C.M. Russell High tops Great Falls High in crosstown softball action

CMR coach Lindsey Graham talks to her catcher Erika Lankford in between innings on Thursday afternoon. TRIBUNE PHOTO/RION SANDERS

CMR coach Lindsey Graham talks to her catcher Erika Lankford in between innings on Thursday afternoon.
TRIBUNE PHOTO/RION SANDERS

Good pitching beats good hitting, the adage goes.

Quinn Hartman proved that Thursday.

The C.M. Russell High sophomore surrendered two first-inning runs on a two-out bloop single, and then proceeded to shut down the hot-hitting Great Falls High Bison on four hits the rest of the way in a 6-2 complete-game victory.

“They’re such a great hitting team,” Hartman said. “I just came out and tried to hit my spots, did that well and I had a great defensive team behind me.”

Hartman also did damage at the plate as she drove in three runs on a pair of timely hits.

It certainly was the sophomore’s day.

“I guess – I ate my Wheaties,” she quipped afterward.

She also had her changeup working en route to five strikeouts.

“She threw the changeup well and we couldn’t correct early enough,” GFH head coach Mike Coleman said. “Later in the game we started hitting her, but we just have to learn to hit her.”

The early 2-0 deficit ignited the Rustlers, who seem to thrive on playing from behind.

“I think we just needed to keep putting the ball in play and they kept doing that and we got big hits when we needed them,” CMR head coach Lindsey Graham said. “Everyone contributed and it was a good day.”

The victory over their crosstown rival keeps the Rustlers in at least a tie for the top spot in the Eastern AA standings at 3-0. It’s also their sixth straight win and sets up another showdown this weekend against Billings West at Multi-Sports Complex.

“Every win is big – this weekend is huge for us too,” Graham said. “There’s not team in our conference that you can look past.”

The Bison need to sweep Bozeman to stay in the hunt. GFH is 9-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play.

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