Historic Finish: Softball Has Best Season In School History
By J.Levi Burnfin
Published: Thursday, May 31st, 2012
They were three outs away from becoming the first Glasgow softball team to win the B/C State Championship. They had a four-run lead and only had to record three outs against a team they had already beaten earlier in the tournament, and the Scotties would have come home state champions.
The Scottie girls were down 4-3 after five innings but scored five in the sixth to take the 8-4 lead with one inning to go. But Florence scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat Glasgow in the championship game on Saturday, May 26. The rally could have been adverted but a pair of Scottie errors gave the Lady Falcons new life.
"Those two outs we didn't get on saturday will haunt us until next season," said Head Coach Mark Falcon.
But Glasgow would have one more crack at Florence since Glasgow had already beaten them earlier in the tournament. Florence had to beat Glasgow two times to claim the championship.
The weather was freezing all weekend as teams bundled up in sweatshirts and pants to try to keep warm. But during the second championship game, it became too much as the ball became hard to see and it was so cold that fielders couldn't grip the ball.
So after only two innings, the game had to be postponed until Monday, May 27, in Great Falls. It was a big break for the Lady Falcons who were in the loser's bracket after their loss to Glasgow earlier in the tournament. Combined with the weather shortened first day of the tournament, that caused Florence to have to play in four games on Saturday.
Florence's pitcher was fighting off callused fingers on her pitching hand and sheer exhaustion. But the final game had to be postponed for two days, giving her time to rest and heal. It was just what she needed as she was able to shut down the Scotties lineu, unlike any other pitcher had been able to do almost all year.
A rested Florence squad went on to beat Glasgow 7-3 in the final game to capture the state title and their sixth title in school history.
It was a bitter end to an outstanding tournament and a record-breaking season for the Scottie girls.
The Scottie girls entered the state tournament on an 11-game win streak, the first-ranked team out of the East Division and were playing their best softball of the season. It was their time.
They began with a match-up against the fourth-ranked team out of the west, Eureka, on Thursday, May 24.
The Scottie girls pick up right where they left off by scoring seven runs in the first inning and never looked back as they beat Eureka in five innings, 11-1.
"I was a great start to state," said Shyla Bergtoll.
Bergtoll pitched the complete game for the win while striking out six and only allowing two hits. Abby Dalbey delivered the big hit with a two-run single in the first and recorded three RBIs in the game.
It gave them confidence and momentum heading into the rest of the tournament. They then faced division-foe and third seed out of the East, Conrad. The Cowgirls put up more of a fight as they led after three innings, 5-4.
But they couldn't keep up with the juggernaut Glasgow offense that scored in each of the next three innings, including five in the fifth and four in the sixth to give the Scotties the 14-8 win.
Bergtoll earned the win by throwing six innings and striking out six. Sadie Sukut led the offensive attack with five RBIs on 2-for-4 from the plate with a double and a triple.
That advanced the Scotties into the semi-finals to face the tournament-favorites and the one seed out of the west, Florence.
The Scotties fell behind quickly after a botched call by the umpires caused Florence to score nine runs in the third inning, according to Falcon.
After a single and a walk put Lady Falcon runners on first and second, a Florence hitter popped up to second base where an "infield-fly," and an automatic out, should have been called. Second baseman Sadie Sukut wisely let the ball drop in an attempt to coax the runners into leaving their bases and getting an extra out off the play.
Instead, the umpires did not call infield fly and caused the Lady Falcon runners to advance safely without any outs being recorded. They went on to score nine runs in the inning for the 9-2 lead.
The Scottie girls started to chip away at the lead, though, as pitcher Tyana Rasmusan pitched the final 3.2 innings without giving up a run. They scored one in the fourth and two in the sixth to put them within four runs of Florence with one inning to go.
Megan Rasmusan and Kenady Hall began the inning with a pair of singles and Jessica Carson followed with a double to score Megan Rasmusan. After a hit-by-pitch, a single and a strike out, Mariah stein brought in the tying runs on a double to left-center.
Sukut, who reach on a single, went to third on Stein's double and would score the go-ahead run on Tyana Rasmusan's sac-fly to center. The Scottie girls would hold on to the lead and win the game, 10-9.
It was an incredible comeback against a very talented team for the Scottie girls.
"It was exciting," said Bergtoll.
"Unbelievable," added Stein.
The win advanced the Scottie girls into the Championship game to face whoever would come out of the loser's bracket. That ended up being Florence who beat St. Ignatius for the chance to play Glasgow.
That led to Glasgow's heart-breaking defeat at the hands of the Lady Falcons and the subsequent loss to give the Lady Falcons the state championship.
But even after all the heartbreak, it was still the best season Glasgow softball has ever had.
"It was a fantastic season. [They are] a great bunch of girls," said Falcon. "It's going to be tough to see the season come to a close."
Bergtoll and Stein agreed. It was their favorite team they have ever been a part of and it was the best team Falcon had ever coached and perhaps the best team in school history. Winning second place in state is the best the team has ever done, the Scottie girls recorded the third-highest amount of wins in school history, according to Falcon, with 22 wins and the team also set the best mark in school history with 18 home runs during the season, breaking the old mark of 16.
Individual players had remarkable performances as well as Mariah Stein broke the single season RBI record with 43 RBIs this year.
Bergtoll recorded the third most strikeouts and wins in a season behind only a pair of Kelsie Archambeult's seasons. She is also number two on the all-time win list in a career behind Archambeult.
Finally, Sukut tied for second best in school history with six home runs. It was an amazing season all-around with great performances from all the girls.
The team wanted to thank each of every supporter they have had this season and said that support is what drove them to such incredible heights. And the fans that were able to make it to Great Falls on Monday, Falcon estimated at least 200, were much appreciated, as well as the fans honked their horns when given updates at the field on Monday.
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