HAMILTON — The semifinals of the State A softball tournament wrapped up on Friday in Hamilton. Frenchtown and Billings Central both advanced with wins and will meet on Saturday in the undefeated final. For full pairings from the State A tournament, click here.
Billings Central 7, Columbia Falls 1
Billings Central shot out with a three-run first inning and never looked back as the Rams topped Columbia Falls 7-1 on Friday.
Central was aided by a two-run home run from Ally Kowalczyk in the first inning to pad the lead. Kowalczyk finished with the home run and a pair of singles and two runs scored for the Rams. Krista Gauslow added a two-RBI triple for Central as well.
Aletheia Fisher drove in Columbia Falls' lone run in the fourth inning, but Central responded with a four-run bottom of the fourth to pull away for good.
After a strong performance on Thursday, Central pitcher Peyton Whitehead again was too much for opposing batters. Whitehead pitched all seven innings and struck out four batters and allowed just four hits.
Central will meet Frenchtown at 9 a.m. on Saturday in the undefeated final.
Frenchtown 15, Havre 1 (5 innings)
In the first semifinal of the day, Frenchtown made quick work of Havre as the Broncs topped the Blue Ponies 15-1 on Friday.
Already leading 6-0 after three innings, Frenchtown used a nine-run fourth inning to close the game early and advance to the undefeated final against Billings Central.
Sadie Smith started Frenchtown off with an RBI-triple in the first inning, and the Broncs added two more runs later in the inning. The Broncs made it 6-0 in the third inning after a wild throw home got away from Havre's catcher and two runners scored.
Then in the fourth, the Broncs blew the doors open. Frenchtown notched seven hits and scratched across nine runs to put the game well in-hand. Toni Beatty added a two-RBI single in that frame in what was a two-hit and two-run day for her. Smith also tallied two hits in the game and Carah Evans had three hits for Frenchtown.
On the mound, Smith turned in another dominant performance as she allowed just three hits and struck out four batters.