Hardin utilizes strong start and finish in 7-2 softball victory over Miles City

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Photo by Andrew Turck

Hardin catcher Jaivin Bad Bear (in front) and pitcher Demi Uffelman go after a ball hit by Miles City during a home matchup on Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs, despite a lag in scoring for the team between the second and sixth innings, managed to hold off the Miles City Cowgirls and claim a 7-2 victory.

The first and last two innings were the charm for Hardin’s Lady Bulldog softball team Saturday afternoon when, in a home game, it defeated the Miles City Cowgirls 7-2. Up to this point, the Cowgirls had won the Eastern A division championship in 2018 and 2017, and took fourth in state last year.

“Miles City is a phenomenal ball club,” Hardin Head Coach Sarah Passes said, adding the Cowgirls are “a tough, competitive team.”

Hardin pitcher Demi Uffelman began the matchup on defense by striking out two Cowgirls, followed by a final out against Miles City on first. Once up to bat, Uffelman then hit a home run, gaining points both for her and teammate Natalie Edgar.

Kelly Feller of Hardin rounded out the first inning with a run batted in for teammate Nicole Green, bringing the Ladies ahead 3-0. Miles City attempted to score in the second, but soon was knocked back to defense again after another two strikeouts and a catch.

The Ladies’ Cora Wood managed an RBI for freshman Mia Ralston in the second, bringing the score in Hardin’s favor 4-0.

“We always tell them to set the tone of the game and they do a really good job at that,” Passes said regarding her players.

Soon, however, the Ladies “settled in,” according to Passes. From Wood’s RBI until the fifth inning, neither team could get a point on its opponent.

Miles City broke the standstill with an RBI of its own, followed by another in the sixth. Hardin returned to bat, the score now 4-2.

With two outs against Hardin in the sixth, Edgar gained the Ladies’ first pointscoring breakthrough in four innings with a home run. After a double by Wood, Uffelman followed Edgar’s homer with another of her own.

“We still need to clean up a few things when they put pressure on us,” Passes said, “but offensively right now, we’re just hitting really hard.”

Miles City returned to bat in the seventh, but was unable to complete further runs.

Uffelman struck out 12 Miles City players during the game. On Friday, in a 10-2 away victory over Lewistown, Uffelman threw 15 strikeouts. Passes estimated that, as of Saturday, Uffelman likely has thrown in excess of 40 strikeouts for the season.

Based on the team’s current successes, Wood noted, “I think the rest of the season is going to follow up.”