By Bruce Sayler
The Butte High girls mastered their economics Tuesday.
They scored 39 runs on 34 hits in only seven turns at the plate as a team while beating winless Missoula Hellgate 19-0 and 20-3 in a Western AA Conference softball doubleheader at Stodden Park.The Bulldogs beat Hellgate 19-0 in the first game as freshman pitcher Rian Ferriter tossed a one-hitter with nine strikeouts in a tilt that lasted only 4 ½ innings on the 10-run difference rule. Butte High benefitted from 15 walks issued by the Knights’ pitchers in the second game and won 20-3. The 15-run difference rule after three innings halted the game.
The day was sunny and temperatures of in the 50s were welcomed on the warmest softball day of the year, so far, in Butte. A cooler wind caused most spectators to continue wearing their jackets.
“It was good to get out in this warm weather,” Butte High head coach Ryan Stosich said. “I got to see us swing the bat and our pitching, I thought, was pretty good. But, there was not a lot of defense.”
Stosich noted that the Hellgate program is building and experiencing some growing pains.
“They tried their best and it is all you can ask,” he said.
He said injured senior pitcher McCaul McCarthy just started throwing the ball again this week while trying to recover from an MCL strain. So, it looks to be at least another week before the team ace is able to pitch again, the coach said. McCarthy played third base in Tuesday’s first game and first base in the second.
The Bulldogs have a 4-7 overall record and are 4-2 in conference. They will be home for another conference doubleheader on Thursday, playing Helena High at Stodden Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
“I thought our hitters were good at being selective today,” Stosich commented about a team strength in Tuesday’s twin bill. “This was a series win, a home series you have to win.”
Butte High 19, Missoula Hellgate 0
(4 1/2 Innings)
Ferriter walked only three batters and didn’t give up a hit until Madison Petrino singled through the right side of the infield with two out in the third inning.
“Rian pitched well,” Stosich said. “She did some things well. We have to work more on her taking a little bit more of the corners.”
Butte High scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning with Dylan Duffy’s three-run bomb over the left-field fence being the biggest of several big blows. Kodie Hoagland led off the inning with a walk and Aubree Corcoran followed with an infield hit. Hellgate committed its first of seven errors and the runners advanced a bag. Ferriter’s groundout scored Hoagland, then Jordyn Bolton dropped a base hit in behind first base while Corcoran ran home. MacKenzie Tutty hit another behind first base. McCarthy singled to left to drive in Bolton in front of Duffy launching her no-doubter.
Ferriter fanned the side in the top of the second to begin a string of five consecutive strikeouts.
Butte High came for its second turn at the plate and tallied five more runs. Hoagland walked, stole second and scored on a Corcoran single to left field. One out later, Bolton lined a drive off of pitcher Petrino’s mask for a base hit that wound up in short left-center field. Petrino took some time to shake the cobwebs, but stayed in the game. Corcoran scored on the hit.
Tutty then doubled to right field and Bolton came home. An error let McCarthy reach base while Tutty went to third. Tutty scored on a groundout by Duffy, then Mia Antonioli singled to left to drive in McCarthy.
The Bulldogs lead grew to 11-0 and they added two more runs in the third. Corcoran reached on a flyball the Knights misjudged in the outfield and raced home on a double by Ferriter into the left-center field alley. An out and an error later, McCarthy singled to center and Ferriter crossed the plate.
Ferriter set Hellgate down in order in the fourth inning before Butte High stacked six more runs.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no out on a base hit by Antonioli, an error that put Madison Skeel aboard and on Hoagland getting hit by a pitch. Corcoran smacked a three-run double to left field and Ferriter delivered a run-scoring single, another that landed behind first base. Tutty thumped a double to center field and then McCarthy singled as Ferriter ran home. Duffy drilled a ground-rule double to center field to bring in Tutty for her fifth RBI of the game.
The umpires gave the Hellgate coaches the choice to have the game ended on the 15-run difference, three-inning rule, but they opted to continue with Butte High controlling a 19-0 command.
Ferriter retired the Knights on a strikeout, fielder’s choice and flyout around the only error the Bulldogs committed.
Hellgate 000 00x x — 0 1 7
Butte High 652 6xx x — 19 17 1
Madison Petrino and Natalie Curlee. Rian Ferriter and MacKenzie Tutty. W – Ferriter. L – Petrino.
MISSOULA HELLGATE — Natalie Curlee 0-2, Delaney Laird 0-2, Madison Petrino 1-1, Jenna James 0-2, Shoshannah Resner 0-2, Ester Boelman 0-2, Aspen Murphy 0-2, Jocelyn Heald 0-2, Keira Babbitt 0-0, Shayelynn Huber 0-1.
BUTTE HIGH — Kodie Hoagland 0-1, Aubree Corcoran 2-4, Rian Ferriter 2-4, Jordyn Bolton 2-4, MacKenzie Tutty 3-4, McCaul McCarthy 3-4, Dylan Duffy 2-4, Mia Antonioli 2-4, Madison Skeel 1-4.
Extra-base hits – 2B – Tutty 2, Ferriter, Corcoran, Duffy. HR – Duffy.
Runs batted in – Hellgate 0, Butte High 19 (Duffy 5, Corcoran 4, Ferriter 3, McCarthy 3, Bolton 2, Tutty 1, Antonioli 1).
Butte High 20, Missoula Hellgate 3
Butte High was the designated visitor in the conference doubleheader format. It jumped on the opportunity of first at-bats to grab a 6-0 margin before Hellgate could swing a bat.
Six walks and five wild pitches by Knights starter Delaney Laird helped the Bulldogs to their lead. The alonly batted ball to drive in a run was a single by Antonioli.
Hellgate tallied its first two runs of the day in its half of the first inning. Laird led off with a ground-rule double to the left-center gap and scored on a base hit to right by Petrino. Two outs later Faith Soden singled to center. Natalie Curlee, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, scored from third on a single by Shoshannah Resner, but Solan was cut down at the plate trying to follow Curlee across it.
Butte High got back the two runs plus another in the top of the second frame. Walks to Ferriter and Tutty around a single by Bolton filled the bags with nobody out. A fielder’s choice erased Ferriter at the plate and kept the sacks packed. An error on a ball hit by Antonioli let Bolton score and the bases remained loaded. Tutty raced home on a wild pitch. Curlee, the Hellgate catcher, was a bit casual in throwing a ball back to Laird and McCarthy took advantage of the lob to steal home.
Madison Skeel, the Bulldogs’ pitcher, gave up a walk in the third inning, but stifled the Knights on two groundouts and a strikeout.
Butte High then exploded for 11 runs in the top of the fourth. Seven walks fueled the eruption and the Bulldogs collected five hits in the frame. The hits were a two-run double by Corcoran, run-scoring singles by Tutty and Hoagland, and singles by Corcoran and Antonioli. The other runs scored on errors, wild pitches and a bases-loaded walk.
Hellgate came to bat in the last of the fourth and scored one more run, a two-out bloop single to center by Soden that the Bulldogs misplayed and let Curlee, who had whapped a single to left, come home. Skeel the whiffed Aspen Murphy to end the inning and the Knights’ coaches decided the team had had enough, agreeing to call the end of the game on the 15-run difference, three-inning rule.
Skeel struck out three and walked one in gaining the pitching win.
Butte High 63(11) xxx x — 20 8 1
Hellgate 20( 1) xxx x — 3 6 2
Madison Skeel and Jordyn Bolton. Delaney Laird, Faith Soden (3) and Natalie Curlee. W – Skeel. L – Laird.
BUTTE HIGH (4-7, 4-2) — Kodie Hoagland 1-1, Aubree Corcoran 2-3, Rian Ferriter 0-1, Jordyn Bolton 1-1, MacKenzie Tutty 1-3, McCaul McCarthy 0-3, Mia Antonioli 2-3, Jocelyn Cleveland 0-1, Madison Skeel 1-2, Dylan Duffy 0-0.
MISSOULA HELLGATE (0-12, 0-8) — Delaney Laird 1-2, Madison Petrino 1-2, Jenna James 0-2, Natalie Curlee 1-2, Faith Soden 1-2, Shoshannah Resner 1-1, Aspen Murphy 0-1, Hadley Youbles 0-1, Emery Giroud 0-0, Shayelynn Huber 0-1.
Extra-base hits – 2B – Corcoran, Laird.
Runs batted in – Butte High 6 (Corcoran 2, Hoagland 1, Bolton 1, Tutty 1, Antonioli 1), Hellgate 2 (Petrino 1, Resner 1).