The steady on-task pitching by senior Mikayla Boggs combined with Butte Central pressure that might have led to Laurel self-destructing defensively. The mix resulted in an 8-2 victory for the Maroons.
The win was in Saturday afternoon play at Stodden Park in the BC-hosted LaVerne Combo Invitational high school girls’ softball tournament. The tourney involved 22 Class A teams and three Class B entries in games held at Stodden Park, Copper Mountain Youth Sports Park and the Longfellow Complex.
Boggs and Laurel pitcher Paige Hodges matched no-hitters through three innings and shutouts through four. Locomotive second baseman Katie Williams broke up Boggs’ no-hitter with a hot shot down the third baseline for a one-out infield single with one on, via Boggs’ only issued walk, in the fourth. Boggs retired the next two hitters on a foul popup and a groundout.
Butte Central ended Hodges’ bid in the bottom half of the inning. Freshmen Mollie Peoples and Corbyn Holm swatted back-to-back two-out singles to the outfield before the inning ended on a popup.
Boggs finished with a five-hitter, giving up three of the hits in the top of the seventh inning. All of the Locomotives’ hits were singles. Her shutout lasted five innings. The Maroons touched Hodges for eight hits, including a double by Taylor Wahl. They scored in the fifth.
The victory was BC’s ninth in a row and it was a seven-run sixth inning that determined the outcome.
Boggs walked one and struck out one as she remained dependable replacing team ace Teresa Piazzola in the pitcher’s circle for the time being. Piazzola has been out with a hip injury.
“I know our defense is good enough,” Boggs said as she alluded to her successfully pitching to contact and letting her teammates make their plays. “I think I was placing my fastball pretty well, but my changeup is my favorite pitch.”
The game was called well, indicating the Butte Central coaching staff had done its homework well on the Laurel hitters and that Boggs and her catcher, Holm, executed the game plan well. Changing the speed on the pitches let Boggs keep the opposing batter off-balance.
“I didn’t know them well,” Boggs said of the Locomotives. “I they were second in their conference and that they would be pretty good. Our coaches did a good job.”
The heavier load hasn’t shown on Boggs. She said she awoke Saturday morning with some stiffness in her arm, but that it was worked out by game time.
Butte Central went ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Rylee Green was safe on a dropped throw and took second base as Katie Ossello deftly put down a sacrifice bunt. Shawnee Hjelt delivered the run-scoring single to center field.
The Locomotives tied the score with a run in the sixth. Maurissa Gunn led off with a single to center field, took second on a sacrifice bunt by Kylee Hergenrider, third on a wild pitch and tallied on a groundout by Williams.
The Maroons broke the tilt open with seven runs in the sixth, the burst helped by a pair of Laurel errors and a wild pitch. Peoples began the eruption with a single to right field in an inning that saw 11 BC girls bat. Holm singled to center and Peoples took third on the hit. Holm went to second on the throw to third that was too late to catch Peoples.
Boggs then punched a ground ball to the right side of the infield. It was booted into the outfield and both Peoples and McKenzie Gallagher, the courtesy runner for catcher Holm, scored on the error. One out later, Green singled to center field and Courtney Thomas, Boggs’ courtesy runner, took third base on the hit. Ossello singled home Thomas. Hjelt reached on a fielding error and Shelby Paffhausen worked a full count into a base on balls to load the bases.
Ossello raced home on a wild pitch and then Wahl walloped her double into the left-field corner, driving in both Hjelt and Paffhausen, before the inning ended.
The Locomotives looked at a large 8-1 deficit to start the seventh inning, but didn’t surrender. Hodges reached on a bad-hop single to start the inning and Brianne Jones followed with a base hit up the middle. One out later, Hailey Maurer looped a single into short left field to fill the bags. Kylie Goodson bounced a comebacker to Boggs, who conceded the run for the easier out at first. Gunn then grounded out to Green at third base to end the game.
Laurel 000 001 1 — 2 5 4
Butte Central 000 017 x — 8 8 2
Paige Hodges and Hailey Spitzer. Mikayla Boggs and Corbyn Holm. W — Boggs. L — Hodges.
LAUREL — Kylie Goodson 0-4, Maurissa Gunn 1-4, Kylee Hergenrider 0-1, Katie Williams 1-3, Hailey Spitzer 0-3, Paige Hodges 1-3, Marcie Kincel-Garay 0-0, Brianne Jones 1-3, Sadie Kincel-Garay 0-0, Dakota Boehler 0-3, Hailey Maurer 1-3.
BUTTE CENTRAL — Emily St. John 0-0, Shawnee Hjelt 1-4, Shelby Paffhausen 0-3, Taylor Wahl 1-4, Mollie Peoples 2-4, Corbyn Holm 2-3, McKenzie Gallagher 0-0, Mikayla Boggs 0-2, Courtney Thomas 0-0, Cassidy McGree 0-3, Rylee Green 1-3, Kate Ossello 1-2.
Extra-base hit — 2B — Wahl.
Runs batted in — Laurel 2 (Goodson 1, Williams 1); Butte Central 4 (Wahl 2, Hjelt 1, Ossello 1).