ANACONDA -- Though the first round had a pair of upsets, those left in the unbeaten semifinal are of little surprise after Friday's opening day of Western B-C Divisional softball action.
North and South district top seeds Ronan and Anaconda prevailed, winning two games apiece to clinch spots in the State B-C tournament. The top four teams advance to state, which begins next Thursday in Kalispell.
Ronan downed both its opponents by the 10-run margin rule, taking out Florence 17-7 to start the day and capping things off by beating Libby 11-1. Anaconda defeated Troy 13-3 and Loyola Sacred Heart 5-1.
The teams will meet at 11 a.m. Saturday for a spot in the divisional finals later in the day.
Ronan 11, Libby 1
A pitcher's duel turned into a blowout with Ronan's nine-run fifth inning.
That knocked starting pitcher Lindsey Walker out of the game. All seven runs credited to her were unearned thanks to errors. Libby had eight for the game.
Maiden pitcher Carston Rhine limited Libby to one run on four hits; she also batted 3 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs.
The two wins run Ronan's record to 17-6 on the year. Libby is 17-8.