Butte High travels to Helena High on Saturday
By Bill Foley
Butte High will not have anything to show for it in the win column.
The Bulldogs fell to 0-5 overall as they dropped a 6-2 decision to Helena Capital in their Western AA softball opener at a windy and dusty Stodden Park Friday evening. (Boxscore)
One thing was apparent for the Butte High fans who sat through the game in which the temperature seemed to drop by the minute, however. The Bulldogs are making some strides.
“We’re coming,” Butte High coach Ryan Stosich said. “Each game we’re getting better and better.”
Helena Capital pitcher Nyeala Herndon struck out seven to hold off the Butte bats enough to pick up the win. She did not issue a base on balls.
Ashley King and Kathryn Emmert each smacked two hits, while Anna Cockhill, Amanda Nettleton, Riley Chandler and Herndon added on for Capital, which took the lead for good with three runs in the top of the second inning.
The Bulldogs committed two errors, and the team suffered some bad luck.
Senior shortstop Kodie Hoagland dropped a bunt and beat out an infield single to lead off the bottom of the first inning.
Hoagland, though, was doubled up when a bunt attempt by Brynn Godbout hung up just long enough for catcher Taylor Sayers to catch it out of the air.
Stosich, though, pointed at the good things. One was freshman pitcher Ashlinn Mullaney. She got the start and gave the Bulldogs five and two thirds innings.
“Obviously, it started in the circle,” Stosich said, pointing to Butte High’s positives. “You can’t say enough about Ashlinn Mullaney and what she did. The defense played defense behind her.”
Senior Joscelyn Cleveland made a stellar catch in left field to rob Sayers of extra bases, and senior catcher Jordyn Bolton threw out a would-be base stealer.
Godbout at second, Hoagland at short stop, Kamber Leary at third and Rian Ferriter at first also made nice plays for the Bulldogs. Ferriter also got the last four outs from the circle.
Cleveland singled in both of Butte’s runs in the fourth inning. Courtesy runners Dacelyn Lafond and Brityn Stewart scored while running for Mullaney and Bolton.
A single by Leary moved the runners along before Cleveland drove in the runs to cut the Capital lead to 4-2.
Butte High, though, left the bases loaded in the inning, and the Bulldogs did not have as good of a threat the rest of the game.
Capital made Butte pay for the squander with a run in the fifth and one more in the sixth to extend the lead.
Rian Ferriter and Gracie Ferriter also singled for Butte High. Cami Kautzman played right field for the Bulldogs, and Taylor Drakos manned center field for Butte High.
“Each day we’re getting better,” Stosich said. “I just like the way we competed today.”
The Bulldogs hit the road Saturday to take on Helena High in a 1:45 p.m. Western AA game against the Bengals.