By Bill Foley
BELGRADE — Butte Central can still win the Class A State softball title.
The Maroons will just have to do it the hard way.
Allie Hochhalter hit a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to lead the two-time defending championship Frenchtown Broncs to a 3-2 win over the Maroons in the semifinals of the Class A State tournament.
Butte Central will play Belgrade now in the third place game. The winner of that game will have to beat Frenchtown twice to win the state title.
Mollie Peoples busted out of a slump with a two-out solo home run in the second inning.
The Maroons made it 2-0 in the fifth when Kassidy Criscuolo doubled and scored on an infield single by Shawnee Hjelt.
BC, though, left the bases loaded in the fifth, and the Broncs struck in the sixth.
Teresa Piazzola threw 149 pitches in the hard-luck loss. Her 124th pitch went for a home run.