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Lady Pirates chasing down another state title

by SCOT HEISEL
Lake County Leader | May 25, 2021 4:00 PM

The Lady Pirates softball team flexed some muscle last week in preparation for the Class A state tournament this weekend in Butte.

Polson (19-1-1) finished out conference play with wins over Ronan, Columbia Falls and Libby to go undefeated in their Northwest A schedule. Their only loss of the season came by one run at Class AA Glacier. They also played to a 2-2 tie against fellow Lake County state title contender Class B/C Mission-Arlee-Charlo at the Frenchtown Invitational.

Along the way there were plenty of short games won by the 10-run rule, including a 10-0 win over Ronan on May 18 and a convincing 16-2 win over Libby at home on Saturday that put an exclamation mark on their accomplishments.

Libby heads to state as the No. 2 seed out of the Northwest, but they were no match for the Lady Pirates on Senior Day.

Senior shortstop Josie Caye jump-started the scoring with a lead-off home run, and Polson batted around while scoring six runs in the first.

Katelyne Druyvestein followed Caye with a double, and senior Kobbey Smith homered to put Polson up 3-0 just three batters in. Mckenna Hanson drove in Jaivin Bad Bear with a double, SaVanna Carpentier scored on a passed ball and senior Mossy Kauley put Polson up 6-0 with a sacrifice fly to score Hanson while recording Polson’s first out of the game.

The Lady Loggers never recovered. They scored a single run in the top of the third, but Polson answered with five runs in the third and five more in the fourth.

Junior pitcher Druyvestein struck out four and improved her record to 18-1-1.

Caye went 3 for 3 in her final home game and drove in two runs, while Smith was 2 for 3 with four RBIs.

The Lady Pirates honored their five seniors before the game. They’ll have to replace their entire infield next season — Kauley at first, Carpentier at second, Caye at short, Smith at third and catcher Lexy Orien, who went 3 for 4 and drove in three in the finale.

Polson opens state tournament play at 3 p.m. Thursday in Butte against either Corvallis, the Southwest No. 2 seed, or Dawson County, the Northeast No. 3.

The Pirates have hit 27 home runs in 20 games this season and have a team batting average of .443.

Larry Smith Field

Tuesday, May 18 was a special night for Polson softball.

The school held a special ceremony for longtime coach Larry Smith and unveiled a sign with the words “Larry Smith Field” that now adorns the main field at the Polson Softball Complex.

Smith led the Lady Pirates program and summer youth programs for more than 33 years.

Several former players were on hand to honor the coach, who was inducted into the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2017.

Under Smith, Polson won seven state titles and was runner-up twice. The school also earned 11 conference titles from 1998 to 2018.

Polson 16, Libby 2

Libby 001 10 – 2 5 3

Polson 605 5x – 16 14 3

Paislee McDonald (0K,3W), (4) Taylor Munro (1K,5H,1W) and Destinee Crawford. Katelyne Druyvestein (4K,0W) and Lexy Orien. W – Druyvestein (18-1-1). L – McDonald.

LIBBY – Courtney Benson 0-2, Bethany Thomas 0-3, Crawford 0-3, Munro 1-3, McDonald 2-2, Kinzie Boehmler 0-2, Jossalyn White 1-2, Aren James 0-2, Sidney Rusdal 1-2, (flex) Kaylee Svendsbye.

POLSON – Josie Caye 3-3, Druyvestein 1-3, Kobbey Smith 2-3, Orien 3-4, SaVanna Carpentier 1-4, Mckenna Hanson 2-4, Mossy Kauley 0-1, Turquoise Pierre 1-3, Anna Vert 1-3, (cr): Nikki Kendall, Jaivin BadBear.

HR – Caye, Ko.Smith. 2B – Druyvestein, Hanson. RBIs – White; Caye 2, Druyvestein, Ko.Smith 4, Orien 3, Carpentier, Hanson 2, Kauley, Vert. SF – Kauley, Ko.Smith. SH – Benson. BB – Caye, Druyvestein, Kauley 2. ROE – Thomas; Pierre 2. FC – Boehmler; Carpentier, Vert. Runs – Rusdal, Munro; Caye 3, Kendall 2, Ko.Smith 2, BadBear, Carpentier, Hanson, Kauley 2, Pierre 2, Vert 2.

Polson 6, Columbia Falls 5

C-Falls 001 101 2 – 5 9 1

Polson 014 010 x – 6 9 2

Sydney Mann (5IP:3K,1W), (6) Maddie Moultray (1IP:2K,1H,0W) and Abbie Darsow. Katelyne Druyvestein (7K,1W) and Lexy Orien. W – Druyvestein (17-1-1).

COLUMBIA FALLS – Mann 0-4, Haylee Lawrence 1-4, Alyssa Blankenship 2-4, McKenna Rensel 1-3, Aspen Dawson 2-3, Abbey Underdahl 1-1, Aletheia Fisher 1-3, Darsow 0-3, Izzy Johnson 0-2, Jazzy Marino 1-1, (flex) Hayden Peters, (cr) Kylee Stacy.

POLSON – Josie Caye 1-4, Druyvestein 0-2, Kobbey Smith 2-3, Orien 1-3, SaVanna Carpentier 0-2, Mckenna Hanson 2-3, Mossy Kauley 0-3, Turquoise Pierre 1-3, Anna Vert 2-3, (cr) Jaivin BadBear, (cr) Alexis Johnson.

HR – Blankenship, Dawson; Ko.Smith, Hanson. 2B – Fisher; Hanson, Pierre. RBIs – Blankenship, M.Rensel, Dawson, Fisher; Ko.Smith, Hanson 3, Pierre. SH – Dawson, Underdahl 2; Druyvestein. BB – M.Rensel; Carpentier. ROE – Dawson; Druyvestein. FC – Fisher 2. SB – Dawson. CS – Vert. Runs – Lawrence, Blankenship 2, Dawson 2; Kendall, Ko.Smith 2, BadBear, Hanson 2.

Polson 10, Ronan 0

Ronan 000 00 – 0 1 4

Polson 102 07 – 10 9 1

Macao Jackson (4.2IP:8K,1W,2A) and Maddy Miller. Katelyne Druyvestein (8K,3W,1A) and Lexy Orien. W – Druyvestein (16-1-1). L – Jackson (5-9).

RONAN – Tyariah Morigeau 0-1, Ashlie Welker 0-2, Jackson 0-2, Ally Mock 0-2, Kiara Sherman 2-2, Miller 1-2, Mira Corum 0-2, Haylie Webster 1-2, Tracee Burland 0-2, Brogan Youngren 0-1.

POLSON – Josie Caye 2-4, Druyvestein 1-4, Kobbey Smith 3-4, Orien 1-2, SaVanna Carpentier 1-3, Mckenna Hanson 1-2, Mossy Kauley 0-3, Turquoise Pierre 0-3, Anna Vert 3-3, (cr): Jaivin BadBear, Nikki Kendall.

HR – Ko.Smith(gs). RBIs – Caye, Druyvestein, Ko.Smith 5, Orien, Hanson, Kauley. BB – Morigeau; Orien. SH – Hanson. ROE – Miller; Caye, Druyvestein, Orien, Kauley. FC – Carpentier. SB – Caye 2, *BadBear(1sb,1di). Runs – Caye 2, Kendall, Ko.Smith 3, BadBear, Carpentier, Hanson, Kauley.

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Polson seniors, from left, Josie Caye, Kobbey Smith, Lexy Orien, Mossy Kauley and SaVanna Carpentier round the bases together prior to their regular season finale Saturday against Libby. (Courtesy of Bob Gunderson)

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Jaivin Bad Bear scores a run against Columbia Falls. (Scot Heisel/Lake County Leader)

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Senior Josie Caye launches a home run Saturday against Libby. (Courtesy of Bob Gunderson)

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Polson is the Northwest A Conference champion. Back row, from left: assistant coach Juan Perez, Reegan Stinger, Turquoise Pierre, Anna Vert, Mckenna Hanson, head coach Jami Hanson, Nikki Kendall, Avery Star, Ashlynn DePoe, Alexis Johnson and assistant coach Jaelin Moldenhauer. Front row, from left: Katelyne Druyvestine, SaVanna Carpentier, Kobbey Smith, Lexy Orien, Mossy Kauley, Josie Caye and Jaivin Bad Bear.

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Polson High School Athletic Director Don Toth, left, poses with longtime Polson softball coach Larry Smith on May 18 at the Polson Softball Complex. Smith was honored with a ceremony, and the main field will now be known as Larry Smith Field. (Courtesy of Bob Gunderson)

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Senior Kobbey Smith is greeted at home plate during her home run trot against Libby. (Scot Heisel/Lake County Leader)

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Junior pitcher Katelyne Druyvestein (2) meets at the mound with Polson's five seniors prior to the Libby game. From left: Mossy Kauley, Josie Caye, Druyvestein, SaVanna Carpentier (background), Kobbey Smith and Lexy Orien. (Scot Heisel/Lake County Leader)

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Jose Caye waits for a pitch against Libby. (Scot Heisel/Lake County Leader)

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Katelyne Druyvestein finished the regular season with an 18-1-1 record as the Lady Pirates' ace pitcher. (Scot Heisel/Lake County Leader)