By Bill Foley
Butte Central finally played a home game on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
That home cooking, however, wasn’t enough to stop Mikaylin Brickley and the Hamilton Broncs. Brickley went 4 for 4 with a home run, triple, two doubles and five RBIs to lead the Broncs to a 13-6 Southwestern A win over the Maroons.
BC, which was set to welcome Dillon for another game right after, also gave up eight unearned runs in the loss that dropped BC to 2-7 overall and 1-4 in conference.
“I kind of feel like we’re a broken record,” BC coach Kelci Thatcher said. “We’re making the same mistakes over and over”
The Maroons committed five errors, and nine of the Hamilton runs crossed with two out in the inning.
“We’re hurting ourselves mentally,” Thatcher said, pointing to seven runners left on base. “We’re just not getting timely hits. We’re not stringing hits together.”
Brickley hurt the Maroons, too. And her assault started early.
The No. 3 hitter for the Broncs scolded the ball over the left fielder’s head for a two-run triple in the bottom of the first inning.
The Maroons came back with a run when BC starting pitcher Maci Reopelle beat out a infield hit for the first of her four base knocks on the game. She scored when Maggie Stimatz hustled to reach base on an error.
Hamilton added a run in the third when pitcher Jorden Taggart doubled and scored on an error. Both teams scored four runs in the fourth inning.
The Broncs took advantage of a pair of BC errors in the top half, before the Maroons did the same on two Hamilton miscues in the bottom.
Central cut the lead to 8-6 when Reopelle doubled and scored on a Brenna Foley infield single in the fifth. Brickley, though, added the big fly to highlight a three-run sixth inning for Hamilton.
An error led to two Hamilton insurance runs in the seventh.
The Broncs outhit Central 12-11. Hamilton, though, led 6-1 in extra-base hits.
Taggert, who struck out seven, went 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Sophia Doyle and Olivia Zepeda each added a pair of singles for the victors.
Brickley also produced a few highlight-reel plays at short stop.
Reopelle’s 4-for-4 game led BC. Zoe Doherty and Emma Keeley each added a pair of hits. Cassidy Strizic joined Foley and Stimatz with a single.
Sofee Thatcher made a great throw to gun down a runner at third base. Doherty and Maddie Kump made some nice plays in the infield for the BC defense.
Makala Doherty pitched three innings of relief, striking out three.
Hamilton 301 403 2 — 13 12 3
Butte Central 010 410 0 — 6 11 5
Jorden Taggart and Abby Johnson; Maci Roepelle, Makala Doherty (5) and Cassidy Strizic, Emma Keeley (5). W — Taggart. L — Doherty.
HAMILTON — Sophia Doyle 2-5, Johnson 0-3, Mikaylin Brickley 4-4, Taggart 3-4, Chantele Sisson 0-4, Haley Frey 1-4, Olivia Zepeda 2-4, Kyla Shepherd 0-4, Phoebe Howard 0-2, Maria Gutierreiz 0-0.
BUTTE CENTRAL (2-7, 1-4) — Sofee Thatcher 0-3, Zoe Doherty 2-3, Keeley 2-4, Strizic 1-4, Maddie Kump 0-4, Reopelle 4-4, M. Doherty 0-3, Brenna Foley 1-3, Lexis Earles 0-1, Maggie Stimatz 1-3.
HR — Brickley. 3B — Brickley. 2B — Brickley 2, Taggart 2; Reopelle. RBIs — Brickley 5, Johnson 2, Taggart 2, Keeley 1, Foley.