The Wildkats exploded for 10 runs in the fifth inning Thursday to pick up a decisive win against Ronan to stay alive in the conference softball race.
Tori Briscoe led the way for the Kats, going 4-4 with 2 RBIs while Trista Cowan was 2-2 with a home run and four RBIs. Jayden Hamilton went 3-4 at the plate, with two doubles, and batted in four and Ryley Kehr was 3-4.
Cowan also picked up the win in the pitching circle for the Kats, striking out three and walking four.
The Kats jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Kaylee Ashe led off with a walk and moved to second on an infield single by Raychel Hoerner. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Ashe scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Cowan before Kehr singled up the middle to bring home Hoerner to put Columbia Falls up 2-0.
Two singles, a walk and an error got the Maidens on the scoreboard in the top of the second as they cut the Wildkat lead to 2-1.
The Maidens struck again in the top of the third inning, scoring four runs on three hits and two walks to grab a 5-2 advantage.
Ashe led off the bottom of the third with a single for the Kats and later scored on a throwing error to cut the lead to two and Cowan followed with a solo home run to center to cut the C-Falls deficit to 5-4.
A bases-loaded infield single by Kehr tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Maidens threatened to retake the lead in the top of the fifth, with runners on second and third with only one out, but Cowan was able to field a ground ball and tag the lead runner between third and home before inducing a ground ball to second to get out of the inning.
The Wildkats sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth to get their 10 runs as Payne led off with an infield single and later scored on a 2-RBI double by Hamilton. An infield single by Hoerner brought in another run and Cowan later brought in two more on a single that put the Kats ahead 10-5.
Kehr followed with an RBI double to left and the Kats went up by six.
Graceanne Sevesind reached on an error and Payne loaded the bases with an infield single to third. With two outs, Briscoe singled to right center to bring in two more runs and Hamilton doubled to bring in two more runs to end the game.
The Kats will be on the road this weekend at the Laverne Combo Tourney in Butte before taking on Frenchtown Tuesday.