ANACONDA — The B-C Softball State Championship unfolded in Anaconda on Saturday as the Conrad-Choteau Cowdawgs took on the Mission-Arlee-Charlo Bulldogs. After an evenly matched first four and a half innings the Cowdawgs who blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth and then held on to win 8-3.
In the battle between the No. 2 West seed MAC and the No. 3 East seed Conrad the Cowdawgs struck first in the bottom of the first with an RBI double from Tessa Brownell to put them up 1-0.
Immediately after that, teammate Evangelene Denzer had an RBI double of her own to make it 2-0.
Conrad added another before MAC finally got on the board in the third with an RBI single from Gabby Smith to make it 3-1.
That score was followed up with a two run absolute bomb from Izzy Evans to tie things up at three apiece.
From there the Cowdawgs defense locked down and didn't surrender another run all game.
Then Conrad's offense woke back up in the fifth thanks to an RBI double from Katie Stokes to put Conrad back on top 4-3.
In the bottom of the sixth Conrad’s duel threat star Maggie Benderlaunched one into the stratosphere for a solo home run make it 6-3.
The Cowdawgs notched two more to make it 8-3 going into the seventh.
Hoping for a last minute comeback MAC had two outs but the bases loaded in the seventh.
But it was Conrad who secured the final out to cap off their dominant tournament in which they outscored opponents 38-13 over a four game stretch.
Their run secured the 2023 State B-C Softball State championship, the programs first since 2016.
Amidst the celebrations with friends and family, head coach Tyson Anderson and the teams only two seniors, Maggie Bender and Katie Stokes shared all that the win and the team meant to them.
"These girls are just special, I mean they're just so much fun to be around, most of the time," Anderson said with a big smile. "They love each other so much and just revel in each others success."
"I just knew we had it," said an emotional Maggie Bender. "We had it in our hearts, we had it. We just had our minds set on the gold."
"I'm gonna remember every single person," said fellow senior and catcher Katie Stokes. "I'm gonna remember that we all played together, it wasn't just anybody, it was everybody."
Bender and Stokes led the Cowdawgs with two hits apiece with Bender having two RBIs and run scored while Stokes had an RBI and notched two runs.
Izzy Evans and Hayleigh Smith each had two hits for the Bulldogs while Evans had two RBIs and a run scored.