Loss to Beavers fails to sour Maroons

By Bruce Sayler

Butte Central might have set a record for youth in a varsity sport lineup Thursday, then showed nothing but enthusiastic smiles even though losing 16-4 to Dillon.
The Stodden Park game was the softball home opener for the Maroons and launched their Southwestern A Conference season. They began the campaign with an 11-1 nonconference loss at Three Forks Tuesday.
Head coach Chunky Thatcher might’ve been the most enthusiastic Maroon of the bunch.
“We’re young, really young,” he said, noting five eighth-graders and only one senior were in the lineup to go with two sophomores and a freshman. “It’s the funnest year I’ve put in coaching. They all want to learn, they ask questions. This is only the second time we’ve been outside.
“I told them if we go 20-and-0 or 0-and-20 or 10-and-10, it doesn’t matter. Every game you’re going to get better. That’s what matters. They’re fun kids to coach.”
Dillon ended the game in the fifth inning under the10-run difference rule. The Beavers had a 12-4 command going into the fifth and then plated four runs, including a run-scoring single by Kinzy Creighton and a two-run inside-the-park home run Emily Brevig tucked into the right-field corner.
Dillon pitcher Adyson Creighton, twin sister of catcher Kinzy Creighton, worked around a walk in the bottom of the fifth to secure the win. Dillon head coach Alyssa Creighton is the twins’ mother.
“We had a couple errors,” Thatcher said. “We had three eighth-graders and a freshman on the infield. We’re not as good a team right now as they are, but by the end of the year we’ll have a chance to be in thick of it.”
Dillon used six hits and two Maroon errors to build an 8-0 lead through two innings. Kylie Konen drove in two of the runs and Adyson Creighton belted a triple. Braelynn Schelin, Kathryn Lalicker, Cambri Campbell and Natalie Osterman scored runs for BC.
Schelin had two of the hits, and Kenzie McQueary also registered a base hit.
Sophomore Arika Stajcar pitched for the Maroons.
Watching the Maroons develop as players on a daily basis, even though under the limits of practicing inside, has kept Thatcher’s mood good, he said.
“Every time one of them gets a hit or makes a catch, they’ve become a softball player,” the coach said, “that’s what they think. And, it’s fun to watch.”
Butte Central is slated to play at Stevensville at 2 p.m. on Saturday in its next game.
Dillon 530 35x x – 16 10 2
Butte Central 220 00x — 4 5 5
Ady Creighton and Kinzy Creighton. Arika Stajcar and Natalie Osterman. W – A. Creighton. L – Stajcar (0-2).
DILLON (3-1, 2-1) – Tyler Gibson 2-3, Ady Creighton 1-3, Kinzy Creighton 3-3, Emily Brevig 3-4, Kylie Konen 1-3, Tymber Barnes 0-1, Katey Vezina 0-2, Bailey Blake 0-1, Lilla Guiberson 0-2, Bridget Lovaas 0-1.
BUTTE CENTRAL (0-2, 0-1) – Kenzie McQueary 1-3, Braelynn Schelin 2-3, Kathryn Lalicker 1-2, Arika Stajcar 0-2, Kodee Badovinac 0-1, Cambri Campbell 1-3, Natalie Osterman 0-1, Sophia Gelling 0-1, Chloe Wright 0-1, Marley Mansanti 0-0.