Blue Devils stop Maroons in cold BC home opener

Blue Devils stop Maroons in cold BC home opener
Butte Central junior Hattie Mehring delivers a pitch Thursday afternoon at Stodden Park. (Bill Foley photos)

By Bruce Sayler 

Youth suffered from lack of experience for Butte Central softball Thursday. Spectators suffered from yet another cold, windy, rainy, snowy so-called spring day at Stodden Park. 

Formidable Corvallis erupted for 14 runs in the fourth inning to beat the Maroons 17-2 in a Southwestern A Conference high school game ended after five innings by the 10-run difference rule. 

“I have some young freshmen playing out there and we don’t have our No. 1 pitcher, right now,” BC head coach Chunky Thatcher said. “I have to get them on the field, get them some experience. I’m proud of them, though. Nobody’s hanging their heads.” 

Butte Central lost center fielder Kathryn Lalicker to a knee injury during basketball season and Thatcher said she will undergo surgery next week. It isn’t likely Lalicker will return before softball ends. Thatcher’s daughter, Sofee, a senior is also hampered by an injured leg and is to be checked again next week as to her status and progress. She is the Maroons’ leadoff hitter and ace pitcher. She, too, is missing from the lineup these days. 

Thursday’s game began the home portion of the Butte Central schedule. 

“I’m proud of how Hattie Mehring pitched today,” Chunky Thatcher said. “We had some flyballs in the outfield that should’ve been caught and weren’t, and some other plays that should’ve been made that weren’t. But, that’s experience. We need to get the girls more playing time.” 

Corvallis smacked 14 hits and capitalized on five BC errors and nine walks. Senior Gabby Krueger pitched a one-hitter for the Blue Devils before yielding the circle to Melanie Race in the fifth. Krueger gave up a single to Mia Keeley in the fourth inning, and Race was touched for a base hit in the fifth by Brooke Badovinac. 

The Blue Devils scored two runs in the first inning without a hit. They drew a leadoff walk, a two-out walk and then moved both runners home on consecutive Butte Central errors. 

The damaging frame, though, was the fourth after Mehring and the Maroons kept Corvallis from scoring in either the second or third frames. 

The Blue Devils sent 18 batters to the plate in the top of the fourth and belted 10 hits, including four doubles, three of them in a row. Senior right fielder Ella Dowd knocked in three runs in the inning with a double and a single, and Macie Greenwood, Krueger, Tiffany McLane, Jadyn Greenwood, Sydney Wolsky and Kaitlin McCartney each drove in one. The others scored on errors. 

BC’s only runs were plated in the bottom of the fourth. Badovinac reached on an error and then Jaeden Berger drew a walk an out later. Keeley followed with an infield hit to load the bases. A wild pitch let Badovinac race home with her team’s first run and moved the other runners ahead a bag. Mehring’s pop fly was dropped for an error, but Berger scored. A popup and a strikeout retired the side. 

Corvallis tacked on a run in the fifth when Emma Cashell doubled and rode home on a single by Makaia McEwen. 

“My lineup’s a little out of whack right now, but nobody’s hanging their heads,” Chunky Thatcher said. “We’ll see what Hamilton has on Saturday.” 

The Maroons will play host to Hamilton in a Saturday 11 a.m. conference game at Stodden Park. 

Butte Central is 1-3 for the season, including a 1-1 conference record. 

Corvallis                        200   (14)1x  x — 17  14   2 
Butte Central             000   ( 2)0x   x — 2      2   5
Gabby Krueger, Melanie Race (5) and Kaitlin McCartney. Hattie Mehring and Mia Keeley. W – Krueger. L – Mehring.
CORVALLIS (4-0, 2-0) — Macie Greenwood 1-2, Sydney Wolsky 1-3, Gabby Krueger 2-4, Kaitlin McCartney 1-2, Emma Cashell 1-5, Sophie Cooper 2-4, Tiffany McLane 1-2, Emily Barcus 0-0, Ella Dowd 3-3, Makaia McEwen 1-1, Jadyn Greenwood 2-3, Melanie Race 0-1.
BUTTE CENTRAL (1-3, 1-1) — Brooke Badovinac 1-3, Brenna Foley 0-1, Jaeden Berger 0-2, Mia Keeley 1-2, Hattie Mehring 0-2, Renee Creekmore 0-2, Vanessa West 0-2, Maggie Stimatz 0-2, Cloe Stillwagon 0-1.
Extra-base hits – 2B – Dowd 2, McLane, J. Greenwood, McCartney, Cashell.
Runs batted in – Corvallis 9 (Dowd 3, Wolsky 1, Krueger 1, McCartney 1, McLane, McEwen, J. Greenwood), BC 0.


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