MISSOULA, Mont. - A large crowd gathered behind home plate for one specific game yesterday at the Laverne Combo softball tournament in Butte. Fans were curious to get a glimpse of Frenchtown ace Morgan Ray in the circle, and that proved to be an excellent idea.
The Broncs were going against one of the better Class 'A' teams in the state with Belgrade, but Morgan Ray proved once again that she is the best pitcher in the state. The Frenchtown junior retired all 21 Panther batters she saw to throw a perfect game.
"It feels good, it was great to have it against that great team," said Ray after the contest. "Belgrade is awesome and I just had my coach call a really good game. My team hit well and it was just good to come out with a victory."
Frenchtown didn't have their best offensive game of the season, but a three-run shot by Keegan Wickman in the fourth inning proved to be the only run support that Ray would need, as she tallied 13 strikeouts during the game.
This is not the first time that Ray has thrown a perfect game, but to do it against a team as good as Belgrade, she said a lot of things have to go right.
"Well I definitely have to throw the right pitches against the right people. They're really good batters and my rise ball was working really well today. And difference in speeds, like my change-up and off-speed pitches were really nice. And you just have to get your pitches working and find what works."
With three more wins over the weekend, Frenchtown is now 17-1 overall with only two games left in the regular season.
"We're really excited for the state tournament" said Ray. "We've got the number one seed in our conference and the number one seed in the state. So we're really excited to see what state can bring us and these next few games."
The Class 'A' state tournament will take place in Polson this year, that gets underway on Thursday, May 29th.