SPRING TIME IN THE ROCKIES — Cowgirl Shanae Newmiller raps out a base hit in play during the Conrad Challenge tournament. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
The weekend girls fast pitch softball tourney was being touted as the Conrad Softball Challenge.
And it was, one heck of a challenge to juggle games and times at the last minute, all the while playing contests in snow, sleet, some rain, a dash of sun and just about anything else Mother Nature could dish up.
Conrad moved their overall record to 6-3 with two wins and one loss over the weekend.
With a big win, Rashelle Johns moved her pitching record to 2-2. She has 13 strikeouts and 11 walks so far in the season.
Kara Bandow has been stellar on the mound this season with a 4-0 record, 16 strike outs and only three walks.
Kasey Brownell came back this week and was 0-1 with a loss to Columbus. She had six strike outs and two walks in her loss on Saturday.
Conrad opened up against Colstrip with Bandow on the mound.
After a little bit of a shaky start, the home girls trailed 2-1 going to the bottom of the third inning.
Bandow led off, smacking a triple to left field which opened the flood gates over the next few innings.
Johns had a safety, Kelli Fagan pounded out a triple and a double, Brownell went 1-1, Shanae Newmiller was 2-3 with a double and Devon Rauscher was also 2-3 with a double.
The Cowgirls made all of their nine hits count, scoring 13 runs and committing just one error.
Bandow and her battery mate, Fagan, allowed only three hits in picking up the win.
Against Shephard, Conrad made the most of five hits, in scoring three runs behind Johns and Fagan and making that stand up for the 3-2 win.
Leading 2-0 into the fourth Grubb smoked a double to left field. Johns helped her own cause with a seeing-eye single up the middle that scored Grubb with what proved later on to be the winning run.
In the top of the seventh, Shephard made the game interesting.
After the first batter fanned, two infield singles and a fielder’s choice saw Shephard load the bases.
On a ground ball to Newmiller at short, she threw home for a force out, but the sacks were still juiced.
The contest ended with yet another play at the plate on short grounder.
Johnson and Fagan also had doubles, Johns fanned seven batters, and Conrad committed three errors in getting the 3-2 win.
Playing Columbus on Saturday, the Cowgirls ran into a buzz saw and suffered a 12-0 loss
Columbus knocked out 14 hits and while they committed seven errors, they didn’t hurt themselves.
Conrad plays Browning Thursday in the final home game of the season. The first pitch gets thrown at 4 p.m.
Saturday the home girls go to Havre and end the season at Browning and Lewistown.
The divisional and state tournament is in Glasgow, if they can get their fields dried out from flooding, May 19-21 and May 27-29.