By Bruce Sayler
Winning the more important game of Friday’s doubleheader allowed for easier smiles on the faces of the Butte High girls’ softball team members. One or two grins tried to break across that of head coach Ryan Stosich, too
Cold, windy, snowy and rainy conditions complicated further the twin bill with always formidable Billings West at the Stodden Park diamond. Butte High prevailed 12-1 in the Eastern AA Conference counter, then was outscored 16-10 in the non-conference nightcap.
The 12-1 win ended in the fifth inning on the 10-run difference rule.
“We played a good first game,” Stosich said. “The girls came ready to play. This is not the first time we’ve done this. It’s been mountaintops and valleys. This team, though, has a lot of potential and that’s just what we were telling them.”
It was a hitfest of a day. The Bulldogs rapped out nine hits over the two games. Sophomore ace Kaidy McClafferty held Billings West to three hits in the opener, but the Golden Bears regrouped for the nightcap and pounded 13.
Each team belted three home runs — Butte High’s all coming in its win and the Golden Bears’ in theirs. Butte High’s Kenndi Ferriter batted 5-for-6 on the day. Fifteen of the two teams’ hits went for extra bases in the less-than-ideal playing elements.
“I don’t really want to mention individuals because it was such a good team effort in the first game,” Stosich said.”We executed the three phases of softball — fielding, pitching and hitting.”
Anaconda native Ed Kriskovich is in his 31st season as head coach of the Billings West program.
He won his 500th game recently, has taken the Golden Bears to three state Class AA championships and celebrated his 76th birthday Thursday.
Butte High will play Billings Senior at noon on Saturday at the Stodden Park field. It will be an Eastern AA Conference doubleheader, both games counting in the league standings.
“I don’t know that we need to win them to be able to host a playoffs,” Stosich said, “but these are going to be two very important games.”
The Bulldogs go in at 3-4 in conference play and 4-9 overall. Billings Senior took a 1-3 conference mark into a twin bill at Bozeman Friday.
Butte High’s win over Billings West in Friday’s first game snapped a seven-game Billings West winning streak, Steve Stosich, an assistant coach in the program his son inherited from him, said.
Butte High 12, Billings West 1
The only hits Kaidy McClafferty gave up were a double and two singles. Her Butte High teammates responded to support her with home runs by Katelyn Alley, Jenna Maroney and Jenna Walker. Walker also smashed a triple. Kenndi Ferriter drove in four runs and Walker plated three.
Billings West scored first when Cody Rogers whacked a one-out double in the second inning then came around on two wild pitches.
Butte High erupted for five runs in the second to go ahead for good. Walker tripled to right to start the inning. Maroney was walked after an out, then Isabelle Bonney singled in a run.
MacKensie Daily bunted for a bases-loading hit. Brittany Tierney hit into a fielder’s choice that saw Maroney beat the throw home from Bear third baseman Jenna Cragwich. The bags remained filled. Ferriter knocked in two runs with a sharp single to left field, and Tierney scored the last run of the inning when Taylor Huff’s ground ball was misplayed.
The Bulldogs continued on the attack with seven runs in the third inning for the 12-1 margin. Alley and Maroney started the uprising with back-to-back opposite-field home runs over the right-field fence. Bonney and Daily both walked against Lexi Mayhood, who had just relieved starter Kendyl Boltz. Jordyn Walter then came on to pitch and Tierney put down a sacrifice bunt, advancing the runners. Another out later, Ferriter delivered a two-run single to left. Huff then singled to left and both she and Ferriter rode home on a homer to left by Walker.
Both sides went down in order in the fourth inning. The Golden Bears put two runners on base in the fifth, one on an error and one on Mackenzie Mayhood’s two-out single to left. Alley caught Walter’s fly ball while reaching over the fence, robbing her of a home run for the first out. Three batters later, McClafferty retired Rogers on a groundout to second baseman Brianna Ossello to end the game.
McClafferty struck out three batters and walked just one in her effective performance.
Billings West 100 00x x — 1 3 1
Butte High 057 0xx x — 12 9 1
Kaidy McClafferty and Brittney Tierney. Kendyl Boltz, Lexi Mayhood (3), Jordyn Walter (3) and Kylee Koch. W — McClafferty (3-7). L — Boltz.
BILLINGS WEST — Mackenzie Mayhood 2-3, Cody Rogers 1-3, Lexi Mayhood 0-2, Kendyl Boltz 0-2, Jenna Cragwick 0-2, Kylee Koch 0-2, Madison Harris 0-2, Kira Drake 0-1, Jordyn Walter 0-1, Alexis Ford 0-1.
BUTTE HIGH — Brittney Tierney 0-2, Brianna Ossello 0-2, Kenndi Ferriter 2-3, Taylor Huff 1-3, Jenna Walker 2-3, Katelyn Alley 1-3, Jenna Maroney 1-2, Isabelle Bonney 1-2, MacKensie Daily 1-2.
2B — Rogers. 3B — Walker. HR — Alley, Maroney, Walker.
Runs batted in — Billings West 0, Butte High 11 (Ferriter 4, Walker 3, Tierney 1, Alley 1, Maroney 1, Bonney 1).
Billings West 16, Butte High 10
Both teams scored in five of the seven innings as weather conditions disintegrated into miserable, testing the resolve of all on hand.
Billings West took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a base hit, error and a bases-loaded walk. Butte High bounced back with four runs in the last of the frame. A walk and a dropped flyball in the outfield put Brittney Tierney and Jenna Maroney on base with no outs. Kenndi Ferriter singled home a run and Maroney raced home on a wild pitch to tie the score. A walk and two outs later, Kaidy McClafferty smacked a two-run single.
The 4-2 Bulldog lead evaporated in the next inning and the home team was never in front again. The Golden Bears scored four times in the second. Shea Dolan singled and Mackenzie Mayhood doubled down the third-base line. Dolan sped home on a wild pitch on ball four to Cody Rogers.
Lexi Mayhood walked to load the bases. Kendyl Boltz, a former Butte resident, lofted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Rogers. The catch was made by Jenna Walker an instant before she tumbled backwards over the snow fence. After Jenna Cragwick walked, Madison Harris beat out an infield hit that scored the Golden Bears’ last run of the inning.
The Bulldogs tallied one in the second when Taylor Huff was hit by a pitch with the bags full.
Three singles, two walks and a wild pitch took Billings West’s command to 9-5 in the third.
Butte High went down in order before the Golden Bears were back to bat, and chalked up a run when Dolan doubled and Rogers singled her home.
Doubles by Ferriter and Brianna Ossello, and a two-out base hit by Isabelle Bonney put up two runs for Butte High in the fourth.
Neither team scored in the fifth inning, but Billings West exploded for six in the sixth — all on home runs. Kylee Koch led off with a line shot over the left-field fence, Boltz blasted a grand slam out over center field and Jenna Cragwick cranked a solo homer to left. Boltz posted five runs batted in for the game.
The score was 16-7 and the Bulldogs finished the scoring with a run in the sixth inning and two in the seventh. Ossello and Katelyn Alley plastered back-to-back doubles for the run in the sixth.
A bases-loaded error by the Golden Bears allowed Butte High’s last two runs, in the seventh.
Kinzee Koch struck out six batters in five innings pitching relief for Billings West. She walked three after coming on for Madisen Dahlquist. With McClafferty slated to be in the circle for both games on Saturday, Ferriter and Madison Joseph split pitching duties for Butte HIgh in Friday’s second game. They posted three strikeouts, but gave up 11 walks, perhaps bothered by the wind, rain, and some inexperience.
Billings West 243 106 0 — 16 13 3
Butte High 410 201 2 — 10 9 2
Madisen Dahlquist, Kinzee Koch (3) and Kira Drake, Kylee Koch (3). Kenndi Ferriter, Madison Joseph (6) and Isabelle Bonney. W — Kinzee Koch. L — Ferriter (1-2).
BILLINGS WEST (8-7, 4-3) — Mackenzie Mayhood 3-5, Cody Rogers 2-2, Lexi Mayhood 0-2, Kinzee Koch 1-2, Kendyl Boltz 2-2, Jenna Cragwick 2-3, Madison Harris 0-4, Kira Drake 0-2, Kylee Koch 1-3, Ellie Jones 0-5, Shea Dolan 2-4.
BUTTE HIGH (4-9, 3-4) — Brittney Tierney 0-2, Jenna Maroney 0-4, Kenndi Ferriter 3-4, Taylor Huff 0-3, Jenna Walker 0-1, Brianna Ossello 2-3, Katelyn Alley 1-5, Isabelle Bonney 2-3, Kaidy McClafferty 1-2, MacKensie Daily 0-2, Madison Joseph 0-3.
2B — M. Mayhood, Dolan, Boltz, Ferriter, Ossello 2, Alley. HR — Kylee Koch, Boltz, Cragwick.
Runs batted in — Billings West 13 (Boltz 5, Rogers 2, Cragwick 2, Harris 2, Kinzee Koch 1, Kylee Koch 1. Butte High 7 (McClafferty 2, Ferriter 1, Huff 1, Ossello 1, Alley 1, Bonney 1). 1 comment