It turns out that Butte Central didn’t have to be perfect against its biggest rival.
The Maroons overcame some “mechanical” issues from their ace and a 4-for-4 performance from Courtney Moodry to beat Anaconda 4-2 in a Southwestern A softball game Tuesday at Copper Mountain Park.
BC coach Kelci Thatcher said sophomore pitcher Teresa Piazzola didn’t have her ‘A’ game Tuesday. To the untrained eye, that wasn’t so easy to tell because Piazzola struck out 11 batters, working out of trouble on multiple occasions to improve to 5-3 on the season.
She scattered nine hits.
“Teresa was struggling today,” Thatcher said. “She was having some issues with her mechanics. I’m proud of her, though. She battled through, but you could tell that’s not the Teresa we’re used to.”
Piazzola didn’t enjoy a 1-2-3 inning until the fifth. She got out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning thanks, in part, to a nice play by freshman shortstop Taylor Wahl, who gunned down Moodry at the plate.
“Taylor Wahl did excellent at shortstop,” Thatcher said. “She took away those two hits up the middle, I think those were huge momentum. I’ve bounced her all over the place, and for her to step into a big conference game as a freshman, she did excellent.”
Butte Central’s first three runs were unearned , as the Maroons scored runs in the first, second and fourth innings. Shelby Paffhausen reached on a fielder’s choice and scored in the first. Catcher Kate Ossello singled and scored when Shawnee Hjelt reached on an error in the second.
BC made it 3-0 when Ossello walked and scored again on an error in the fourth.
The Maroons made it 4-0 in the fifth when Piazzola roped a double to left-center field to score Mollie Peoples, who reached on an error.
Anaconda’s bats really started to come around in the sixth. Chloe Worl walked and scored when Hannah Schaefer drilled a two-out double over the head of BC right fielder Mikayla Boggs. Schaefer scored on Moodry’s fourth single of the day.
“Courtney Moodry is outstanding,” Thatcher said of the Copperheads’ catcher and leadoff hitter. “She is just so disciplined. They’re a great hitting team.”
Piazzola, though, got out of the inning by getting Lacee Moodry to pop out.
Sara Schaefer beat out an infield single with one out in the seventh inning, brining the tying run to the plate in the final frame. That set up what was probably the play of the game, and perhaps the play of the season so far for the Maroons.
Julia Peterson drilled a shot to center field. Paffhausen, BC’s senior center fielder at first ran up on the ball. At the last second, she stopped and jumped to make the catch and rob Peterson of at least an RBI double — maybe more.
“That was a great catch,” Thatcher said.
Then, the game ended in unusual fashion. Kassie Flores singled to apparently get the tying run on base. The Maroons threw behind the runner at first, and Flores got back safely.
Then, Flores left the base, and Anaconda head coach Dotsie Shafer grabbed her and directed her toward the base. Flores was called out because of coaches interference.
The Maroons improved to 6-5 overall and 4-1 in league play with the big win. Kristy Hayden took the hard-luck loss for the Copperheads, who fell to 5-2 in conference
“The whole team managed to get the ‘W,’ but it wasn’t our best game,” Thatcher said. “So really, the cards just fell in our favor.”
The Maroons are off until next Tuesday when they play host to Stevensville. BC meets Anaconda again May 15 in the Smelter City.
“We’ll have to get back to work,” Thatcher said.
Anaconda 000 002 0 — 2 9 3
Butte Central 110 110 x — 4 7 0
Kristy Hayden and Courtney Moodry; Teresa Piazzola and Kate Ossello. W — Piazzola (5-3). L — Hayden.
ANACONDA — C. Moodry 4-4, Lacee Moodry 0-3, Delaney Chapman 0-2, Sara Schaefer 1-4, Julia Peterson 0-2, Kassie Flores 1-3, Chloe Worl 0-2, Hayden 1-3, Hannah Schaefer 2-3.
BUTTE CENTRAL (6-5, 4-1) — Shawnee Hjelt 1-4, Shelby Paffhausen 1-2, Mollie Peoples 2-3, Corbyn Holm 0-2, Cassidy McGree 0-1, Piazzola 1-3, McKenzie Gallagher 0-0, Rylee Green 0-3, Ossello 1-2, Mikayla Boggs 0-3, Taylor Wahl 2-3.
2B — H. Schaefer; Piazzola, Wahl.
RBIs — H. Schaefer, C. Moodry; Hjelt, Piazzola.