By Bill Foley
Mark the date down on the calendar.
If Butte Central ends up playing in the Class A State softball tournament, you can point to Tuesday as the day it all changed. That is the day the Maroons battled back form a 7-0 deficit to knock off Dillon 16-10 in a Southwestern A game at Stodden Park.
The rally battled off what would have been a crushing blow to BC’s postseason chances. It also snapped a seven-game losing streak.
“I’m proud of them,” BC coach Bill “Chunky” Thatcher said. “We got the schnide off their backs.”
Tuesday also marked the return of Sofee Thatcher, BC’s senior pitcher. She missed the last seven games with a knee injury. She pitched the distance for the win with a brace on that left knee.
As you might expect with a player who hasn’t competed in a month, Thatcher had some rust early. Dillon took advantage of three walks and scored six runs in the top of the second inning.
A three-run home run by Kinzy Creighton was the big blast of an inning that saw the Beavers do all their damage with two out.
Dillon extend the lead to 7-0 when catcher Emily Brevig doubled to lead off the third. She scored on a groundout by Tyler Gibson.
Central got back in the game with five runs in the bottom of the third. Cloe Stillwagon worked a one-out walk to get things started for the Maroons.
Mia Keely and Jaeden Berger drew bases-loaded walks before Brenna Foley smoked a bases-clearing double to the gap in right-center. Dillon got out of the inning when Creighton, playing at short, when into right field to snag a ball and rob Renee Creekmore of an RBI hit.
In the fifth inning, Butte Central took the game over. The Maroons sent 15 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs to take the lead for good. BC batters worked seven walks in the inning, and Berger hit an RBI double. Kelley roaped an RBI single.
Dillon didn’t go down quietly. The Beavers scored one in the sixth and two in the seventh. Adyson Creighton and Abby Brevig hit booming solo home runs in that stretch.
Central, though, ended the game when Creekmore caught a deep fly by Alexandria Johnston to end the game. It was the third catch of the game by Creekmore, and that drew praise from her coach.
“They’re doing good things,” Thatcher said of the Maroons, who improved to 2-4 in conference and 2-8 overall.
The Maroons got contributions form up and down the lineup as all nine batters reached base at least once.
Foley added a single to her double, and Hattie Mehring and Brooke Badovinac joined Keeley and Berger with singles. Keeley added three walks, and Maggie Stimatz, who batted left handed for the first time, turned a pair of walks into runs.
Thatcher walked twice, and she also flew out deep to left field. She also struck out 10 batters.
Butte Central will head to Hamilton and Corvallis in key conference games on Saturday. BC heads to Dillon for a rematch with the Beavers on May 11.
Central will host the Combo Invitational May 13 and 14.
Dillon 061 001 2 — 10 9 5
Butte Central 005 1(10)0 x — 16 6 2
Adyson Creighton, Katey Vezina (5) and Emily Brevig, Kinzy Creighton (5); Sofee Thatcher and Mia Keeley. W — Thatcher. L — A. Creighton.
DILLON (1-5, 2-10) — Alexandria Johnston 1-5, K. Creighton 1-2, Abby Brevig 1-4, E. Brevig 2-4, Vezina 1-5, Tyler Gibson 1-4, A. Creighton 1-3, Abigail Johnston 0-1, Lily Rhodes 0-0, Patsea Farrow 1-4.
BUTTE CENTRAL (2-4, 2-8) — Hattie Mehring 1-3, Thatcher 0-3, Brooke Badovinac 1-4, Keeley 1-2, Jaeden Berger 1-4, Brenna Foley 2-3, Renee Creekmore 0-2, Maggie Stimitz 0-2, Cloe Stillwagon 0-3.
HR — K. Creighton, A. Brevig, A. Creighton. 2B — E. Brevig; Berger, Foley. RBIs — K. Kreighton 3, A. Brevig, Gibson, A. Creighton; Foley 3, Berger 2, Keeley 2, Mehring.