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Frenchtown wins state via walk-off heroics

By Vince Bagby, Sports Director, vbagby@keci.com
Published On: May 25 2013 06:28:30 PM MDT
Updated On: May 26 2013 03:28:59 PM MDT
Frenchtown softball champs
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Frenchtown used walk-off hits in the semifinals and the title game Saturday in Belgrade to earn their 7th state title and first since 2009.

Kayla Blood did the honors in the championship game with a walk-off single in the 8th inning to give the Broncs' a dramatic 2-1 victory over their Northwest Conference rivals the Polson Pirates.

Vanessa Stavish kept the title game alive for her Broncs with a clutch 2-out single in the 7th to tie the game up 1-1.  It was also Stavish who delivered a walk-off double earlier in the day to clinch a Broncs' win in the semifinals over Columbia Falls.

"I'm so proud of them, they are so deserving," said Frenchtown head coach Eli Field after the game.  "There are so many hours that go into this that people don't know about."

The narrow loss kept the Pirates from becoming the first team in Treasure State history to win four state title in a row.  If Polson (25-3) had defeated Frenchtown it would have forced a 2nd championship game.

Frenchtown sophomore pitched all seven innings in the circle for her Broncs.  She collected 12 strikeouts and allowed just six hits in the contest.

"It's amazing," said Ray of winning the title.  "It was such a low-scoring game and it's definitely a challenge to pitch to those guys and to beat them.  They've had three state titles in a row and it's just the best feeling to be able to take that state title home."