HELENA — The Helena crosstown rivalry will make its softball debut at Mihelish Field on Tuesday.
For Helena High head coach Ryan Schulte, crosstown games do have a draw about them, but as a head coach he does his best to ensure his players are focused on the task at hand and understand it still is just a regular-season game.
“Crosstown games are just a great opportunity for two teams, who are in this case two good teams and two good programs, and the games are competitive. The girls have been playing each other for a long time,” said Schulte. “There is absolutely something more to it, but the trick is to approach it like you would any game mentally, right? In terms of how you approach at-bats, and not making anything bigger than what it is on the field and try to approach it like you do every day.”
For some players, it is still a regular-season game, but it’s bordering on their final games as Bengals, which why senior Vanessa Walsh said her final crosstown games will be slightly more special than average regular-season games.
“I think every one is special, because I’m realizing that they’re all my last,” said Walsh. “I know crosstown is just a big deal, for the team it’s just a big deal to come out and play our best softball and see how we can compete.”
Walsh and the four other seniors on the Helena High squad will lace up their cleats for Round 1 of the crosstown rivalry, which starts at 5 p.m. Tuesday.