Flathead survives in Libby, 6-3
Paul Sievers/The Western News Libby third baseman Nickole Lapka tags out Flatheads Casey Roylsta. Lapka had a big game at the plate as well with two doubles the only extra-base hits in the contest.
One bad inning.
In a battle of two evenly-matched teams, Class AA Flathead escaped Lady Logger territory with a victory on Thursday night, 6-3. The Bravettes couldn’t do a whole lot against Libby pitcher Taylor Armstrong most of the night but pasted a four-spot on the board in the fourth – thanks in part to two errors.
“We had a couple of errors that one inning when they scored the four runs and we had to try to play catch-up,” Libby coach Dean Thompson said. “We’ve got a young team and we’re still learning.”
Trailing 2-0, Flathead got on the scoreboard when Kendra Bennett knocked a single into center field. A throw in to third base had too much on it and ended up over the fence to score two runs. Meagan Hash had reached base earlier in the inning on an infield error. Alyshia Lingle knocked the third run in on a groundout and the Bravettes went up 4-2 on an RBI single to right field by Emily Jones.
“Their hits came at the right time and ours were kind of scattered hits,” Thompson said. “We had some baserunning errors and they had a good pitcher.”
Hash allowed nine hits and five walks while striking out seven for the Bravettes, which were playing their season-opener under first-year head coach Tim Severson.
“These kids will get better and better every week,” Thompson said. “Sometimes when you have a young team like this, there’s a lot more learning and coaching at this time … they’re working hard and we’re hitting the ball pretty well.”
Libby struck first blood with a run in the bottom of the first. Alysha Martin reached base on an error and came around to score on a single by Candace Hendrickson. Libby missed out on other opportunities, however, with two outs on the basepaths.
In the third, the Loggers went up 2-0. Nicky Lapka slapped her second double of the game to open the inning. Martin later reached by error while Lapka scored.
With the evening growing colder and light disappearing, Flathead held on over the final few innings. The Bravettes scored a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on a two-RBI single by Casey Roylsta.
Armstrong fanned seven and walked just two with two of the opponent’s six runs unearned. Lapka, Hendrickson and Jaime Gilden each collected two hits.
Libby’s record falls to 2-2 – the setbacks coming to unbeaten Frenchtown and the AA Bravettes. The team now gets ready for a road trip with stops in Havre on Friday and Browning on Saturday.
For a complete boxscore, see the April 15 edition of The Western News.