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Manhattan will enter the State Class B/C Softball Tournament this week as the third seed out of the west after going 3-2 in the divisional tournament over the weekend.

The Tigers (15-9) beat Missoula Loyola 15-4 on Friday to qualify for the state tournament, and they beat Ennis 19-15 for the right to play for second place on Saturday. Manhattan dropped Saturday’s game to St. Ignatius-Arlee-Charlo 6-5, though, securing the third seed.

In the team’s first two games of the tournament, Manhattan beat Eureka 19-18 and lost to Florence-Carlton 10-0. The Tigers bounced back, however, to secure the school’s second state tournament appearance.

“I think they just believed in themselves after that first game we played,” head coach Randy Cygan said. “They played as a team. When we needed it, they came through.”

Cygan said the team’s pitching — spearheaded by Meagan Elgas, Claire Nolan and Emma Kabalin — was impressive during the divisional tournament. Further, the offense came alive to put up several crooked innings.

“We're just getting a little more help all the way through our lineup,” Cygan said.

Manhattan’s Natalie Scott hit five home runs across the five games, Lexi Miller went 4 for 5 with a double against Ennis, Malia Friese went 3 for 5 with a double against Loyola and Shayla Shea had a home run and a triple against Eureka.

The state tournament runs Thursday through Saturday in Florence.

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Parker Cotton can be reached at pcotton@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @ByParkerCotton. 

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