Chelsea pulls off upset of No. 2 Helena
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
HELENA – The Chelsea Hornets showed their potential on Tuesday, April 6 with one of their biggest wins of the season.
Taking on Class 6A No. 2 Helena on the road, the Hornets overcame an early 1-0 deficit with a four-run third inning, and then closed the game out with three more in the top of the seventh to give them some insurance in an 8-4 victory.
Chelsea improved to 16-10 with the win, and while it wasn’t an area game, it was a momentous win for the Hornets that could be a big confidence boost heading toward the postseason.
The Hornets fell behind in the opening inning after an RBI double from Alana Scott put the Huskies in front.
But Helena never could put together an inning of bulk runs, scoring one each in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings.
Chelsea, however, was able to string together multiple runs throughout the game.
The Hornets loaded the bases in the top of the second, which led to their first run of the game scoring on an RBI single from Landry Holt.
Chelsea left the bases loaded in the inning, but the Hornets didn’t stay down for long.
After a quick inning defensively, they came right back to the plate and started the top of the third with a single from Kathryn Bryars before an error on a grounder from Abby Hibbs put two aboard for Tyler Erwin.
Erwin started her strong night with an RBI single to right field to give Chelsea the lead.
With no outs on the board, a walk to Katie Goss loaded the bases again for Olivia Bergert.
Bergert earned a bases-loaded walk to bring home another run and load the bases once more for Madeline Epperson. She stepped in and hit another single to left field to drive home one more and give the Hornets a 4-1 advantage.
After the first out was recorded, a bunt single from Natalie Romager made it 5-1 in favor of Chelsea.
Ann Marie Stanbridge got out of the jam after entering the game for the Huskies, which helped the inning from becoming any worse with Chelsea leaving the bases loaded.
Stanbridge then blasted a two-out solo home run in the bottom half of the inning trying to will the team back.
She then drove home another run in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single to cut the deficit to two runs at 5-3.
Erwin and Epperson, however, stepped up in a big spot in the top of the seventh.
With the Huskies still in the game and gaining some momentum, the two Chelsea players stepped up with big home runs. Erwin’s came in the first at bat of the inning, while Epperson’s was a two-run shot that put the Hornets in front 8-3 going to the home half of the final inning.
That became key as Helena got a solo home run from Bella Holiday in the bottom of the seventh and put what would have been the game-tying run on base if it weren’t for the two home runs for Chelsea in the top half.
Ultimately, the hole became too deep to dig out of for the Huskies in the 8-4 loss.
Epperson and Erwin both had two hits with Epperson adding three RBIs and Erwin two RBIs in the win. Bergert, Holt and Romager added one hit and one RBI apiece, while Goss and Bryars each had one hit.
It was a team effort in the circle from Maia Harris, Olivia Trout and Erwin. Harris got the start and gave up two runs on three hits in three innings pitched. Trout and Erwin each pitched two innings with each allowing one run and Erwin striking out three.
Helena was led by Stanbridge with a 3-for-4 game featuring two RBIs. Holiday and Scott each added one hit and one RBI.