HELENA — Following a third-place finish at the 2018 Class AA state softball tournament, Helena Capital is looking to make a splash in 2019. Capital lost 10 seniors from last year’s squad, though, which makes this team younger and more inexperienced.
“We’ve got girls that are filling much different roles than we have in the past,” Capital head coach Mike Miller said. “Maybe that’s led a little bit to our inconsistency, but I think that we obviously have a regular season behind us, so that shouldn’t be the case anymore.”
Despite their inconsistency, the Bruins found success with a younger core, finishing 11-8 overall and 9-3 in the Western AA in the regular season. Of the eight total losses the Bruins faced this season, six of them came by two or fewer runs, something Miller attributes to a lack of focus for a full seven innings.
“Hopefully we can keep our focus for the whole game. In the games that we’ve lost, we’ve had a little bit of a letdown in a small part of the game, made a couple of key errors or base-running errors or mental errors. It’s going to take a complete game,” Miller said. “Hopefully our girls will recognize that they are very capable and not put any other teams on a pedestal that we think they’re untouchable, because when we’re playing well, we’re as good as anyone in the state.”
However, being in the game on the field is only half the battle. For senior Nicole Ames, her focus is on ensuring the team is gelling at a time when emotions run highest.
“I think it’s very important for us to stay together. Sometimes we get behind each other’s back and we’re like, ‘Ugh, I wish this person would do better at this,’ but I think we’re really focusing on staying more positive, and I think as long as we can do that, we’ll have better outcomes,” Ames said.
The Bruins will open up the first half of the Class AA state softball tournament on Thursday at 2 p.m. against Billings Skyview.