The Wildkats opened the softball season with a pair of losses in Polson Saturday as they took on defending Class A state champion Belgrade and Butte Central.
The Kats scored three first-inning runs against Belgrade in their season opener, but fell to the Panthers, 21-3.
The Kats trailed Butte Central 12-5 after four and a half innings in the second game Saturday, but Columbia Falls scored nine in the bottom of the fifth to take a 14-12 lead. The Maroons answered with three runs in the top of the seventh to down the Kats, 15-14.
According to head coach Dave Kehr, both games were a good early-season test for his young squad.
I really think this weekend went well for us. The scores may not reflect that, but I was happy with how we looked, Kehr said. We just need to get more time on the field and play more games, but we learned a lot this weekend.
Injuries and previous obligations kept several Kats off the field Saturday, but the shorthanded squad played well, according to Kehr.
All three Kat runs against Belgrade came on a Trista Cowan home run in the bottom of the first inning.
Cowan added three more RBIs against Butte Central, while Kennedy Payne, Jayden Hamilton and Graceanne Sevesind each added two.
The Kats will be in action again April 5 as they host Polson.
Belgrade 21, Columbia Falls 3
C.Falls (0-1), Belgrade (1-0)
Belgrade 644 43 21 19 0
Columbia Falls 300 00 3 3 7
Kaleigh Bauerle and Katie Hoppe. Abbey Underdahl and Raychel Hoerner. W Bauerle (1-0), L Underdahl (0-1).
BELGRADE Erin Elgas 1-5, Hoppe 4-4, Olivia Cook 2-3, Lanie Morgan 0-0, Ty Atwood 1-2, Heather Gier 3-5(2E), Maddie Kreiger 3-5, Haylee Curry 2-5, Alexa Deming 1-3, Khiala Rollins 2-4.
COLUMBIA FALLS Kennedy Payne 0-2, Hoerner 1-2, Cowan 2-2, Graceanne Sevesind 0-2, Tori Briscoe 0-2, Chloe Kienas 0-2, Jayden Hamilton 0-2, Makenna Rensel 0-2, Underdahl 0-2.
HR Kreiger 2; Cowan. 2B Elgas, Hoppe 2, Gier 2, Kreiger, Curry 2. RBIs Krieger 6; Cowan 3.
Butte Central 15, Columbia Falls 14
Butte Central (1-1), C.Falls (0-2)
Butte Central 800 040 3 15 14 6
Columbia Falls 100 490 0 14 17 2
Kloie Thatcher, Makala Doherty (4) and Cassidy Strizic; Abbey Underdahl, Kennedy Payne (3), Trista Cowan (4) and Raychel Hoerner. W M.Doherty (1-0). L Cowan (0-1).
BUTTE CENTRAL Thatcher 4-5, Criscuolo 0-3, Keeley 2-4, Michelotti 2-5, Strizic 2-5, M. Doherty 2-5, Zoe Doherty 1-2, McKenzie Norton 0-3, Madison Kump 1-4.
COLUMBIA FALLS Payne 1-4, Hoerner 2-3, Cowan 3-5, Graceanne Sevesind 2-5, Tori Briscoe 1-3, Chloe Kienas 1-5, Jayden Hamilton 4-4, Makenna Rensel 2-4, Underdahl 0-2, Isabelle Johnson 1-2.
HR Thatcher 2; Hoerner. 3B Thatcher, Keeley. 2B Strizic, M. Doherty; Cowan. RBIs Thatcher 5, Strizic 3, Keeley, M. Doherty, Norton, Kump; Cowan 3, Payne 2, Hamilton 2, Sevesind 2, Hoerner, Rensel, Johnson