Bulldogs pound Eagles for Senior Day victory

Bulldogs pound Eagles for Senior Day victory
Butte High pitcher McCaul McCarthy delivers a pitch Thursday at Stodden Park. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bruce Sayler

Butte High might have endured some softball growing pains this season, but Missoula Big Sky has been stretched across the rack.

The Bulldogs added to Big Sky’s misery with a 23-0 thumping of the Eagles in a Class AA non-conference game at Stodden Park Thursday. The contest was called in the middle of the third inning because of a mercy rule. The one of 15 runs or more difference after three innings applied in this case.

It was a second no-hitter for Butte High pitcher McCaul McCarthy with both coming in the past week. The game also ended the Bulldogs’ regular season as they finished a 5-14 regular season that included a 2-10 Eastern AA Conference record. Butte High will next play at the Eastern Divisional tournament scheduled May 17-18. The Bulldogs will need to place among the top four to advance to the state AA tournament the following weekend in Butte.

Big Sky remained winless at 0-16. The Eagles earlier completed an 0-12 Western AA slate and will finish the regular season on Saturday at Great Falls High.

The Butte High win over Big Sky also marked Senior Parents Day for the Bulldogs as they honored three senior players — first baseman Jaden Cleveland, shortstop Taylor Huff and catcher Brittney Tierney.

“I appreciate for what they did for us,” Butte High head coach Ryan Stosich said, “for the coaches and for me being able to coach them. Hopefully, they’ll lead us right back here for the state tournament.

“Brittney and Taylor have been starting for us for four years and Jaden waited patiently for her time. Her time came this year.”

Their last regular-season home game saw them contribute to the rout. Huff, the defending state home run champion and current leader with eight, drove in four runs. Though, the Eagles gave her nothing to hit over the fence, Huff did drive in five runs — three on a pair of doubles. She also registered RBIs on being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and drawing a walk, also with the bags full.

Tierney was also 1-for-1. She had one RBI and scored three times. Cleveland also scored three runs, drove in one and was 1-for-1 at the plate.

The Bulldogs sent 15 batters to the plate in a nine-run first inning and put 19 up to bat while scoring 14 times in the second inning.

They faced a Big Sky team that listed one senior, two sophomores and six freshmen in its starting lineup. A freshman and a sophomore rounded out the contingent the Eagles sent to Butte. They had 10 batters the entire game.

“I reminded the girls (after the game) that we were on the other side of one of these the other day (a Tuesday 21-1 loss at Great Falls High),” Stosich said, “and to remember how it feels.”

Big Sky put its first batter aboard when Ava McPhillips worked McCarthy for a walk. McPhillips, however, was easily thrown out at second base by Tierney with Huff applying the tag on a failed steal attempt. McCarthy whiffed the next two Eagles on her way to a five-strikeout effort, one-walk effort. The sophomore hurler stifled Bozeman over seven innings last Thursday in her previous no-hitter.

Butte High benefitted from 10 walks in building a 9-0 lead. Kodie Hoagland, MacKenzie Tutty and Tierney all walked to load the bases. Huff then walked to force in a run. Tutty raced home on a wild pitch. After Bradie Lester walked, McCarthy batted Huff home on a groundout. Tricia Ericson swatted the first hit of the game, a single to left. Lester and Ericson came home on wild pitches while bases on balls kept being issued. Tutty hit a sacrifice fly to knock in a run, Huff was plunked with the sacks paced for another un and Lester took a walk with the bases loaded to force home the last run of the inning.

Hoagland crossed the plate twice in the inning while Tutty, Tierney, Huff, Lester, Ericson, Cleveland and Aubree Corcoran each scored one. Ericson’s single was the only base hit of the inning. The Eagles committed one error in the frame.

Pitcher Emily Van Hoose was hit by a McCarthy pitch to start the second inning. McCarthy then set the next three Eagles down on strikes.

The Bulldogs’ second inning was even bigger than their first. They scored 14 runs on nine hits and Big Sky was guilty of three errors in the frame. The hits included a single by Corcoran, RBI bunt by Hoagland, two-run ground-rule double by Huff that hopped the fence in right-center, a two-run single by Ericson, a run-scoring base hit by Cameron LaFond, back-to-back RBI doubles by Tierney and Huff down the left-field line and a run-scoring infield hit by Lester.

Butte HIgh had its 23-0 cushion.

Big Sky’s Taylor Jansen was safe on a Butte HIgh error to start the third inning. McCarthy then struck out Angelina Lee. McPhillips’ floater was snagged by Hoagland on a leaping grab at third base. Hoagland then fired to Cleveland to double off Jansen, who had traveled to second base.

“We should have a little momentum, now,” Stosich said. “We’ll have four good practices, hopefully, next week and we’ll get ready to roll.”

Msla. Big Sky 0( 0)0 xxx x — 0 0 4

Butte High 9(14)x xxx x — 23 11 1

Emily Van Hoose, Makennah Hewitt (2) and Abby Faulhaber. McCaul McCarthy and Brittney Tierney. W — McCarthy (4-8). L — Van Hoose.

MISSOULA BIG SKY (0-16) — Ava McPhillips 0-1, Abby Faulhaber 0-1, Claire Hankins 0-1, Emily Van Hoose 0-0, Makennah Hewitt 0-0, Kaylyn Kolar 0-1, Taylor Owen 0-1, Sara Schmoker 0-1, Taylor Jansen 0-1, Angelina Lee 0-1.

BUTTE HIGH (5-14) —Kodie Hoagland 1-1, MaKenna Carpenter 0-1, MacKenzie Tutty 1-1, Madison Skeel 0-1, Brittany Tierney 1-1, Taylor Huff 2-2, Bradie Lester 1-1, McCaul McCarthy 1-4, Trisha Ericson 2-3, Jaden Cleveland 1-1, Aubree Corcoran 1-1, Cameron LaFond 1-1.

Extra-base hits — 2B — Tutty, Tierney, Huff 2.

Runs batted in —Big Sky 0, Butte 19 (Huff 5, Tutty 3, Lester 3, Ericson 2, Hoagland 1, Tierney 1, McCarthy 1, Cleveland 1, Corcoran 1, LaFond 1).


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