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Florence completes first goal, district title

Florence’s Brittany Heinz catches the ball as a Loyola player slides into second base. She said it felt great to win the district championship. “Florence softball is back and ready to attack.” Jean Schurman photo.

With an overall record of 18 wins and just two losses, the Lady Falcons of Florence head into this week’s divisional softball tournament as the 6B champs. They have a conference record of 15-1 with their only conference loss coming from Loyola in the last game of the regular season.
Coach Sierra Hansen said her team is right where she expected them to be at the end of the season. She explained, “as a coach, you always expect to be number one. I think that it was expected last year in if you set the expectation, the girls have the responsibility to meet it.”
With only two seniors on the team and no juniors, the young team plays as a veteran team. Pitcher Courtney Byrne, after nursing a sore wrist in the early part of the season, has come on strong and adapted to the longer distance. She’s backed up by Paige Bodner at catcher who rarely lets a ball get past her. The strong defense is the key to the Falcon’s success.
Florence locked up the district on May 10the when they defeated St. Ignatius. Hansen felt the game against Loyola, even though they are fierce rivals, was a bit of a letdown.
“Physically we had it but mentally we walked on the field like the game was already done. It definitely was a wake up call but it came at the right time. This couldn’t be a better reminder that you can never walk into any game like you’ve already won.”
Loyola jumped out with two runs in the first inning and although the Florence team rallied at times, they couldn’t overcome the margin. Loyola won, 5-2. Hanson said her team hit the ball well but Loyola fielded the ball better. Hailey Huot went 1-for-2 and had an RBI to lead the Falcons.
Florence will open their divisional play at 3 p.m. on Friday in Thompson Falls. Their opponent had not been determined as of press time.
Loyola 201 011 0 – 5 9 1
Florence 000 110 0 – 2 5 4
Sarah Goodman and Sam Manley. Courtney Byrne and Paige Bodner. W – Goodman. L – Bodner.
Loyola – Goodman 3-4, Stevie Kahle 2-4, Manley 1-3, Heather Huguet 2-3, Laura Snook 0-3, Caelin Miltko 1-4, Maddie Keast 0-3, Mady DeWald 0-2, Erin Gallagher 0-3.
Florence – Brittany Heinz 0-1, Cassandra Skeers 0-4, Bodner 0-3, Byrne 2-3, Hayley Cole 0-3, Cody Miller 1-3, Grace Zeiler 1-3, Kirstin Lind 0-2, Hailey Huot 1-2.
2B – Huguet, Huot. RBIs – Goodman, Manley, Huguet, Snook, Cole, Huot.

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