Dillon spoils Butte Central’s home softball opener

By Bruce Sayler
Dillon was drillin’ on Monday and struck softball gold with a big win over rival Butte Central in Southwestern A Conference high school play at Stodden Park.
It was Butte Central’s first home game of a season plagued by bad weather. It was nearly perfect outside at the park on Monday, though, with temperatures in the 70s, sun and little wind.
Butte Central hampered itself by issuing six walks and committing seven errors. The Maroons stayed in the game for several innings, however. before succumbing to a nine-run sixth inning put up by the Beavers and having the game finished after six innings on the 10-run difference rule. It was Dillon’s second nine-run inning of the game. The first was the second when the Beavers gained distance on Butte Central.
Dillon took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never trailed, though the young and challenging Maroons scrapped back to a 4-3 deficit in the bottom the frame before the Beavers’ big outburst in the third.
Tyler Gibson tripled to left field to start the game and then raced home on a wild pitch for a 1-0 Dillon lead. After a walk and an error, Kinzy Creighton, on via a base on balls, came home on Bridget Lovaas’ groundout. Another walk followed before a bad throw allowed two Dillon runs.
Butte Central punched back, though. Usual starting pitcher Hattie Mehring, starting at third base Monday, drew a walk to lead off for the Maroons, stole second base and took third on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, star shortstop Brooke Badovinac unloaded a two-run homer over the left-field fence. It was her fifth home run this year.
Jaeden Berger, Kathryn Lalicker and Renee Creekmore followed with consecutive singles, scoring another run and the first inning ended with Dillon leading BC by only 4-3.
Gibson led off the second with a home run to left center for Dillon, igniting the offense once more. The Beavers scored nine runs on four hits, benefitting from four walks and one error. Three bases-loaded walks forced in runs and Gibson, batting for the second time in the inning, clubbed a three-run double to left field. Kinzy Creighton and Emily Brevig delivered run-scoring singles.
Mia Keeley mashed a home run with a flyball over the center field fence for Butte Central in the bottom of the inning.
Mehring relieved first-time pitching starter Arika Stajcar, a freshman, in the Maroons’ pitching circle during the second inning. Stajcar went to catcher and Keeley moved to third base from catcher in the switches.
An error and wild pitch combined for Dillon’s only run in the third. Butte Central filled the bags in the last of the third, but was unable to score against pitcher Adyson Creighton.
The Beavers got a run in the fourth when a dropped flyball in the outfield let Kinzy Creighton score after lining a single off Mehring’s glove to reach base.
The Butte Central fourth inning was worth four runs. Mehring led it off with a single dumped into right field. She scored an out later when Badovinac ripped a triple to center field. Berger singled Badovinac home, then stole second base. She took third on an error and scored on a groundout as Creekmore bounced out to eighth-grader Tymber Barnes at shortstop. A single by Stajcar and Sophia Gelling being hit by a pitch loaded the bases. Lalicker raced home on a wild pitch, but a strikeout then ended the inning.
Barnes belted a two-out single in the Dillon fifth inning and scored a double to right field by Katey Vezina.
The Maroons answered with two runs in their half of the frame. Mehring walked to start it. After an out, Badovinac singled to center field, an error in the outfield let Mehring run home. Two consecutive errors let Badovinac round the bases home.
Dillon’s big nine-run sixth inning all but clinched the win. Two-run singles by Vezina and Kinzy Creighton were the key blows and doubles by Kinzy Creighton and Barnes were the louder ones. Bailey Blake knocked two run-scoring singles and Lovaas, Addison Creighton and Brevig drove in a run apiece with base hits.
Again, the Maroons packed the sacks in the bottom of the frame, but were unable to get a run home.
The loss put the Maroons at 1-8 for the season, including 0-6 in conference games. They are to play at home again on Tuesday, versus Corvallis in 3 p.m. Western AA tilt at Stodden Park.
Dillon 491 119 x – 25 19 5
Butte Central 310 420 x – 10 15 7
Adyson Creighton and Kinzy Creighton. Arika Stajcar, Hattie Mehring (2) and Mia Keeley, Arika Stajcar (2). W – A. Creighton. L – Stajcar (0-1).
DiLLON – Tyler Gibson 4-6, Kinzy Creighton 5-5, Emily Brevig 3-5, Bailey Blake 2-5, Bridget Lovaas 0-5, Adyson Creighton 1-3, Tymber Barnes 2-4, Katey Vezina 2-3, Ashlyn Burk 0-0, Emma Johnston 0-1, Lilla Guiberson 0-1, Patsea Farrow 0-2.
BUTTE CENTRAL (1-8, 0-6) – Hattie Mehring 1-2, Mia Keeley 1-5, Brooke Badovinac 3-4, Jaeden Bergen 2-3, Kathryn Lalicker 1-4, Renee Creekmore 3-4, Arika Stajcar 1-4, Sophia Gelling 0-1, Meika Boyer 0-0, Sawyer Svejkovsky 0-4.
Extra-base hits – Gibson, Vezina, K. Creighton, Barnes. 3B — Gibson, Badovinac. HR – Gibson, Badovinac, Keeley.
Runs batted in – Dillon 20 (Gibson 4, K. Creighton 4, Vezina 4, Brevig 2, Lovaas 2, Blake 1, A. Creighton 1, Barnes 1, Guiberson 1), Butte Central 7 (Badovinac 3, Creekmore 2, Keeley 1, Berger 1).