Renegades wrap up regular season with senior night, Butte tourney

By: 
Mikaela Koski
Thursday, May 16, 2019

SCN photo by Mikaela Koski

Shortstop Holly Pennington watches her throw to first. 

SCN photos by Mikaela Koski

Two Renegade base runners wait for the pitch.

SCN photo by Mikaela Koski

Senior Talyn Richard makes contact against Colstrip.

The Stillwater Renegades wrapped up the regular season last week with a stretch of five games over three days. The final push started at home with a senior night game and came to a close at a tournament in Butte.

COLSTRIP

Last Thursday, Stillwater faced the Col-strip Fillies in the final home game for the five Renegade seniors: Kasidy Robbins, Kailee Kienitz, Holly Pennington, Arica Hedges, and Talyn Richard.

The two teams duked it out, with neither team reaching home in the first two innings. Colstrip opened up the scoring in the third with a pair of runs, and Still-water responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. After holding the Fillies scoreless in the fourth, the Renegades added four runs to extend the lead to 7-2 entering the fifth.

Colstrip fought back, hitting well and taking advantage of Stillwater errors to not only come back, but to surpass Still-water in the top of the fifth with six runs to go up 8-7.

The Renegades got a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the fifth before an injury forced a pitching change for the Fillies. Stillwater competed well against the new pitcher; the team made solid contact and added 10 runs to the board to secure the lead. In the end, the Renegades left the field victorious after only six innings, 18-8.

As a team, Stillwater racked up 13 hits, but committed six errors and left seven runners on base. Colstrip had six hits, two errors, and left five on base.

Sophomore Reed Johnson came in off the bench in the fifth inning and went 2-for-2 (1 single, 1 double), batting in three runs. Richard was 3-for-4 with three singles, and Kienitz and sophomore Makayla Harper were both 2-for-4; Harper had three runs batted in (RBIs) and Kienitz had two.

Junior Hayley Story had three RBIs off a bunt and a single, and Hedges had two RBIs from her one single.

Story pitched the majority of the game. She had four strike-outs (1 looking, 3 swinging), one walk, and allowed four hits. Harper pitched for a third of the fifth inning; she did not walk or strike out any batters, but allowed four hits.

FLORENCE

Friday and Saturday, the Renegades played in the Laverne Combo Softball Invitational in Butte. Stillwater plays in the Laverne Combo annually, and it serves two purposes – first, it is one final tournament before the postseason, and second, the Butte invitational is one of the only opportunities the Renegades have to face teams from the Western Division prior to the state tournament.

Stillwater opened the tournament Friday morning against the Florence Falcons.

Florence came out of the gates swinging, putting up eight runs in the top of the first to build a healthy lead. In the bottom, the Renegades only managed to advance runners to first and second, both on walks.

The Falcons extended the lead in the second by four runs to go up 12-0. During Stillwater’s turn at the plate, freshman Izzy Adams walked and was able to advance home off two stolen bases and a passed ball. Sophomore Hailee Kienitz also walked and advanced through a stolen base and passed ball, but was caught stealing home to end the inning for the Renegades.

Stillwater held Florence in the third, but the Falcons added one more run in the top of the fourth. Meanwhile, the Renegades went three-up, three-down in the third and fourth. Florence won the game 13-1.

Stillwater’s only four base runners were walked; the team did not get one hit against the Falcons. The Renegades committed four errors and stranded two on base. Florence recorded 11 hits and left four runners on base while committing no errors.

Story pitched all four innings for Still-water. She struck out two swinging and walked four.

LIBBY

Friday evening, the Renegades played the Libby Lady Loggers.

Libby took advantage of Stillwater errors to score two in the top of the first, and the Renegades responded with at four-at-bat inning, a walk allowing the only base runner. Stillwater put down the Loggers in order in the top of the second and managed two singles in the bottom, but the runners ended the inning stranded on base.

In the third, Libby added another run to go up 3-0, and the Renegades were unable to respond. Neither team scored in the fourth despite moving a runner to third base, and the scoreboard remained the same in the fifth, as well. Four Renegades reached base in the fifth, but none advanced past second base.

The Loggers opened the top of the sixth inning with a solo home run, and Stillwater matched with a solo home run from Johnson to kick off the bottom. A last-inning comeback for the Renegades was not to be – Libby won the game 4-1.

Stillwater had eight hits, five errors, and left seven runners on base; Libby managed seven hits, one error, and stranded four runners.

Hedges went 2-for-2 (1 single, 1 double), and Kailee Kientiz hit two singles during her two at-bats. Adams, Story, and Hailee Kienitz each added a single. Johnson’s home run was the team’s only RBI.

Story faced 26 batters in the six innings she pitched. She did not walk or strike out a batter.

MISSOULALOYOLA

Saturday morning, the Renegades faced the Missoula-Loyola Sacred Heart Breakers.

Stillwater opened the game slowly with a three-up, three-down top of the first, and Loyola got on the board first with one run in the bottom of the inning. Neither team scored in the second, and although the Renegades were able to advance a runner to third base in the top of the third inning, she never reached home.

The Breakers scored four runs in the bottom of the third to go up 5-0, and after holding Stillwater in the fourth, added three more runs to extend the lead. The Renegades struggled to get a runner past second base in the top of the fifth to end the game; Loyola won 8-0.

As a team, Stillwater had five hits, two errors, and stranded six runners. Loyola racked up 13 hits, left five runners on base, and committed one error.

Pennington went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles to lead the Renegades. Richard and Adams each hit a single, and Story laid down a successful bunt.

Pitching duties were handled by Story. She struck out two swinging and walked one.

MISSION-ARLEE-CHARLO

To close out tournament play Saturday evening, the Renegades took on the Mission-Arlee-Charlo (MAC) Bulldogs.

MAC scored first, putting up two runs in the top of the opening inning. Richard opened the bottom of the first with a single to kick-start the Renegade offense; Stillwater took advantage of several opportunities to get three runs on the board and steal the 3-2 lead.

The Bulldogs responded with four runs in the second, but the Renegades’ lead runner was stranded at third base, just short of a Stillwater answer. MAC added two more runs in the third to go up 8-3, and again the Renegades were stopped short of a response with runners in scoring position.

Four more Bulldog runs were added to the scoreboard in the fourth, and the one additional run Stillwater scored was not enough – MAC won the game 12-4.

The Renegades had six hits, left eight runners on base, and committed three errors. MAC managed 14 hits, left four on base, and only had one error.

Johnson led Stillwater with a pair of singles and one RBI during her two at-bats, and freshman Jaden Boardman went 1-for-1. Richard, Story, and Pennington each went 1-for-2 with a single, and Hedges had two RBIs during her three at-bats.

Story pitched four innings, striking out two swinging and walking one.

POSTSEASON OUTLOOK

Now that the postseason has come to a close, the Renegades have set their sights on this week’s divisional tournament. The games will be held at Stewart Park in Billings on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Stillwater will face the Conrad Cowgirls in the first round of the tournament on Friday morning at 9 a.m. A win would see the Renegades face the winner of the Cut Bank/Glasgow game on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. If Stillwater were to lose Friday morning, they would be kicked to the consolation bracket to play in a loser-out game on Friday at 5 p.m.

Currently, the Renegades sit at sixth place in the nine-school Eastern Division. The top four teams coming out of the divisional tournament will earn a place at next week’s state softball tournament in Belgrade.

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