Bulldogs sweep Flathead in home finale

Bulldogs sweep Flathead in home finale
Butte High senior MacKenzie Tutty gets a high five from on-deck batter Madison Skeel after scoring on a wild pitch Tuesday afternoon at Stodden Park. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bruce Sayler 

McCaul McCarthy had her big day and Cami Kautzman had her breakout day as the Butte High Bulldogs had their way Tuesday. 

They swept Flathead High of Kalispell 15-2 and 18-4 in a Western AA Conference high school girls’ softball doubleheader at Stodden Park. 

The first game was shortened to 4 ½ innings by the 10-run difference rule and the second one lasted through six on the same reg. 

McCarthy whacked eight hits in eight at-bats in the twin bill, collecting six singles bookended by a pair of doubles. Her last plate appearance was a four-pitch walk.  McCarthy drove in five runs with her 8-for-8 performance. Also, the senior pitched a six-inning five-hitter in the second game after making some fine plays at third base in the opener. 

Kautzman, a sophomore reserve, was inserted later in the second game to get her some varsity at-bats. She responded by clubbing a three-run homer over the center-field fence in the fifth inning and a two-run shot over left field in the sixth. 

Sizzling senior hitter Aubree Corcoran homered in her first at-bat for her third home run in two games. She entered the double dip carrying a .611 batting average. 

“It was a good day,” Butte High head coach Ryan Stosich said. “The girls came out and hit well, and they played defense. This (sweep ) is something for them to be proud of. It’s something to build on going to play Glacier.  

“The more we’re on the field, the better we’re getting.” 

Butte High amassed 32 hits for the day. 

McCarthy said she had no idea that she was batting 1.000 for the day. She expressed complete and shocking surprise when she was told. 

“Really? No, no I didn’t know,” she said with big eyes and a wide smile and talked more about the team hitting well. “We were all relaxed. When the coaches are relaxed, we’re relaxed. It’s a good team to do that. We need the momentum going into divisionals.” 

McCarthy has also been working her way back from a strained MCL that sidelined her for a couple weeks and has limited her time in the pitching circle. Going six innings Tuesday was a major step toward recovery. 

“The knee recovery is going well,” she said, “it won’t get any worse. 

  “We need to get more hard dirt on that mound, though.” 

Stosich smiled about Kautzman’s two blasts. 

“She’ll remember this day for the rest of her life,” he said. 

The wins put the Bulldogs at 7-11 for the season, including a 6-6 conference record. Tuesday’s games ended their home schedule. They are to finish the regular season on Friday with a league doubleheader in Kalispell against Glacier High. 

Butte High 15, Kalispell Flathead 2
(5 Innings) 

Butte High spotted Flathead a 1-0 lead and then cut loose on the Bravettes. Sophomore Rian Ferriter drew the pitching start for the Bulldogs and also tossed a five-hitter. 

Flathead gained its 1-0 lead on consecutive first-inning singles by the first three batters in the order – Macy Craver, Laynee Vessar and Alyssa Cadwalader. Ferriter then got the Bravettes on s popup and line-drive double play. 

The Bulldogs answered with a five-run first, taking the lead immediately when leadoff hitter Kodie Hoagland was hit by a pitch and Corcoran crashed a full-count pitch over center field. Butte High loaded the bases on walks to Ferriter and MacKenzie Tutty around a double behind first base by McCarthy. An error a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk plated the last three runs of the frame. Mia Antonioli hit the sac fly and Jaycee Burke drew the run-scoring walk. 

Flathed implosion helped Butte High score three times in the third. Two errors and bunt single by Hoagland filled the bags with one out. Ferriter lofted a sacrifice fly, then a wild pitch let a run score and the third scored on an infield hit by McCarthy. The margin was 8-1.  

The Bravettes tallied a run on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice in the fourth inning, but didn’t score again. 

The Bulldogs erupted for seven runs in the fourth, sending 12 batters to the plate while stacking six hits. Tutty, who was the catcher in both games due to junior Jordyn Bolton being out with an illness, and Dylan Duffy started the inning with base hits. Freshman Kamber Leary came off the bench whip a double down the right-field line, knocking in a run. Two Flathead errors allowed two more runs. Hoagland hit a run-scoring single to right field. Ferriter singled in a run and McCarthy capped the surge with a two-run base hit into right-center field. It was now a 15-2 difference. 

The Bravettes got to bat in the top of the fifth looking for four runs to extend the game and got two runners aboard with one out on a Vessar single and Cadwalader double. Ferriter retired Brianna Morales on a popup to Skeel, who turned in a sterling day-long effort at first base. Then Ilyssa Centner flied out to Jaycee Burke in right field to end the game. 

Flathead                     100      10x     x —   2     5    5 
Butte High                 503     7xx      x — 15   12    1
Ilyssa Centner, Karissa Comer (1), Alyssa Poe-Hatton (5) and Laynee Vessar. Rian Ferriter and MacKenzie Tutty. W – Ferriter. L – Centner.
KALISPELL FLATHEAD — Macy Craver 1-3, Laynee Vessar 2-3, Alyssa Cadwalater 2-3, Brianna Morales 0-2, Ilyssa Center 0-1, Karissa Comer 0-2, Kaidyn Lake 0-2, Kyrah Farrington 0-2, Alyssa Poe-Hatten 0-2.
BUTTE HIGH — Kodie Hoagland 2-3, Aubree Corcoran 1-4, Rian Ferriter 1-1, Dacelyn LaFond 0-0,  McCaul McCarthy 4-4, MacKenzie Tutty 1-2, Dylan Duffy 1-4, Joscelyn Cleveland 0-0, Mia Antonioli 0-2, Kamber Leary 1-1, Madison Skeel 1-3, Jaycee Burke 0-2.
Extra-base hits – 2B – Cadwalader, McCarthy, Leary. HR – Corcoran.
Runs batted in – Flathead 2 (Cadwalader 1, Farrington 1), Butte High 12 (McCarthy 3, Corcoran 2, Ferriter 2, Hoagland 1, Duffy 1, Antonioli 1, Leary 1, Burke 1).

 Butte High 18, Kalispell Flathead 4
(6 Innings) 

Butte High was the designated visitor in the Western AA twin bill. So, Flathead never led. The Bulldogs piut up four runs in their first turn at the plate and steadily outdistanced the Bravettes the rest of the way on the sunny, but wind-chilled afternoon. 

Butte High immediately loaded the bases on a Hoagland slap hit to the shortstop hole, a single to left field by Corcoran and an error on a grounder by Ferriter. After Hoagland raced home on a wild pitch, McCarthy’s single was misplayed, letting in two runs. Another error loaded the bases and Tutty dashed home from third on a passed ball. Tutty had reached base when an error was committed on an attempted force play. 

Morales’ two-run single cut the Butte High lead in half, but she was out trying to advance on a throw home. 

The Bulldogs packed the sacks with no out in the third as Ferriter and McCarthy both singled and Tutty bunted for a base hit. Duffy laced a seeing-eye single through the infield, scoring two runs. A sacrifice fly by Skeel scored another and Butte High led 7-2. 

They made it 8-2 in the fourth with a two-out single up the middle by McCarthy. Corcoran was aboard on a fielder’s choice. 

Kautzman socked her first home run, a one-out drive to center after singles by Antonioli and Skeel in the fifth. It increased the Butte High advantage to 11-2. 

The Bravettes got two runs back in their fifth on a double by Morales after a pair of walks. 

Butte High then exploded for seven runs in the sixth. McCarthy lit the fuse with a one-out double down the third-base line. She advanced to third on an outfield error and scored on a base hit by Tutty. Leary then smashed a single off third baseman Morales’ facemask. Flathead coaches called a timeout to check on Morales’ condition and she insisted on continuing. Antonioli’s single to left batted in Tutty and then Leary scored on a groundout by Skeel. 

Kautzman then sent a pitch over left field for her second home run. The speedy Hoagland was hit by a pitch in the leg, but it didn’t slow her down. She scored from first base on a single to center field by Corcoran.  

Ferriter was hit by a pitch as Alyssa Poe-Hatten took over pithing duties. A walk to McCarthy loaded the bases. Natalie Lynch was then hit by a pitch to force in a run. The Bulldogs had their 18-4 command and needed to hold Flathead to fewer than five runs to end the game in the bottom of the sixth. 

They did as McCarthy retired the side in order on a comebacker, a strikeout and a flyball to Corcoran in center field. 

Butte High     403  137  x — 18   20   0 
Flathead         200  020  x —  4     5    4
McCaul McCarthy and MacKenzie Tutty. Karissa Comer, Alyssa Poe-Hatten (6) and Laynee Vessar. W – McCarthy. L – Comer.
BUTTE HIGH (7-11, 6-6) — Kodie Hoagland 2-4, Aubree Corcoran 2-5, Rian Ferriter 1-4, McCaul McCarthy 4-4, MacKenzie Tutty 2-4, Natalie Lynch 0-0, Dylan Duffy 1-2, Kamber Leary 2-3, Joscelyn Cleveland 0-0, Mia Antonioli 3-4, Madison Skeel 1-3, Jaycee Burke 0-2, Cami Kautzman 2-2.
KALISPELL FLATHEAD (5-13, 4-9) — Macy Craver 0-4, Laynee Vessar 0-2, Alyssa Cadwalader 0-1, Ilyssa Centner 0-2, brianna Morales 3-3, Karissa Comer 1-3, Kaidyn Lake 0-3, Kyrah Farrington 1-3, Alyssa Poe-Hatten 0-1.
Extra-base hits – 2B – Morales, McCarthy. HR – Kautzman 2.
Runs batted in  — Butte High 14 (Kautzman 5, McCarthy 2, Duffy 2, Skeel 2, Corcoran 1, Antonioli 1, Lynch 1), Flathead 4 (Morales 4).

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