BELGRADE — For the first time in program history, Huntley Project is the Class B/C state softball champion.
The Red Devils, who had three prior runner-up trophies, broke through on Saturday, outlasting Florence for an 8-5 win in the state championship game. The Falcons defeated the Red Devils in last year’s championship.
Project entered Saturday’s final as the tournament’s lone undefeated team after defeating Florence 8-2 in Friday’s second round. The Falcons battled back through the consolation bracket, ultimately earning a 12-2 win over Plains-Hot Springs in Saturday morning’s third-place game.
Florence carried that momentum into the championship, striking in the bottom of the first inning as Kasidy Yeoman crossed the plate to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
Project got on the board in the third inning. Sara Sumner hit a solo home run, and Addison Hultgren added the Red Devils’ second run. They would grow the lead to 4-1 in the top of the fourth when Ashley Wengler drove in a run and ultimately came around to score.
Though Florence threatened multiple times — cutting the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth and 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth — Project would lead the rest of the game.
After the Devils got two insurance runs in the seventh, Florence put the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the inning. Hultgren, though, got Jaidyn Larson to ground out to end the game, giving Huntley Project the 2019 Class B/C state softball title.
“It feels good, it’s been a while coming,” said Huntley Project coach Tim Bastian. “It’s all about the girls. They’re the ones that do everything and we get to have them and enjoy them throughout the season, so it’s theirs.”
Hultgren had another solid game in the circle for the Red Devils, throwing seven innings and striking out six. She was also 2-for-4 at the plate, scoring one run.
Mollee Krum added a fifth-inning home run for Huntley Project, which also got 2-for-4 days from Rylee Wadman and Angel Henry. Sumner, Krum, Wadman, Wengler and Jordyn Zimmer each had one RBI in the win.
“It feels amazing, there’s actually no words for this,” Hultgren said. “We’ve been dreaming about this for ages. We won the (Tournament of Champions) championship in fourth grade, like a few of us together, and this was an insane moment replayed.”
Florence scattered 12 hits in the loss, with Yeoman, Danielle Zahn and Shannon Byrne each going 2-for-4 at the plate.
For full game results from the Class B/C state softball tournament, please click here.
Huntley Project wins their first ever Class B Softball Championship with a 8-5 win over Florence/Carlton. Congratulations to the players and coaches! The HP Red Devil Community is proud of you! pic.twitter.com/qt5ZPYQeWe
— HPREDDEVILS (@HPREDDEVILS) May 25, 2019