For the Butte High softball team, Tuesday afternoon definitely was the best of times and worst of times all rolled into one.
The Bulldogs beat Missoula Sentinel in a 1-0 thriller in the opening game of the doubleheader. The Spartans responded by beating Butte High 15-1 in five innings in game two.
The games, which were played at a windy and dusty Stodden Park, were non-conference contests.
“We were out of sync,” Butte High coach Steve Stosich said of the game that ended the day on a down note. “We had nothing to lose that game. We try to get some younger kids some experience.”
The Bulldogs were definitely in sync in the opener.
In particular, junior pitcher Jessica Robertson was on top of her game, holding the Spartans just one hit — a fourth-inning single by Nikki Schurg.
“She was just tremendous,” Stosich said of his ace. “They hit the ball hard a couple of times, and we had some great defensive stops. Katey (Walsh) at short stop and Hattie (Thatcher) in center field, both of them laid out. That’s what you have to do to win those 1-0 games.”
Thatcher also did some damage with her bat. She led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple and scored the game’s lone run on a passed ball.
Thatcher also singled in the game. Ashton McCloskey’s infield single is the only other hit the Bulldogs could muster off Sentinel ace Amanda Jackson, who struck out six Bulldogs in the hard-luck loss.
Game 2 was a different story.
The Spartans took a 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back in the win that was stopped by the 10-run rule.
Breezi Cruffe went 3-for three to lead the Spartan attack. BaileyDeyle, Lexi Miller and Cady Lanzel chipped in with two hits apiece. Miller doubled.
Baylee Thatcher tripled to lead the Bulldog offense. McCloskey and Hattie Thatcher added singles in the loss.
Butte High is back at home Thursday in a key Eastern AA showdown with Great Falls Russell. That doubleheader begins at 3 p.m. at Stodden.
Missoula Sentinel 000 000 0 — 0 1 0
Butte High 100 000 x — 1 3 1
Amanda Jackson Bailey Deyle; Jessica Robertson and Maria Michelottie. W — Robertson. L — Jackson.
MISSOULA SENTINEL — Deyel 0-3, Breezi Cuffe 0-3, Nikki Schurg 1-3, Timber Plenger 0-3, Lexie Miller 0-3, Cady Lanzel 0-3, Jackson 0-1, Blakeley Brambo 0-2, Serina Breun 0-2.
BUTTE HIGH (11-5) — Hattie Thatcher 2-3, Ashten McCloskey 1-3, Michelotti 0-3, Baylee Thatcher 0-2, Bobbie Osterman 0-2, Katey Walsh 0-2, Ashton LaFond 0-1, Nikki Guizzo 0-2, Justyce Connole 0-2.
3B — H. Thatcher.
Missoula Sentinel 404 52 — 15 13 0
Butte High 000 01 — 1 3 2
Taylor Laden and Bailey Deyle; Bobbie Osterman and Bethany McLean. W — Laden. L — Osterman.
MISSOULA SENTINEL — Bailey Deyle 2-2, Breezi Cuffe 3-3, Nikki Schurg 1-2, Timber Plenger 1-2, Lexi Miller 2-4, Cady Lanzel 2-4, Abby Gillespie 0-3, Abby Hanich 1-3, Taylor Laden 1-2.
BUTTE HIGH (11-6) — Hattie Thatcher 1-3, Ashten McCloskey 1-3, Maria Michelotti 0-2, Baylee Thatcher 1-2, Bobbie Osterman 0-2, Katey Walsh 0-2, Ashton LaFond 0-1, Shealyn Hafer 0-1, Audriana Baker 0-1, Megan Ingersoll 0-0, Kendall Alley 0-1, Amanda Spear 0-1.
3B – B. Thatcher. 2B – Miller. RBIs – Cuffe, Schurg, Plenger, Miller, Lanzel; H. Thatcher.