BELGRADE — Huntley Project and Plains-Hot Springs came into Thursday afternoon’s matchup as the only unbeaten teams left in the Class B/C state softball tournament.
Addison Hultgren would help make sure Huntley Project remained unbeaten in the tournament, pitching a shutout as the Red Devils earned a 1-0 win to clinch a berth in Saturday’s championship game.
Project scored the game’s only run in the first inning as Trotters ace Kassidy Kinzie was dominant after allowing the run. She’d go on to throw a complete game and strike out nine on the day.
However, the story of the day was Hultgren taking that 1-0 lead her team gave her in the first and never looking back. Hultgren would fan a whopping 17 batters in the complete game shutout.
“Just having all positive attitudes in the dugout — like, every teammate helps each other stay up,” said Hultgren. “I mean, I might have had a bad attitude at times, but every teammate helps you get a better attitude and just helps you throughout the whole game.”
“I’m ecstatic for this group of girls. This is Year 6 and this is probably the tightest-knit group we have over there,” said Huntley Project head coach Tim Bastian. “It’s fun, it’s fun to go out to practice after a day of teaching. They’re going to give you a hard time, you give them a hard time. They just react and play ball, that’s what is nice.”
The Red Devils are going back to the state title game Saturday at 11 a.m. where they await the winner of Saturday’s morning’s consolation game between Plains-Hot Springs and Florence.
Friday’s State B/C softball scores
Game 5: Huntley Project 8, Florence 2, second round
Game 6: Plains-Hot Springs 1, Missoula Loyola 0, second round
Game 7: Conrad-Choteau 10, Manhattan 2, loser-out
Game 8: Cut Bank 12, Shepherd 6, loser-out
Game 9: Missoula Loyola 4. Conrad-Choteau 2, loser-out
Game 10: Florence 20, Cut Bank 8, loser-out
Game 11: Huntley Project 1, Plains-Hot Springs 0, undefeated semifinal
Game 12: Florence 10, Missoula Loyola 9, loser-out (Missoula Loyola gets fourth place)
Saturday’s State B/C softball schedule
Game 13: Plains-Hot Springs vs. Florence, consolation, 9 a.m., Field 1 (loser gets third place)
Game 14: Huntley Project vs. Plains-Hot Springs/Florence winner, championship, 11 a.m., Field 1
Game 15: Second championship, if necessary, 1 p.m., Field 1