Friday, February 23, 2018

Hardin softball players Courtney (left) and Ashley Uffelman head to recover the ball during a Monday afternoon match against Miles City.

Gaining experience

Lady Bulldog softball team defeats Billings Central after hard loss to Miles City
One day after losing 17-0 on their home turf, invoking the mercy rule and cutting the game short in the third inning, Hardin High School’s softball team traveled to Billings Central on Tuesday and beat the Lady Rams 10-9. This is the team’s first victory against Central since 2006.
The main difference between the first game – against the Miles City Cowgirls – and the second, according to Hardin Head Coach Sarah DeVore, was her Lady Bulldogs’ ability to execute “routine plays.”
The Cowgirls, she said, are a “well-oiled machine” who start seniors. As for the Ladies, she continued, “We start six freshmen.”
“We could not throw the ball, couldn’t field the ball and were not backing our pitchers,” she said of the Miles City game. “Against Central, that was one of the key things.
“Our pitcher threw a great game and it was a totally different outcome.”
Players on her team are maturing and gaining experience, she said, though having only one senior is a “hurdle” they’ll need to “work with all season long.” Fortunately, she added, the girls are playing well together. 
According to DeVore, team captain Karissa DuShane “really stepped up” during the Central game, “calling plays and calling the team together.”
With help from captains DuShane, Hailey Cannon and Ashley Uffelman, DeVore said, “it’s definitely going to be a positive year.”
Starting Friday, the Ladies will be traveling to compete in the Belgrade Invite.