falls CMR 1

Camden Susott hit a three-run home run and was strong in the pitcher's circle in Billings West's victory over Great Falls CMR. Susott's homer allowed the Golden Bears to take a 7-0 advantage in the fifth inning.

West and Helena will battle Friday at 1 p.m. for a berth in the undefeated semifinal contest.

First round

Missoula Big Sky 14, Belgrade 5

Missoula Big Sky started fast by taking a 10-0 advantage in the first inning. Delaney Laird delivered a three-run homer to help with the quick offensive outburst. Tayler Thomas hit two home runs for Belgrade in the losing effort.

Missoula Sentinel 10, Bozeman 5

The Missoula Sentinel Spartans took an early lead after two but the Bozeman bats showed up in the top of the third inning behind leadoff hitter Lulia Paea's grand slam to quickly make it 7-4. Sentinel held on, however, making sure two Missoula schools advanced to the quarterfinals.

Great Falls CMR 9, Helena Capital 4

Future Montana Griz softball player Nyeala Herndon isn't available for Helena Capital due to injury, and Great Falls CMR took advantage. After four innings, CMR led Capital 5-1 and didn't look back.

Great Falls High 12, Kalispell Flathead 2

Ashlyn Jones hit a two-run homer for Great Falls in the fourth inning to help propel the Bison in their first-round win over Flathead.