ANACONDA — Corbyn Holm can apparently handle a big situation.
The Butte Central sophomore pitcher fouled off five two-out, two-strike pitches Thursday before singling in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Maroons beat Livingston 4-3 in the opener of the Class AA State tournament.
The thrilling win came on Field No. 2 at the Charlotte Yeoman-Martin. The Maroons will play Frenchtown, the defending State champions, on the same field at 3 p.m.
“My heart was racing,” Holm said after hitting the ball through the hole between first and second to score Kloie Thatcher with the winning run. “I think it was inside. I felt it hit the inside of my bat. They know I can’t hit inside.”
Holm said she wants to be in the batter’s box in that pressure-packed situation.
“I like being in those kinds of situations because I know in my head I can help my team out anyway possible,” she said.
The big hit capped the comeback for the Maroons (15-9), who battled back from a 3-1 deficit. It also capped a huge game by Holm, who went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles.
Holm hit a lead-off double and scored to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. She took third on a bunt and scored when Kassidy Criscuolo hustled down the line to reach on an infield single.
The Maroons used some solid pitching and good defense to take the game tied to the bottom of the seventh.
Livingston lead-off hitter Megan Gibson was the No. 2 batter of the inning. She went single, single, double and scored two runs in her first three at bats.
In the seventh, though, she hit a one-out grounder to third base. BC freshman third baseman Megan Michelotti, who was playing in, fielded the ball perfectly and gunned to Mollie Peoples at first to barely nail the speedy Gibson.
Piazzola then fanned Emily Cornell for her 11th strikeout of the game to end the inning.
“If she’s farther back she probably wouldn’t have made it,” Holm said of the Michelotti throw. “It was very close.”
The Maroons got things started in the bottom of the seventh when No. 9 hitter Shawnee Hjelt, who missed much of the late part of the season with a concussion, busted down the line for an infield single.
Thatcher, BC’s freshman shortstop, followed with a two-strike double to right-center field.
Livingston third baseman Breanna Murphy made a nice play to gun down Hjelt at home when Emily St. John reached on a fielder’s choice. That play extended the game two batters.
Higgs struck out Peoples on a nasty pitch before Holm stepped into the box and delivered the game-winner.
Livingston took the lead in the first when Gibson slapped a single and scored and a single by pitcher Sierra Higgs.
The Maroons tied it in the bottom of the second when Piazzola singled and took second on an error. She scored when Michelotti hit a one-out grounder to third base.
The Rangers built a 3-1 lead in the pesky Gibson started things off with an infield single. Cornell followed with a single, and Gibson scored on an outfield error.
Higgs drove in Cornell with a solid single to left.
BC got one run back in the third when St. John singled to right and took third on a two-base error. She scored on a Peoples ground out.
That Maroons missed a solid chance to tie the game in the fifth when Thatcher, who went 3 for 4, hit a one-out triple. Higgs, though, pitched out of the jam to strand the tying run.
Piazzola, who improved to 7-1 on the season, got six strikeout victims swinging and five looking. She struck out the final two batters of the first inning and retired the side by way of the K in order in the second.
“We’ve been working really hard at practice to get that outside pitch because she’s been struggling,” Holm said of her battery mate. “She was working on her drop balls, and she did really well.”
Holm added that the Maroons shifted their philosophy against lefties Gibson and Cornell as the game went on.
“We were trying to go outside, but they hit it,” she said. “So we moved inside.”
The Maroons fell 7-0 to Frenchtown and Ohio State-bound pitcher Morgan Ray April 24 in Frenchtown.
Holm, though, said the Maroons are ready to face them in a big situation.
“I’m excited,” she said. “I know we can beat them.”
Polson beat Anaconda 11-1 in five innings in the other 11 a.m. game Thursday.
Livingston 102 000 0 — 3 7 2
Butte Central 011 001 1 — 4 9 2
Sierra Higgs and Cassidy Versland; Teresa Piazzola and Corby Holm. W — Piazzola (7-1). L — Higgs.
LIVINGSTON — Megan Gibson 3-4, Emily Cornell 1-4, Versland 1-3, Ellie Nelson 0-0, Higgs 2-3, Shyann Mushrush 0-3, Breanna Murphy 0-2, Carson Ooley 0-3, Paige Gavne 0-3, Micaela Murphy 0-3.
BUTTE CENTRAL (15-9) — Kloie Thatcher 3-4, Emily St. John 1-4, Mollie Peoples 1-4, Holm 3-4, Tahlor Wahl 0-2, Piazzola 1-3, Kassidy Criscuolo 1-3, Megan Michelotti 0-3, Shawnee Hjelt 1-3.
3B — Thatcher. 2B — Gibson; Holm 2, Thatcher. RBIs — Higgs 2; Peoples, Criscuolo, Michelotti, Holm.
Anaconda 001 00 — 1 6 3
Polson 220 34 — 11 16 0
Kristy Hayden, Andi Mavrinac (5) and Hanna Schaefer. Camas Renault, Haley Fyant (5) and Sarah Rauch. W — Renault. L — Hayden.
ANACONDA — Lacee Moodry 2-3, Randee Jo Johnson 1-3, Schaefer 2-3, Kassandra Flores 1-1, Michaela Cortright 0-2, Shea Forsberg 0-2, Shelbie Roche 0-2, Hayden 0-2, Justice Warner 0-2.
POLSON — Jaiden Toth 2-3, Kaelen Wall 2-4, Taylor Brackey 1-4, Sarah Rauch 3-3, Haley Fyant 2-4, Kaelyn Smith 0-3, Lydia Dupuis 1-2, Skyla Krantz 2-3, Hannah Frybarger 3-3.
2B — Schaefer. RBI — Flores; Rauch 4, Wall 2, Toth, Brackey, Fyant, Krantz, Frybarger. 1 comment