Maroons slam Eagles in opener

BELGRADE — Teresa Piazzola took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and Butte Central got big blasts from Piazzola and Taylor Marthaller today as the Maroons beat Lewistown 7-3 in the first round of the Class A State softball tournament.

The Maroons play three-time defending champion Polson at 4 p.m. The Pirates, the Northwestern A champions, earned a first-round bye.

Piazzola hit a three-run home run to put the Maroons on top for good in the bottom of the fourth inning. Marthaller hit a grand slam the next inning.

In all, the Maroons smacked 11 hits, with eight different BC players reaching on a base hit.

Piazzola, a freshman, struck out 12 batters and didn’t surrender a hit until Jessica Kinderski led off the seventh with a seeing-eye single. Kelly Grover followed with an RBI triple. Grover scored on a throwing error.

Nadja Robertson walked, advanced on a wild pitch before scoring on a single by pitcher Cassi Miller. The Maroons, though, picked off Miller in a run down to end the game.

The game featured solid defense on both sides.

BC right fielder Mikayla Boggs made a running catch to leave the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Second baseman Hannah Stajcar ran down a pop up in short center field then fired a throw to first baseman Aleesha LaBreche for an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

Danika Neumann, at short, and Katie Hogart, at third, also made flashy plays in the first inning to keep the Maroons out of trouble.

The Maroons left four runners on base before Piazzola hit a line-drive home run to break the scoreless tie in the third.

Marthaller, a senior batting sixth in the order, hit a no-doubt slam down the third-base line.

Senior catcher Shannon McLaughlin joined Marthaller and Neumann with a two-hit game.

Freshman Shawnee Hjelt, Hogart, LaBreche and Stajcar added singles for the Maroons, who improved to 10-9 on the season with their third straight win.

Kate Ossello and Aiden Dennehy scored runs while filling in as a courtesy runner and pinch runner.

The Pirates beat Butte Central 2-1 April 26 during the Frenchtown Invitational. Shalaina Duford struck out 10 to lead the Pirates, who have won seven state titles since 2001.

Lewistown                  000  000  3 — 3   3   0
Butte Central             000  340  x — 7 11   1

Cassi Miller and Alyssa Yaeger; Teresa Piazzola and Shannon McLaughlin. W — Piazzola. L — Miller.
LEWISTOWN — Yaeger 0-4, Nadja Robertson 1-3, Miller 1-4, Mary Birdwell 0-3, Teale Dannel 0-1, Maddie Comes 0-3, Jessica Kinderski 1-2, Kelley Grover 1-2, Sydney Wier 0-1, Lacey Lindenfield 0-2.
BUTTE CENTRAL (10-9) —Shawnee Hjelt 1-4, Hannah Stajcar 1-4, McLaughlin 2-4, Kate Ossello 0-0, Danika Neumann 2-4, Katie Hogart 1-3, Taylor Marthaller 2-2, Aleesha LaBreche 1-2, Aiden Dennehy 0-0, Piazzola 1-3, Mikayla Boggs 0-3.
HR — Piazzola, Marthaller. 3B — Grover. RBIs — Miller, Grover; Marthaller 4, Piazzola 3.

Taylor Marthaller, 7, is congratulated by teammates after her fifth-inning grand slam.

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