Kobbey Smith hit a walk-off extra-inning home run to keep Polson’s season alive, and the Pirates would go to win once more and claim second place at the Class A state softball tournament in Polson on May 25.
Smith’s eighth inning blast gave Polson (21-6) a 7-6 win over Frenchtown in a loser-out contest early Saturday morning, and set up a rematch between the Pirates and Hamilton-Darby in another loser-out duel. Hamilton beat Polson 2-1 in an undefeated semifinal matchup on Friday, but in round two the Pirates pulled away late, winning 6-2 to reach the state title game. Undefeated Belgrade was awaiting Polson there, and the Panthers won their third consecutive state championship with a run-shortened 11-1 victory.
Polson won the Northwest A regular season title and was joined at the state tournament by conference rivals Columbia Falls and Ronan. The Wildkats ended the Maidens season with a 14-0 victory Friday, before Polson eliminated Columbia Falls 11-0 one game later.
In Class AA, top-seeded Glacier was one-hit by upstart Billings Senior in the opening round of the tournament and eliminated two games later. The Wolfpack (17-5) entered the tourney on an 11-game winning streak. Great Falls won a second straight state title, beating Senior twice on May 25 to claim the crown.