Boltz scores winning run as West wins AA

GREAT FALLS — Billings West came back and won five loser-out games Friday to win the Class AA State title.

West beat Missoula Big Sky twice to end the day. The Bears won the second championship game 3-2, thanks to an improbable walk-off run by Butte native Kendyl Boltz.

Boltz, whose brother Brandon was a star in football and basketball for Butte High and her sister Kelsie was a member of the Bulldogs 2011 state championship softball team, reached base on a passed ball following a strikeout in the bottom of the seventh inning of the deciding game. She took second and rounded the base on a throwing error by the catcher.

Then the throw from the outfield was errant, and Boltz scored the winning run to end a long day for the new champs.

For the first time in Montana softball history, the Class AA was shortened to a two-day tournament.

The Bears beat Missoula Hellgate before losing to Big Sky on Thursday. Then West beat Helena Capital, Billings Skyview and Great Falls Russell to set up the showdown with Big Sky in the double-elimination tournament.

The victory capped a wild season for Boltz, a sophomore who missed much of the season with a battle with mononucleosis.

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