Bulldogs host Broncs in playoff series

The season will be on the line for the Butte High softball team Thursday.

The Bulldogs play host to Billings Senior in the Eastern AA playoffs at Stodden Park. The best-of-three series begins at 1 p.m. Game 2 is set for 3 p.m., while a third game, if necessary, will be at 5.

The playoff series will be carried live on KBOW 550 a.m. Click here to listen online.

Butte High swept the Broncs in the regular season, winning 6-1 and 4-2 in an April 27 doubleheader at Stodden.

The Bulldogs finished the regular season at 7-5 in Eastern AA play and 11-8 overall. The Broncs went 4-8 and 9-12.

Butte High will send junior pitcher Jessica Robertson to the bump. Robertson (9-5, 2.1 ERA) beat the Broncs twice last month. She pitched the distance in both games, striking out 12 Senior batters.

Jeanann Lemelin took Robertson deep in each game to lead the Broncs, who only have one senior on their roster.

Senior center fielder Hattie Thatcher leads the Butte High offensive attack into the post season. The Bulldog leadoff hitter hit .417 on the regular season. She hit two doubles, two triples and stole a team-best five basses

Junior third baseman Baylee Thatcher is also hitting over the Ted Williams line, taking a .410 average into the playoff series. The younger Thatcher hit two home runs, drove in 15 runs and drew a team-leading 11 walks.

Three other Butte High players are batting over .300. Sophomore catcher Maria Michelotti is hitting 362, while junior first baseman Bobbie Osterman is hitting .316 and junior second baseman Ashten McCloskey carries a .306 average.

Senior shortstop Katey Walsh, who is hitting .277, leads the team with four home runs and 17 RBIs.

Ashton LaFond hit two home runs on the season. Designated Hitter Nikki Guizzo hit one. Those stats don’t count the two home runs Guizzo, a senior, hit during the season-opening Great Falls Jamboree. Baylee Thatcher also went yard that day.

The Bulldogs, who suffered some untimely injuries before last year’s playoffs, are looking to return to State for the first time since winning it all 2011.

Butte High batting

Butte High pitching

Butte High fielding