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Trotters softball faces top opponents

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | April 17, 2024 12:00 AM

It was a tough week for the young Plains Trotters softball team.

With a roster that features five sophomores, four freshmen and two eighth graders out of 15 players on the list, a learning curve to the land of experience is to be expected.

But these players will progress.

This past week the Trotters played some top quality opponents, teams that provide a measuring stick as to where they want to be.

The addition of long-time area baseball guru Jon Zigler as assistant coach to the mix will pay off, the main ingredients required are patience and hard work.

Plains opened their week with a game Tuesday afternoon on their home field against the Mission-Arlee-Charlo (MAC) Bulldogs, who exploded for 11 runs in the first inning on their way to a Mercy Rule shortened, three inning, 16-1 loss.

Senior Marissa Young provided a bright moment for the Trotters when she hit a high-arching home run over the fence in right center field in the bottom of the third inning.

By then the damage had been done as the Lady Bulldogs took advantage of a barrage of walks and wild pitches, along with some timely hitting and aggressive base running.

MAC added a solo run in the top of the second and four more in the top of the third to activate the Mercy rule and end the game after three innings of play.

Friday, Plains headed to Fort Missoula’s softball complex for a series of games against some of the top teams in the area and from around the state.

They opened play Friday afternoon against Florence-Carlton’s Lady Falcons, who scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and never trailed the rest of the game en route to a 19-3 Mercy rule shortened defeat after two innings.

Plains led in that game after scoring three runs in the top of the second, but the Lady Falcons pushed 17 runs across the plate in the bottom of the inning to build their final margin of victory. Florence scored their 19 runs on just six hits, once again benefiting from Trotters mistakes and wobbly pitching. The Trotters had three hits during the second inning, which was their total for the game.

Florence-Carlton came into the game with a 4-0 record.

Later that afternoon, the Trotters went up against a powerful, also unbeaten Three Forks team, which earlier in the day toppled Thompson Falls from the ranks of the unbeaten. The Lady Wolves beat Plains 13-2.

Saturday the Trotters were supposed to have played Ennis, but no score was posted on that game.

They stayed in Missoula to face yet another powerhouse team, the Manhattan Tigers, who came into the game with a 7-1 record, having lost only to MAC earlier this month. Manhattan got out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first inning, then added seven more in the bottom of inning number two on their way to a 15-0, three inning game. Once again, the Trotters were only outhit by three, 6-3, but other factors were instrumental in their demise.

Without the Ennis game being posted, Plains left Missoula 0-5.

But as stated above, this is a young team with some very promising players moving up the ranks.

Next on the schedule for the Trotters is a road trip this Thursday (April 18) for a game with MAC in St. Ignatius. Plains returns home Saturday afternoon for a conference game with Eureka.