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Polson Lady Pirates Eye Record Books

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The Polson Lady Pirates have a chance to do something no other softball team in the state of Montana has ever accomplished, win four straight state championships.

"Sometimes I will just be sitting there driving and I will just pump on the gas because I get so much adrenaline running and just thinking about it.  It gives me butterflies and I just get so excited and I think we have a really good chance of winning it this year," said senior pitcher Shalaina Duford.

"The butterflies start coming when I think that we could get four state titles in four years, being on the varsity team all four years and winning four titles would be unbelievable," said senior center fielder Heidi Rausch.

The Lady Pirates have established a powerhouse softball program behind head coach Larry Smith who took over the program 26 years ago.

"My biggest goal was to start a program with the younger ones," said Polson Head Coach Larry Smith.

And after getting those youth programs established the Polson community became entrenched in the sport of softball.

"I moved here in 2005 and that was the first thing my dad told me was that this is a softball town and it's starts when you are in 10u and goes all the way through the summer and softball is this community," said Rausch.

Behind a determined coach and a supportive community the Lady Pirates have won seven out of the last twelve state championships.

"I think that a lot of girls respect him and that's what gives them motivation to come to practice and work so hard so I think that is why our program has been so strong.  Also our community is a softball community and they give us the drive to get those state championships," said Duford.

If Polson wants to make it eight out of the last thirteen and four in a row they will rely heavily on pitcher Shalaina Duford, who has thrown every pitch for the team in the last three state tournaments.

As a pitcher she's not your prototypical stature, she's short with small hands but she has the heart.  She has the heart of a tiger and that comes out in her," said Smith.

"She has so much drive and wants to win all the time and she gets really into the game and that's what we need we need someone to push us," said senior right fielder Jordyn Evertz.

Wanting to make history this year at state brings some added pressure but this is a confident team that knows how to get the job done.

"Its just that winning attitude that they have and we can win and we are going to win," said Smith.

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