Thursday, May 25, 2017

Senior Shelby McMillan hits the ball during Friday’s game.Senior Erin Campbell squares up to bunt against Senior

Renegades fall to Rangers in opener

The Stillwater Renegades opened the season with a couple of JV games during last week and the varsity opener on Saturday against the Class A Livingston Rangers.
The first game was a Tuesday afternoon JV matchup against the Billings West Golden Bears. It was a close game, with the Renegades falling in the end 5-4.
Due to the rain, Wednesday’s JV game against Sky View was cancelled, but the Renegades took the field again on Friday in Billings to face the Senior Lady Broncs. Once again, the team held its own for the first few innings, but gave up too many runs toward the end of the game, falling 16-6.
Saturday’s non-conference game was the first varsity outing, and the pattern of staying close before falling behind continued. Through the first five innings, the Renegades kept the score close, only down one run heading into the top of the sixth.
The sixth inning proved to be the undoing of the game, however, with the Ranger squad hitting through its order and scoring nine. The Renegade offense was unable to answer, and the game ended an inning early with the Renegades falling 15-5.
Coach John Smith pointed out that this year’s Renegades team must replace two all-state outfielders in Mykaila Berry and Maisey Sheppard. This requires bringing in new varsity players and shifting old starters around.
Pitching this season is junior Maddi Carmen. Carmen also has big shoes to fill, as her predecessor, Hailee Gregerson, is now pitching for the Dawson Community College Buccaneers.
Smith is confident in Carmen’s pitching, noting she has been doing a good job and will work and grow into her position as the season progresses.
While there is a learning curve that comes with bringing in new players to positions, Smith feels that the Renegade infield is already tight. The outfield, he said, will grow into their positions with experience.
Leading the Renegades this year are the team’s two seniors, both four-year starters, shortstop Erin Campbell and catcher Shelby McMillan.
As for the games this week, Smith felt that the team looked better as the week progressed because the girls are beginning to feel the flow of the game again.
He highlighted that in each game it was one or two bad innings that cost the Renegades the game. Failing to score when runners are in scoring position has also plagued the team, and is something they will work on going forward.
This week the Renegades play at Billings Central on Thursday, and then have two home games to open conference play -- one against Huntley at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and the other against Shepherd at 1 p.m. on Saturday.