The Hamilton Broncs and the Florence Lady Falcons will both move on to their respective state tournaments this weekend even though both teams had a couple of bumps in the road. Hamilton will play at 4 pm on Thursday in Anaconda. They will play the winner of the Columbia Falls/Billings Central game. Columbia Falls is the No. 2 team from the Northwest A and Billings Central is the No. 3 team from the Eastern A. Florence, the No. 1 team from the west, will open the State B/C tournament at 2 pm against Shelby, the No. 4 team from the east.
Hamilton finished their season on Thursday against rival Corvallis in Corvallis. The Blue Devils defeated Hamilton, 8-5 but the win didn’t change the final conference standings. Whitney Jessop went 3-for-4 for Corvallis at bat and had an RBI. Candace Dunagan had a double for the Lady Broncs.
Corvallis coach Rich Borden said early season errors and batting woes were tough to overcome as the season progressed. “We came on strong but just couldn’t make up those early mistakes.”
A couple of tough practices for Florence had the coaching staff scratching their heads and wondering how to shore up the young team as they headed into the Western B/C Divisional in Ronan. The Lady Falcons settled down on Friday and defeated Plains, 11-1 in five innings. Pitcher Courtney Byrne allowed only three hits. She also had a double. Her sister, Megan, had two RBIs and was 2-for-3 at bat.
On Saturday, Florence met up with Ronan in the championship game. The Lady Falcons once again 10-runned their opponent, topping Ronan, 13-3. Hayley Cole went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple and four RBIs in the win. Byrne took the win and allowed five hits. Florence scored eight runs in the first inning and then built upon the lead.